For a good chunk of my childhood, the family cars were: Dad’s truck and Mom’s van. But it never really mattered which vehicle we were in, if dad was going, dad was driving.
I never questioned this as a kid. When I was learning to drive, I asked my dad about it. I can’t remember his exact answer, but contributing factors included: his family’s dynamic, my mom’s driver/passenger personality and the fact that my father sometimes felt car sick in the passenger seat. I’d be willing to bet that most in my generation experienced the same parental dynamic, when together, dad drives.
I knew girls in college who would get in the passenger seat of their own cars to allow their boyfriends to drive. I wasn’t that type of girl. My car was mine. I bought it, I maintained it and I paid the insurance on it… I was going to drive it. It didn’t hurt that I drove stick-shift cars until my sophomore year of college and for the most part my peers didn’t know how and I wasn’t going to let them screw up my transmission trying to learn. During the entire time that Brad and I were dating, he only drove my car when I was teaching him how to drive stick shift.
In our marriage, there isn’t a “passenger spouse” and a “driver spouse.” There are two drivers. Brad and I tend to take the more fuel-efficient car when we go places… most recently that became my car, the Volt. When we get in my car to go somewhere, there’s typically no question who is going to drive. I know that Brad enjoys driving my car so sometimes I offer for him to drive.
So when we hopped in the car earlier this week for a quick Chipotle run, Brad decided to be a goof and ride in the backseat. Unbeknownst to me, he took a picture and posted to Facebook about riding in the back seat to go to Chipotle and that it was comfortable back there. Some of the comments it got made me scratch my head. Primarily: “Way to go Rachel!”
Way to go on what? On driving? On having a cool car? On properly placing my hands at 10 and 2 (which also received a comment)? On going out for Chipotle instead of cooking?
Then there was a comment from someone about enjoying it when he “lets” his wife drive.
When i read it, I said to Brad, “You don’t ‘let’ me drive. It’s ‘my’ car.”
I’m a woman with wheels. I drive places. I just happen to be married to a guy who occasionally likes to ride in the backseat.
Is it really that unusual?
Linking up with The Grits Blog.