Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Driving Lesson

Grace slid into the driver’s seat and I sat, uneasily, next to her on the passenger side.  On the previous two Sunday mornings, her mom had taken Grace for her first driving lessons in the grocery store parking lot. But now, it was my job to take her for her first “on the road” lesson.

I had assumed that her mom would have continued the lessons since she is an “in charge” kind of person and was a very involved parent. Vicky was self assured and confident in everything she did; but, it turned out, she was nervous about her baby driving on the road.  But Grace shouldn’t have felt badly, her mom didn’t like my driving either. 

I chose another Sunday morning for Grace’s lesson, hoping that there would be little traffic on the road.  Things went well for the first few blocks. We turned out of the driveway and headed north a few blocks.  She turned left and drove a couple more blocks.   

As we proceeded down the street, I noticed that there were several cars stopped ahead of us at the next intersection.  Grace didn’t slow down.  Thinking I should not overreact, I said calmly: ‘You need to slow down honey.” She hit the brakes suddenly and let out a long sigh.

I used this opportunity to explain that she needed to anticipate what was happening on the road ahead to avoid having to make sudden stops. Grace responded:  “Well, if you’re going to be all over me like that, this driving lesson thing isn’t going to work.”

I was a little surprised by her reaction, although I shouldn’t have been.  She always knew just what to say to send me over the edge.  In a huff, I threatened, “Yeah, maybe this isn’t going to work. If you can’t listen to me, we’re going to have to get you a private instructor.”  To which, she uttered her classic comeback:  “Whatever.”

I wrote this for the Week 109 Trifecta Writing Challenge where we are to write a 33-333 word composition using the word, “whatever”, in the context of indicating that something which is said or done is not important.

I’m not sure whether my entry technically meets the third definition of “whatever”, as an adverb, since it is not modifying a verb, an adjective or another adverb. I’ve used this word in the now colloquial single word sentence, which is how many people, especially teenagers, actually speak. If I had used this word in the traditional way, in a full sentence, it would have been stated as “Whatever you want.”, which, I believe would qualify as an adverb.  

Your comments are appreciated.