Sunday, October 28, 2012

Driving mad

Here is another way in which I suspect I am abnormal.

The smallest of unfamiliar or pressing tasks relating to vehicles and driving REALLY stress me out.

When driving, the fear is accompanied with a kind of bull-at-a-gate, let's-get-this-over-with approach that I own is entirely destructive. Unknown rural road, looking out for a left turn to get me to a meeting for which I am late, with a car quite close behind me = DRIVE REALLY FAST!!! Dark night on roads of a strange city = DRIVE REALLY FAST!!! New car that I'm not yet confident in = DRIVE REALLY FAST!!!

The vehicle stuff is a different malfunction. The prospect of going for the first time to check air-pressure in the tyres = sleepless night. The knowledge one of my reverse lights is out and I need to sort it = sheer terror.

Not sure what to do about the driving issue. I mean, I haven't ever crashed the car or anything. I drive a lot for work - about 500 miles a month - so am not a novice. Why, therefore, can I not remain calm and just DO the driving, rather than leaping onto a "Quick, get it over with!" treadmill. Some tasks benefit from added gusto. But not this.

The vehicle maintenance issues I put down to some sort of inherent sexism in myself and society. Jon usually does car stuff. Just because. I am sure that if Jon can do it, I can. And yet, I am actually sweating at the prospect of trying to use that little air machine for the tyres, just in case I can't do it and look like an idiot woman in front of the next person. Does one fix one's own reverse light or get someone else to do it?

(Incidentally, I will work this out for myself via conversations or Google, so please don't get in touch telling me the answer! I am just sharing, you know?)

I once spoke to a policeman who had been on a course intended to tackle sexism and his force's failure to take domestic violence seriously. When I asked him how it had changed his attitude to women, he said he no longer assumed every accident involving a woman driver was her fault. I laughed, at the time. But now I wonder if getting over that hurdle is a huge step forward in becoming a more equal society?

Anyone for a lift?!

No comments: