When I was a freshman in high school I made the varsity basketball team. This was one of the funniest times of my high school experience. Not because I was the star of the team. (Well, if you count in-bounding the ball at the last 10 seconds of every game, and getting my fellow bench warmers to laugh during the entire game, then yes, I was a star.) No, it was more the perks that came from being friends with upperclassmen. For example, I got set up with seniors, my lunch money no longer got stolen and I was taught how to drive – this was my favorite.
I don’t remember how it started, but one day before practice a senior threw her keys at me and told me to go get her car. Along with another freshman, named Nicole, we figured out how to get the car turned on and into drive. For the next couple of weeks we drove any car we could get our hands on. Mostly, we were just glorified valets, who usually drove in the high school parking lot. Then one night a senior offered to drive me home and then decided I would be the one driving. I’ll never forget driving to my house and this trusting senior yelling at me to speed up every time I dipped down to the speed limit. When I pulled into my neighborhood I no longer felt like a small 13 year-old, but a real adult.
This habit of driving illegally continued, and when I finally, went to get my license I felt like it was all a pointless formality. I’ll never forget my mom asking, after we had driven together the first time, if I had driven before. Of course, I lied and said no. She then said, “Oh, I guess you are such a great driver because of your coordination in sports.” Yep, that was exactly it. Sorry Mom.