Do You Have Any Rolaids? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I sat in English class attempting to finish a quiz and watching the clock. Finally it was time. "Mrs. McCleery?" I began timidly, "may I be excused now?" Choruses of "Good luck" followed me out the door as I skipped down to the office to wait for my mother. Five nerve-wracking minutes later she pulled into the school driveway. I hoisted myself into the driver's seat and tried to psyche myself up for the test while ignoring my mother's frequent interjections - "Slow down! Were you gonna stop for him?" With gnawing irritation I recalled the afternoon she grudgingly allowed me to send in for my date. " I know you'll flunk, but you might as well take it so you'll have the experience." Boy, I wanted to pass.

A middle-aged man of average height and build shuffled paper in the room before me. He must be the examiner, I thought. He looked like a nice enough guy ... neat mustache, no glasses, easy gait. I passed my eye test and proceeded out to the van. Pulling my five foot, one inch frame inside, I took a deep breath and forced myself to relax. This is the beast I must control to pass so I may laugh at my mother. Ha, ha, ha ...

I watched my examiner approach the van and rolled down my window to hear him. What? Left blinker. Crap! that's right! Up is right, down is left. Brake. Okay. Right. Check. Brake again. That's the gas! Quick - the brake! He must think I am a complete idiot. Relax, Ayotte. Breathe or something. Finally the examiner mounted the step and slid into the seat beside me. He gave me the speech required of him by law before asking, "Do you have any questions?"

"Do you have any Rolaids?" I quipped.

We circled the block once before he suggested, "Why don't you pull in right behind that car?" Silent fire alarms flashed through my head - Parallel Park! Parallel Park!

I could see the cars behind me trying to figure out if there was a way to pass. Sure, make me parallel park IN the rotary. Jerk. Impatient vibes from the cars beside me furthered my anxiety, as I lined up with the car beside me and began to back up. I swung in and found myself about five feet from the curb. Darn. I shifted into drive, then reverse, drive and reverse, as I attempted to "skooch" the van closer to the curb.

The examiner looked slightly alarmed and interrupted my bumper car motions. "The correct way to parallel park is to back in and pull forward. You've just gone backward, forward and backward. You can attempt to fix it or you can try again."

Translation: Try it again or you will flunk.

I pulled out again and backed up. This time however, I didn't get a chance to try to move it over because the examiner said, "Stop. Put it in park. You just hit that car and I have to check for damages. I didn't want to distract you." Test over.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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