Yes, I have flunked my driver’s test—again.

Is it the bullet-nosed, grey Studebaker I am learning to drive on, or is it just me? Anyway, the patrolman’s decision is final. I cannot drive alone. At least not yet. I have practiced driving with eight people stuffed into this Studebaker to Bossler’s Mennonite Church and back without crashing. Oh, there are some yells and screams along the way, but I haven’t careened off the road yet. (We’re frugal Mennonites and don’t waste gas on driving two cars if we are all going to the same place. Think: lap-holding, no seat-belts.)

Driving test Studebaker, 1950s

Driving test Studebaker, 1951

The first time I don’t pass my driver’s test is because I can’t parallel park right. (Yes, the ability to parallel park was part of the test back then.) And the second time, the cop says, “You were riding the clutch the whole time. If you keep on doing that you’ll wear out the transmission!” So I have flunked the driving test twice.

Boo Hoo!

Boo Hoo!

Me: I never flunk anything. In fact, I get all A’s in school. Now why can’t I pass this dumb test. I KNOW how to drive!

Mom: “Some people just don’t like girls with coverings on their heads.

Me: Well, that’s ridiculous!

Mom:  When you take the test again, just wear a bandanna on your head. That will cover up your covering and you’ll probably pass.

Me: Why would that make a difference?

I do pass the third time. Hallelujah!

Now please tell me why. This is a multiple choice quiz:

a. I finally got over my nervousness.

b. Three’s a charm.

c. The policeman noticed I wasn’t a plain girl.

d. The policeman suspected I was a plain girl and thought I probably could even drive a tractor. So, “What the heck—She passes!”