Drivin’ N Cryin’

The following blog was written by my very loving husband, Michael. Though it may not seem that way... he says these things out of love.


My wife is learning to drive…….again. Many a brave soul has undertaken this Herculean task and failed for lack of patience. Obviously, since she is learning again, the first 50 lessons didn’t take. Being the masochist that I am, I decided to try. In fact, I have been forced into it by our living arrangements. Most readers will know that we live in Dewy Rose, a.k.a. the boonies of Georgia. In order to get anywhere (other than a cow pasture), you must drive.

Recently during a routine trip to town to do errands, we stopped in a residential neighborhood to switch places so that Lisa could practice driving. She eased away from the curb and immediately asked “Am I ok?” Meaning, is she more or less in the middle of the lane? I have been driving for 20 years and forget that at first it is not always obvious just how close you are to the white or yellow lines. No sooner than I tell her that she is ok than she began to drift to the left, seemingly unaware that she was doing so. I don’t want to say anything because I don’t want to be too hard on her. Remember, she doesn’t drive because her former teachers weren’t patient enough. So I remained silent.

My heart rate passed 100 beats per minute as we skirted the center line and a truck appeared to be coming toward us. Fortunately, Lisa compensated by violently wrenching the wheel to the right, which sent us careening back to the middle of the lane……and past it. No worries. Another violent yank of the steering to the left and somehow we manage to end up more or less back in the middle of the lane. And just in time. The truck passed by us cautiously, the driver fixing us with a stare usually reserved for drunk drivers. The meandering between the side and center lines improved but even at the end of the lesson, I could not help but think of Driving Miss Daisy, that is, before Morgan Freeman took over chauffeuring.

After surviving our first encounter with traffic, we approached a stop sign. Keep in mind that Lisa is extremely handicapped in learning to drive. It isn’t so much her poor eyesight that she must overcome; it is her Puerto Rican heritage. You see, “STOP” is merely a suggestion in Puerto Rico, as are street lanes for that matter. (Please see “The Gringo’s Guide to Driving in Puerto Rico.) I assured her that Stop really does mean stop in Georgia. So she slowed to a crawl (down from a blistering 20 mph) and stopped 20 feet from the stop sign where she can’t see anything because of obstacles. I coaxed her up to the sign and we take a right turn. Then we continued meandering down the street mostly within our own lane.

Her handling of the vehicle generally improved, and we decided to head for home. Most of the way home can be achieved following side streets. But eventually, she must confront her own personal Darth Vader, the highway. Then, only then, a real driver will she be. The home stretch is a three mile length of two lane highway. There is considerable traffic on the road, but it is hardly like driving in the Seventh Circle of Hell (a.k.a. New Jersey).

Even so, I was scared. Very scared. But I didn’t want to appear to be the unsupportive husband. And I figured, what the hell, if something happens, we’ll probably go together. So when we paused at the stop sign to get on to the highway, I told her “go for it!” It was about 30 seconds later that I became a true believer in God. That old saying, “there’s no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole” should be amended to read “there’s no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole or in a car driven by Lisa Ayala-Davis.” When we reached a top speed of 45 mph, all the while weaving between the lines and literally skirting death, I soiled myself.

To top this off, Lisa asked me to tell her when she got close, she wasn’t sure if she would recognize our drive. “Okay,” I said very understandingly. But I thought sarcastically “You’ve only lived there for 5 months! But I don’t dare mention that now because my life hangs by a thread, and I can ill afford to distract you with criticism.” As we approached our drive, I warned Lisa with ample time, giving her a count down: ¼ mile, 200 yards, there’s our mailbox, etc. To her credit, she did slow down…some. But her turn into the driveway would have been the envy of Nascar or Bo Duke. I was afraid that we were going to spin out in my parents’ front yard. I opened my eyes when we finally came to a stop beside our home, and I staggered out of the car kissing the ground like a seasick Pilgrim finally reaching the New World. When I could finally stand, I inspected the top of the car half expecting to find a rebel flag painted there.

On the whole, it was a positive experience, binding us closer together as husband and wife through near death experience. Perhaps we should market her driving skills to couples with marital problems. Additionally, it was also a marked improvement from her previous lessons! Watch out Ricky Bobby! Here comes Lisa Ayala-Davis!



  1. Is there such thing as bad-driving make-up sex?

  2. OMG! I am reading this blog in the office and I had to close my office door to keep the other people from hearing me laughing my ass off. This has been the most entertaining thing I have read in a LOOOOONG time. It helps that I was able to picture it all, having known Lisa for over 25 years.

    Michael, you are trully a saint! and a fierce beleiver. If you would have lived in the 1400, without doubt you would have been the one to discover the new world. I really admire your courage and I hope you get out alive, both of you. Love you!


  3. I'm glad I work in Athens!!!!!!!!!

  4. WOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW. You really love my sis, or just want the easy way out.

  5. u guys should really keep blogging 2gether, i bet u'll get quite the following. u r both very funny and quite entertaining. i'm sure lisa's none 2 happy that mike's post has more comments than hers tho'...lol. u ppl better comment on her next post. great story, i applaud both of u 4 being so courageous. i'm sure lisa will get better with time. if y'all survive that is. ;-{)>

  6. You know, I do get irked when I find out people are reading and don't comment, but otherwise I am good. I read this last night before posting and I laughed so much my glasses fogged up from the tears. I thought it was the funniest thing I have read in forever. Michael was suprised I laughed so hard... surely because I am the butt of the joke. I think anyone who knows us will think it is very very funny, and anyone who has drien me somewhere or tried to teach me to drive will laugh.


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