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Most families have their own way of communicating. There are inside jokes and different terms or phrases for everyday items. MoC and I just about have a whole different language, aside from our endless supply of inside jokes. She has the same thing with David (because it’s all about him) – words that I don’t know (like douche-willy) and jokes I’m not in on.

One day when I was a teenager (about 5 years ago), I was riding around with my dad. Traffic was horrible and he was getting impatient (I come by it honestly). Finally in utter frustration, he yelled at the guy in front of him, “Hey, what’s the problem? Did you borrow that car?” From then on, whenever anyone was driving too slow, we’d look at each other and say “Must be a borrowed car.”

I had to take my car in for some minor issues and I had to leave it overnight. My mother let me take her car home so I could drive it to school the next day. I drive my mother’s car all the time. She doesn’t like to drive and she will give up her keys to anyone who will take them. “Oh, you’re blind? That’s okay, I’ll tell you when to turn.”

I told you all of that so I could tell you this: that borrowed car thing? Turns out it’s not such a joke.

I drove the exact speed limit all the way home, parked carefully and made sure I locked it (manually, because she doesn’t have a magic button on her key ring).

The next morning, I backed out of the driveway and into the alley extra slowly (because there are two metal poles at the edge of the driveway and a stone wall bordering the alley) and drove 25 miles to the school – in the right-hand lane (that’s the slow lane for my European [or dyslexic] friends), going only 65 miles (104km) per hour. I had to call the school because I was going to be late (and they’ll give away your seat if you don’t call), but I have never dialed a phone more carefully in my life. I almost pulled over to make the call. Except for that phone call, I had both hands on the wheel in the recommended 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position. I signaled each turn from at least 100 feet (30 meters) away, checked for traffic and pedestrians and made the turn at a safe speed. I didn’t even turn on the radio.

If MoC had been with me, I’d have been driving 85mph, talking, listening to the radio and playing rock-paper-scissors. My reasoning is that if I wrecked her car while she was in it, she would know I didn’t do something stupid. Somehow, not having her in the car turned me into … well … an old lady driver.

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