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the end of the era of the learner’s permit

After the emotional let down of failing my first ever driving test in July, I wasn’t looking forward to this second attempt. Heck, I hadn’t even driven the car in a MONTH (because we just don’t use it much anymore!). When I got in the car on Tuesday night to drive us to the grocery store, I thought “oops, I never even practices parallel parking!”. I didn’t have much faith in today’s test. Not that I was psyching myself out, but mostly because with everything that has been going on lately, driving has been the last thing on my mind. I am depressed, in pain, stressed, tired, and all over the place mentally.

Maybe all of that worked in my favour, because today something happened that I honestly never thought would:

I. Passed. My. Driving. Test.

Of course I have to write about it here because I have been writing about my hate-hate relationship with learning to drive for oh, so many years. I got my learner’s permit in 2004 for crying out loud!

I knew two things needed to happen today.

1) over exaggerate checking those blasted BLIND SPOTS!

2) I was NOT taking a Yaris (hated that car with a passion when I did my first test)

Today, my friendly examiner, Guy, asked me what car I wanted to take. I said, “Anything but the Yaris. I hated that car!” So I could choose from Mazada, Honda or Toyota. I don’t know about cars, so I said “Let’s take this one, it has a 7 on it. That means it will be lucky!” He laughed.

This examiner made me feel a lot more comfortable, too. He chatted a bit and we did most of the test in French. He was a guy who laughed easily and just seemed friendly. I went through the entire half hour thinking that I was likely doing something majorly wrong and that the outcome wouldn’t be any different this time around. It was raining, and so humid and sweaty. I wasn’t the hugest fan of the way the steering wheel felt and I was still nervous about the guy sitting next to me and judging everything I was doing. I hate that!

My first lane change was really bad. I mean really bad. I even went “Well, ick!” out loud. I did a weird swerve thingy that startled even me. I have no idea what happened. heh I knew I’d lose points on that.

Turns out, that was the only thing I lost points for.


We stopped on a street and he told me to tell him what I saw. That made me nervous and the first thing I thought was “Did I just turn the wrong way on a one-way street? GAH! But I didn’t see a sign!!” So I sort of rambled something and he said ok, let’s go! I don’t know what that was about but it made me nervous. 😉

I was then told I had a choice – parallel parking or reverse parking. I said REVERSE! So he joked that he’d make me do the parallel. Ha. Very funny. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with either, but I’d take the one I knew I would be comfortable being uncomfortable with. Alto that I’d spent last night on YouTube watching “How To” videos about parking because I wanted to have reminders of what I had to do. heh We then had a lovely chat about all the errors people make and if he could only record things that happened in his many years on the job he’d have an entire channel.

He was a very nice man and made me feel at ease when I was already nervous about being tested. I hate being tested.

I did mess up the reverse parking though. Even the examiner hit his own brake (I really wasn’t too close to the car and was about to stop and adjust) I think he was paranoid. That threw me off though and I felt the panic rising about parking all over again. He apologized for doing that and said he probably shouldn’t have, but I should be more confident in knowing that I can adjust the car and do it more naturally rather than get anxious. I told him, yes. I was afraid I’d hit the car but I was too scared to adjust because I felt like I’d fail. He DID tell me when we got to the parking that I’d had a very good test, but not to take chances. 😉

I don’t know if he took points off for the parking or not. I do know that I lost a total of 6 for the lane changing debacle (the first two were just bad). So I think I only lost 6 points. I’m not completely sure.

One thing that worried me, was that my tires skidded at a stoplight on the painted arrow when we were advancing when the light changed green. I’d never had that happen to me before and I didn’t know if it would me a negative mark or not. It sort of shook me up a little and the examiner said something that I didn’t quite catch, but he laughed, so I guess it was all ok. It wasn’t a fun feeling at all. Blech. (This is why I have never driven in the winter!)

So, it’s over with, finally! I can legally drive on my own. Although, since 2010, they implemented probationary licenses for all new drivers, not just those under 25. I have less points on the license, have to have 0% alcohol in my system (which won’t be difficult since I get so sleepy with just one sip I wouldn’t drive anyhow! Also, I don’t like to drink!) and I can’t be the secondary driver for anyone with a learner’s permit. From the SAAQ website that’s all I can tell is different with the probationary license. I can live with that. (I could have done without paying for a full 2 years though. Ouch!)

I’d like to thank my parents as well for accompanying me both trips and staying with me while waiting for my number to be called numerous times and while I was out driving. I felt like I was that 16-year old kid getting her license.

Also, every wicket I went to, the person there commented on my hair. I haven’t posted about it yet, but yesterday I got it done all purple! Yay!

3 comments to the end of the era of the learner’s permit

  • Val

    One, love the hair. Two, I knew you’d get it this time around! See, we both did it this year. Of course, I’ll still have another test to do next year, but it’s great to be able to drive on my own.
    Yay, Cat!

  • envoy-ette

    First off, Cat you are looking more and more beautiful with age.
    Second: YAYAYAAYYAAAA! You are a legal driver! (on your own)
    You will begin to love it and wonder how you survived this long without it. Congrats friend!

  • Love the hair.

    Congrats on the licence! I was a driver for years. Now I’m faced with the idea that if I want to drive again, I need to relearn everything the other way around.