On my 18th birthday, my first thought upon waking up was “guess I’m not taking my driving test today haha.” I had to think “haha” because “lol” had not been invented yet, it was a dark time. Instead of waking up at home, prepared to show the state of New Jersey that I was ready for the road, I was waking up in the Macintosh Inn of East Brunswick - my temporary home while I looked for a place to crash while I finished out my senior year of high school.
The experience of turning 18 whilst living in a (in retrospect) cheap hotel across the street from a mall and sharing a parking lot with a Denny’s and IHOP is much like that time I was in the audience of the Maury Show: I’m glad I did it, and I’m glad I never have to do it again.1 As for taking my drivers test, I never had the chance to prepare by “learning to drive” anyway. I must admit, it absolutely ruled to simply not show up for a test and not get in trouble.
18 years later, I have learned to “lol” but I have not learned to drive. I did make it to 36 though, which is longer than my mom did. I would ask my father if she knew how to drive – you know, to see if we’re “even” – but he followed up his birthday text to me last week with a smiling alien from the Reddit iMessage sticker pack, so I think you and I will just have to wait until my birthday next year to circle back and touch base on that, lol.
How I ended up in both situations are both equally long stories that you’ll just have to ask me about if we ever encounter each other offline.