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safari57 07-31-2006 12:25 PM

Riding Shotgun adter 40 years of driving
 
After 40 years of being THE primary driver, and almost exclusively when towing, we find outselves in the awkward position of me now being primarily the passenger and my wife, an able driver, has taken on the role of primary driver (hopefully this is a temporary situation). Some key learnings:

1. If I drove like this I can see why my wife is going grey early.
2. Do I actually get that close to the car in front of me?
3. I'm sure I focus my full attention on driving and don't spend an overly long amount of time looking out the side windows at "stuff" as we go past.
4. She also works the brakes far more than necessary, so my gasps when we come up to a car or corner a tad to quickly for my liking, and my ability to point out the sloppy driving habits of those ahead of us, don't seem to go over too well.
5. I've also learned that offering sage advice gained through my many years of driving is not appreciated one bit. Offering the same piece of advice more than once on any given trip elicits more than a "you've already mentioned that". Okay, but obviously she was not listening or we'd not be doing it again now would we - Okay, I think that but I'd never risk saying that. Most people will not pick up a middle aged guy on the side of the road out in the middle of nowhere with no bags and bruising along the left side of my body looking deperately for a ride.
6. Duct tape is a bugger to remove from one's mustache, and the cheap stuff I've been buying leaves tape marks on my cheeks for days. It's also hard to work the hands and feet when one has rope burns on their wrists and ankles.
7. The option of riding in the trunk is looking to be a viable alternative, but make sure you have sufficient fresh air, a pillow, a light and a good book to read as I suspect it could get boring. Make sure YOU check the fresh air volume and don't leave that up to your wife. Also make sure the driver is willing to let you out at all rest breaks and gas fill ups. I'm unsure if that would be the case in my situation.
8. A bag over your head does not work. Oh sure, it works in terms of keeping me quiet, but other people in other cars could misconstrue this as a kidnapping and then there's all those silly questions to answer when the nice state troopers pull you over.
9. Mention just once that the speed seems to be pretty high for someone less skilled at the wheel and every single speeding ticket or infraction you ever had over the past 40 years is discussed in detail. Complete, of course, with all the excuses used when I got home. Darn.
10. Be prepared to have your back seat driving discussed with all your friends wives while the women are having coffee and thus to take a fair amount of ribbing.
11. When you get to where the trailer needs to be parked do not believe that you can do what you are used to from her. You are expected to assist with the parking and set up. And remember that yelling louder still does not mean that she understands that she's going left instead of right and vice versa. If at all possible it is highly recommended that at this stage of the trip you find a way to back the trailer in yourself. Divorces are expensive, but less so than Airstream trailer repairs.

One can only hope I'm able to take over the drivers seat soon.
Sigh.

Barry

68 Overlander 07-31-2006 12:35 PM

I'm not touching that with a ten foot pole because my wife is a great driver "too"...but I did laugh my ass off.

MarkR 07-31-2006 01:10 PM

Very articulate Barry . . . and very good advice (that I hope I never need). Enjoy the trunk (and think about hiding the duct tape before your next trip).
Thanks for the laughs.
MarkR

overlander63 07-31-2006 01:58 PM

Barry, many newer automobiles have remote releases for the trunk latch inside the trunk. You may want to check that out before your next sojourn.

azflycaster 07-31-2006 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by overlander63
Barry, many newer automobiles have remote releases for the trunk latch inside the trunk. You may want to check that out before your next sojourn.

This feature is disabled if you have the trunk monkey option!
http://www.trunkmonkeyad.com/

tin sista 07-31-2006 02:23 PM

Cute thread
 
:) Statistically though aren't we women the safer drivers? I think the insurance companies back us up on that claim?

When I was learning to drive grandma rode with me and she would dramatically gasp and clutch with a death grip either the door handle or the handle above the passenger window every time a car would pass/or during a lane change. So one hand clutching above her heart like "its the big one" and the other reaching for the handle. Funny thing was that would always distract me from looking at the road cause I'd think she was gonna jump out or was having a heart attack!:lol: Ironically my brothers all totalled cars during their teenage years, not one fender bender for sis here, go figure!

flyfshr 07-31-2006 03:05 PM

Too funny Barry. I think I'll stick to the driving and she can learn by osmosis. Only when I'm medically and/or physically unable would she drive when towing anyway. Try the blue painters' tape, it has less adhesive.

Brad
FF

Holzarbeiter 07-31-2006 04:07 PM

You could always opt for sleeping tablets and a pillow:D you be well rested for your parking duties

Goin camping 07-31-2006 06:05 PM

When I am in that situation I use sedatives. A lot of sedatives.

wahoonc 07-31-2006 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by safari57
9. Mention just once that the speed seems to be pretty high for someone less skilled at the wheel and every single speeding ticket or infraction you ever had over the past 40 years is discussed in detail. Complete, of course, with all the excuses used when I got home. Darn.

"If a married man ever makes a mistake he should be quick to forget it...there is no reason for two people to remember it until the end of time":angel: :lol:

Aaron:cool:

herrgirdner 07-31-2006 07:30 PM

Sounds like you might need to bone up on "Keeping Up Appearances". Hyacinth Bucket (BOOKAY) is very good at riding shotgun.
Seriously, I usually drive and wife navigates. The couple of times we swapped roles I got us so lost that she said "Never Again". I've since bought a GPS which has almost solved the navigation problem, but still haven't got her back in the driver's seat.
regards

ZoominC6 07-31-2006 09:19 PM

Barry,
Been there and done that but never could quite articulate it as well as you just did. It's fun and healthy to be able to laugh at ourselves. (My wife suggested I say that) ;)

carnegie1935 07-31-2006 09:24 PM

Funny
 
I had a good laugh and now I must print this so my other half can see how lucky he has been when instructing me how to drive. I have only threatened to leave him at home the next time. Roy was an over the road truckdriver so he thinks he is an expert. (an ex is a has been and a spirt is a small drip under pressure)

We have fun and enjoy the travel in our MH who ever the driver may be.
Soumds like you have fun too.

Kay

azflycaster 07-31-2006 09:25 PM

I am a good driver, but a bad passenger. About 15 years ago I adjusted my knee on the ski slopes about 200 miles from home. At the hospital they checked it out sent me on my way to find an othopidic surgon. My wife told the Dr about how bad the 5 hour drive to Phoenix would be and he gave her pill which I chased down with a beer. I woke up in my driveway 4 1/2 hours later:lol: .

juel 07-31-2006 09:27 PM

I usually "drive" but I don't back. I also have the best driving record. My husband makes me crazy when he drives. He doesn't seem to know that there are these little signs on the side of the road with numbers that are very important. They tell one the SPEED LIMIT, which I'm not sure is a concept my husband understands. I know I am the Hyacinth in this duo, which may be the reason my husband lets me do most of the driving. When we get to the lake he becomes "Mr. Macho" because he can back the trailer and back the boat down the ramp to the lake. Things would be pretty boring if it was up to me. We'd be parked on the road and the boat would never get wet. Men are so important. I'm glad I have one of my own.

davidz71 07-31-2006 10:05 PM

My wife occasionally looks over at me and says, "You did that just to scare me didn't you?" I just reply, "Did what?"

asta2 08-02-2006 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidz71
My wife occasionally looks over at me and says, "You did that just to scare me didn't you?" I just reply, "Did what?"

Craig -

We don't even have a trailer yet.... but you are secretly my husband, aren't you?

(asta's wife)

safari57 08-02-2006 09:14 PM

It's an interesting thing - now that I mostly ride in the passenger seat I see a lot of other what I'd term "very married" men in the passenger seat and I wonder to myself if I look as terrified as most of them? Mind you, when I mentioned that to my snookielumps she was not impressed. I do notice that I have less to say about her driving habits now that this has been happening for some time and I'm unsure if it's that when I'm really afraid I can't make a sound, or just good ol common sense kicking in. I must admit she is doing much better after my coaching though.
Barry

Janet H 08-02-2006 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by safari57
.... when I mentioned that to my snookielumps she was not impressed.

Barry - Maybe if you called her something more ...um ... refined than snookielumps, she might be more inclined to drive in a more demur fashion.

Names like sweetiegookums, snookielumps, honeylovums and other terms of endearment make many women just plain nutty! She might be showing you that in her own unique and subtle way......?

CaddyGrn 08-02-2006 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by juel
He doesn't seem to know that there are these little signs on the side of the road with numbers that are very important. They tell one the SPEED LIMIT, which I'm not sure is a concept my husband understands.

I believe that my husband thinks SPEED LIMIT is the minimum speed, don't most of them? :lol: Unfortunately, I am the one who has the most recent speeding ticket.... :blush: Long story ~ involves a ultrasound and lots of drinking water and 75 miles to drive... :blink: :blink: :blink: then there was the local yokle cop in the middle of nowhere that had his radar on ...


Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)


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