because if she didn’t have one, she wouldn’t be able to buy any beer.
You have to be 18 to shop at the liquor store. Malathi is much older than that, but it’s still conceivable that
a sales clerk might ask her for ID, considering all the liquor fumes in
the store. And when you’re standing in line with a bunch of hip
youngsters, who are listening to their iPods or texting their friends
on their iPhones, the last thing you want to be doing is whipping out
your passport.Passports are the uncoolest form of ID. You might as well bring your
mother to the store to say, “This is my daughter. She is older than 18.
Would you like to see some of her baby pictures?”
Yes, the driver’s license comes in handy, though, in Malathi’s case,
it ought to be called a drinker’s license. Not that Malathi drinks a
lot. She has a little wine or beer occasionally. A couple of times a
month, which means that she does a lot more drinking than driving.
Unless you count the type of driving that involves me and a wall.
When she goes to work, she takes the bus. It’s convenient,
economical and less stressful. She gets to do some reading on the bus —
and more than just all the tattoos.
When we go out as a family, guess who does the driving? Yes, Mr.
Imbecile. That’s me. Malathi sits next to me and tells me what I did
wrong: “Weren’t you supposed to turn left over there?” “Weren’t you
supposed to slow down for the yellow light?” “Weren’t you supposed to
stay out of the ditch?”
Just the other day, while we were heading to church, I drove too
fast on an icy exit ramp, lost control of our car and ended up in a
pile of snow down a slope. Fortunately none of us was hurt, but
Malathi gave me a look that said, “Weren’t you supposed to bring your
brain with you?”
Despite a few mistakes like that, I think I’m a pretty good driver.
I wish Malathi would compliment my driving now and then: “Sensational
parallel parking, honey!” “Beautiful U-Turn, Melvin!” “Wonderful job
getting out of the ditch!”
Better yet, I’d like her to do more driving, so I can do more
complaining. But it rarely happens. Even on long trips, I’m usually
doing the driving, and she’s usually doing the sleeping.
It’s so unfair, especially since women are supposed to be better
drivers than men. Yes, a number of studies have shown this to be true —
and some of these studies, believe it or not, were conducted by men!
The problem, it seems, is that men are always driving under the
influence. A few are guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol,
but most are guilty of driving under the influence of testosterone.
are still trying to figure testosterone out, but it’s clear the hormone
affects male drivers in ways women can’t even begin to understand.
Consider these situations:
—You are driving down a road when a
car zooms past you at a breakneck speed. Female response: “What an
idiot! I hope he gets a ticket.” Male response: “What an idiot! He
thinks his car is faster than mine. I’ll show him.”
accidentally cut off another driver. He shakes his head and blares his
horn. Female response: “Oh no, he must be really mad at me. I’d better
lower my head and look straight ahead.” Male response: “What an idiot!
He thinks his horn is louder than mine. I’ll show him.”
tries to pass you, but loses control of his car, goes off the road and
slams into two trees, knocking them down. Female response: “Oh no, I
hope he isn’t hurt.” Male response: “What an idiot! He thinks his car
can knock down more trees than mine. I’ll show him.”
Photo by Paulo Brabo