To be sure, driving with a senior citizen can be challenging. Driving behind a senior citizen…troublesome. However, if your elderly is Nonna…it can be downright aggravating. For years, my sisters, cousins and I have made fun of Nonna’s driving skills…First, she drives slower than tree sap falls in the winter. Second, she has this bizarre habit of shaking the steering wheel as she drives – where normal drivers only turn the wheel when they encounter road curvature, Nonna tends to move the wheel right and left to ensure all road changes – however slight – are accounted for. Third, she never drives more than five miles (but for her trips to see my uncle) away from our home – which is ironic because she is fully capable of traveling far distances.
These issues aside, Nonna also has serious mental issues while driving. Not only does she use any time in the car to lecture her passenger (side note: she does so with Catholic chanting in the background), she also has uncontrollable road rage…
Take this story…as told by Brimmo…
My days of job searching (and serving as Nonna’s personal assistant) have thankfully came to an end in recent weeks. Last week, I started working in NYC. Like any suburban Jersey resident, I embark on a less than desirable commute into the city each morning. However, this commute is only made more arduous by my recent discovery that with a roommate/chauffeur at the prime age of 75, an extra 35minutes of travel time is needed to ensure I make my train. As you know, living the good life with Nonna definitely has its perks – Laundry on the daily, breakfast waiting on the kitchen table when I’m finished getting ready, lunch packed up for me ready to go and a delish meal served once I return home. None of this should come as a surprise to those of you following the blog since its inception as Nonna lent the same services to my sister during her time on the ranch.
However, what the former roomie never experienced was depending on Nonna to drive her to and from a train station at 7am. ( Please note this woman has got it all together, which is why I feel no remorse encouraging her driving skills twice a day). Now before you all start calling me ungrateful, this drive is approximately 7 mins long, taking into account traffic lights, and other morning commuters. With Nonna, this drive has upped to 16 minutes. Seriously. I keep track. Why does it take so long you might wonder? Well….
1) Inability to drive faster than 8mph
Nonna’s increasingly decreasing speed has become troublesome each time we make the trek to the NJ Transit station. Each day it seems as if we are going slower and slower, as if this was humanly possible. I am concerned that eventually, we will be rolling in reverse.
2) The inexplicable short cut…
As local residents will agree, driving to the area train station, one should realize that it doesn’t make any sense to cut through our town shopping center to get to Route 1. For any other competent human being, it doesn’t make sense to cut through a shopping center, period. Ever. But to Nonna, this is the ultimate shortcut. Though I point out that it adds on several minutes to the morning, she cares very little as it gives her extra time to listen to the rosary via her cassette player (didn’t know new cars even came with cassette players).
3) Road Rage
The third and final reason my commute takes longer than Weiner’s decision to resign is because of Nonna’s absolutely hilarious road rage. Each morning as the drive to the train station takes a little longer, I’ve noticed it’s because Nonna hates when people tailgate her. (Maybe if she wasn’t driving at a walking pace we wouldn’t have this issue.) Instead of allowing them to pass her, she slows down. These poor people are going to be late to places because at 7:10am she is trying to teach them a lesson. For example, this morning, Nonna was driving approximately 12 mph in a 40 zone. As a result, a build up of cars was accruing behind her. One particular woman got too close for Nonna’s comfort.
Nonna: What a butana, why she so close to me? Its a like she wanna be in my hasso.
Me: Well probably because you’re basically driving backwards.
Nonna: SHUTUP, you lucky I no makin you walk.
(Rosary plays as background noise)
Nonna: WHY SHE SO CLOSE!
Me: Nonna you’re literally driving so slow right now I would be doing the same thing.
Nonna: NO IS NOT. I beautiful number one driver, everyone should wanna drive like me.
Me: Not unless they want to get anywhere.
Nonna: I hopa you miss your train. I HOPA THIS BUTANA MISSES HER TRAIN TOO. SHE TOO CLOSE TO ME. I beta she curse at me in her car. Calling me a hold lady. Butana.
Luckily, I was dropped off as the train was pulling up. The “butana” definitely missed it though, and I guarantee Nonna was more than happy about her well taught lesson.
Moral of the story? I need to suck it up and buy a parking pass…or get a xanax prescription…