I’m 25 and still on my Ls. Laugh all you want, bucko, it ain’t gonna faze me. I’ve been getting shit from my friends about this since I was 18, when the last of them moved on and got their Ps. I’ve lived to see my baby cousins grow up and get their licences before me, and even had to begrudgingly ask them for lifts. I’ve watched all my friends graduate to blacks and had to bear the heavy realisation that they could technically teach me how to drive, like I was some dumb child in their care. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve had my fair share of embarrassment over this already, and some cheap laughs from a stranger isn’t going to keep me up at night any more.
At the very least, it seems like there’s one in every group; people love to tag them in memes, and it’s nice to know there are others like me out there. I’ve been around other people when they’ve been roasting their resident L platers, though, and it isn’t pretty; you’d think we were committing some sort of atrocious crime with the shit we’re getting.
I want to set something straight on our behalf–we did not make a conscious decision to abstain from getting our licences just to soak up free lifts from you all (that’s just a happy by-product). I would love to have my licence, and to be able to drive myself and others around, but the longer I’ve gone without it, the more it feels like something that just isn’t for me. I wish it wasn’t the case, but every time I do get on the road, I realise I’m just not good at it yet. I know that I’m supposed to just keep practicing, and that I’m being a spoilt brat for wanting to run away from something I’m not immediately good at, but that’s just how it is for me.
Now it feels like an assignment that I’ve already missed the deadline for, and as more time passes, the more pointless it feels to hand in something that’s already ludicrously late.
On the other hand, there are some pretty sweet perks to being that guy. I know Sydney public transport pretty damn intimately now and can get to most places without looking at Google Maps. I’m used to those long-ass journeys on shitty trains, too, and can always use that time to catch up on work/sleep/TV shows/basketball highlights. And of course, I always have the best excuse to not be the designated driver on nights out or for road trips.
The worst thing, though, was when I surprised my girlfriend with a little trip down the coast, but with the caveat that she had to do all the driving. Or when we tried to get a rental car and we were hit with a bunch of young driver’s fees that we could have avoided if I was the one driving. I do feel kind of stuck sometimes, and it is frustrating. Sometimes I just want to go to the bloody drive-in cinema, ya know??
Keep laughing, because I know it’s not going to faze me. But one day, hopefully, it will, and I’ll just have to get my ass up and off my Ls, just to prove you wrong.