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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

We are Still Married

I’ve tried to learn to drive standard before. But shortly after my first lesson ever commenced, I got the car stuck in snow at a nearby elementary school. I’m trying again – in Virginia during the pandemic. Which seems like a perfect place (no snow!) and time (what else is there to do?) to learn.

Today was lesson 2. Andrea’s teaching me and we’re still married. This is another benefit to learning in Virginia – I don’t think she’s familiar with any divorce attorneys. I joke – she’s as patient as she is bossy. Both are likely good qualities for her to possess in the role of standard, driving instructor.

“Only 18 percent of the U.S. population can drive a standard.” Andrea tells me this yesterday and I wonder what makes her think I can or will get the hang of this and join that small percentage. I worry about this a little and then think to myself, “Well….I can do hard things. I’ve done things that not a lot of other people have done.” Then I turn to Google to mine for evidence - for facts that this is true. I learn that….

About 13.1 Percent of the U.S. population has a Master's, Professional Degree or Doctorate (I have a Master’s);

Women represent about 9.4 percent of the total Veteran population (as of 2015; I was enlisted in the Army for 4 years).

Marathoners and half-marathoner make up less than 1 percent of the American population (I have run 2 half marathons);

I decide this is enough evidence to support the fact I can join the ranks of standard car drivers. I mean – 18%? Pishaw!

We head out today and I miraculously manage to back the car out of our hilly driveway without hitting the stone retaining wall OR hitting our mailbox. Success! Overall, the lesson goes a bit smoother and I feel a bit more confident that I will be able to drive to the store without supervision by Thanksgiving, which is my goal. That and staying married because 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Recently, Andrea realized that an acquaintance of ours must have divorced.

"Marriages don't really last," Andrea texts me upon realizing the acquaintance's marriage has dissolved.

I point out we're still married. Soon after, we land on this crazy goal to teach me to drive standard. It's as if we like pushing the envelope.

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