I’m the Designated Driver!


That is not White Zin in front of me – I am the DESIGNATED DRIVER, people… With precious cargo Laura and Lauren.


It is TPC week here in Jacksonville, and I am the DD for Lauren and Laura. This is a title and responsibility no one would have thought to give me two years ago. Or actually any of the years before that; I have wrecked every car I have ever had. To say I am a bad driver would be like saying I am a blonde.


I rarely involve other drivers. I hit mailboxes (“That came out of nowhere!”), or the sides of garages. One time I put something in the backseat of the car and left the door open, got in the driver’s side and backed out. The car looked like a giant can opener had ripped the back end off, and I almost took down the house by decimating a load bearing wall…


To put this into the proper perspective, as I was backing out of the driveway in Lauren’s Jeep last night, on our way to Caps for dinner she said (with a wine roady in her hand and three “firebombs” coursing through her bloodstream), “I am already sorry I asked you to drive…”


There is nothing like spending the evening with your ex-nanny (who has become a lifelong family friend – think Tiggy Leggue-Bourke) and your twenty-something daughter (who has lived to tell the tales), to get a dose of remembered reality this hilarious and brutal over al fresco wine and whine… Here are a few of my favorites:

  • The time Lauren sneaked out of the house, stole the golf cart and set off the silent alarm and Laura came to my room to say, “Mare, there are a couple of policemen at the door.” I was so hung, I stumbled to the door in my thong underwear and t-shirt and instructed the startled policemen to “take the girls to jail” when they found them.


  • The time I tipsily picked up Lauren and two of her friends at their house, and tried in vain to get out of their driveway. I hit the mailbox not once, but five times in the process. I destroyed the mailbox so completely the parents had to come out and direct me out of the “tight spot” and graciously insist, “It’s okay, the mailbox is in an awkward place” and “Don’t be silly, you don’t have to pay to replace it” (even though the wooden post was on the ground and the mailbox was dented, unusable road kill…


  • The time my husband came into the house all red-faced and furious (he never wasn’t red-faced and furious even with the frequency of my car mishaps), shouting, “What HAPPENED to the side of the car?” I had sideswiped a garage door or a wall, and I said, “I don’t know. I didn’t drive today. Laura must have done it…”


  • The time I was driving Jon Jon from the bus and I was almost home when I noticed police lights in my rear view mirror. The policeman was laughing hard when he got to my window. He said, “Lady, I have been following you for quite a while. The first stop sign you paused and drifted through, the second you tapped your breaks and drove through and the third you breezed through without even hesitating. With the number of infractions I have charted, I could take your license right now. And do you have the radio on loud, because I have had my lights and siren on for the past five minutes?” I swear he gave me an escort home and a warning…


These days, I have stopped relying on luck and the kindness of strangers. And I haven’t wrecked a car in at least six months.


Maybe I could make some extra money as an Uber driver…


Today I’m not drinking because I’m a designated driver!


How come you’re not drinking?