Anne and I took Nolan out to Glendale tonight for this art thing he likes to do. After we dropped him off, Anne said, "Hey, I want to have a dinner date with my husband."
Bonus, unexpected dinner dates are always awesome, so I didn't even put up token resistance, and we had an awesome meal together while Nolan did his thing a few blocks away.
When we were finished, Nolan met us in the parking garage, and wanted to drive home. He's had his permit for about 5 weeks, and though he's a very competent and careful driver, we were both a little nervous about letting him drive on the freeway at night.
"You've never driven on the freeway at night," Anne said. "Maybe we should just take side streets."
"But the freeway is much faster, and we have Family Guy on TiVo at home," Nolan said.
"We're concerned that you don't have a lot of nighttime freeway driving experience," she said, invoking the dreaded Royal We.
He put his hand on my shoulder and quite seriously said, "Wil, how am I going to get that experience if I don't drive on the freeway at night?"
I looked at Anne. "He has a point," I said.
I felt like The Old Man, the keys to my car a Red Rider Carbine Action Range Model Air Rifle With A Compass In The Stock And This Thing That Tells Time.
"Okay, just be careful," Anne said. I can't be certain, but I think I heard her add, "just don't shoot your eye out."
A few minutes later, as we drove down the freeway, I sat quietly and gently nudged Nolan with driving reminders. He's really quite good, and I didn't have to point out too many things to him, but on one ramp, one of those spiffy milk carton-looking Scions sped up and cut in front of us without using a turn indicator.
"You've got to watch for drivers like that," I said, "and remember my fundamental rule of driving, which is . . .? "
Nolan scrunched up his face like he was thinking, and said, "Don't be a dick?"
"That's my fundamental rule for life," I said. "My fundamental rule for driving is --"
"Oh, everyone on the road is an idiot, and they're actively trying to kill you." He said.
"That's the one," I said.
"I got it," he said.
"But, you know, you can use them both," I said.
"Okay, Wil," he said, patiently. "I got it."
"If you need them," I added.
"I'm trying to drive here, Wil." He said.