FCS-Ian asked me if I was excited/nervous/whatever about driving again, and I said I wasn't exactly excited about it, but that I'd also been thinking that if he canceled on me I would be seriously pissed. He said yeah, he was aware that if he canceled on me today he would be damaging a friendship.
I said if he'd canceled I would have been like, "Do you actually wanna teach me how to drive? Because I could find someone else to." He said no, he enjoys this -- but if I wanted to get a supplemental driving instructor he wouldn't be upset. Given him and scheduling, this would probably be a wise idea, but I was reminded this afternoon that for all our initial certainty that we would have to safeword out of this arrangement immediately, this works really well -- he knows a lot and is attentive, so he's a very informed instructor; and the vast majority of the time he's very good at explaining step-by-step how to do something; and he pushes me beyond where I'm comfortable (e.g., he'll say, "let's go do X now," and I'm like, "I don't feel I've mastered X-1 sufficient..."), but not in a way that makes me feel super unsafe (though I do sometimes feel like I've been given more things to think about than I can actually hold in my head at a time); and while I know it stresses him out, he mostly feels like a non-anxious presence; and we have a relationship such that I can be like "Fuck you" or "Shuddup" or flip him off and it's totally fine -- and he can follow up comments with, "That wasn't mocking, that was just informational," and I believe him or at least don't care. And I'm not super optimistic about finding people who are similarly good. (Though if I have daylight time when I'm visiting my parents, my dad would probably be similarly good.)
We started in Mount Auburn Cemetery (baby's first time in there). I actually felt more nervous than I had our previous two drives -- I think because the roads all curve a lot. But I got
The snow piles provided a very real edge to the road and FCS-Ian had me purposely drive on the snow to feel what that feels like so I could use that as a gauge -- it would indicate to me that I'd gone too far over without being as bad as e.g. actually going up on a curb.
At one point near the end of our time in the cemetery, FCS-Ian was concerned I was too close and I managed to just graze the plow marker with the righthand mirror -- it was pretty grate. (I still feel kind of like if there's a bicyclist on my right I'm gonna be terrified I'm gonna kill them -- since anytime there were actual living moving creatures near the car I felt very concerned I was gonna kill someone -- or collide, in the case of trying to move to the right sufficient to let a vehicle go by in the other direction on narrow roads -- despite getting into a groove of feeling fairly comfortable driving adjacent to snowbanks and maneuvering around parked cars.)
We also dealt with going downhill and uphill and extracting yourself when ~mired and not revving the accelerator -- when we were starting, we were stopped and talking and a car came up behind us and honked, which was a little bit of a trial by fire way to start my first driving in
Next, we went to a quiet residential part of Watertown (since I had a meeting later that afternoon in Watertown). The streets were not as well-plowed as FCS-Ian had expected, but hey, important New England driving experience :) And I really didn't mind it -- though I was definitely grateful that there were almost no other vehicles on our roads.
We also dealt with crossing actual streets (including when you turn left into a street and then take an immediate right) -- and the fact that you're not supposed to stop at intersections unless there's an actual stop sign (when there are crosswalks but no stop signs, I feel like I "should" stop).
He attempted to teach me three-point-turns (which he calls "K-turns"), which didn't go so grate as I was basically just following his spoken instructions without really understanding how the car was supposed to end up at the end of each step -- but the second time was less bad. I still totally fail to think to look behind me, though.
At one point, he said he'd worried that because it had been so long I would be back to where I was when we started driving, but that no, I'm basically starting right where I was our last lesson.