Teen Talk: Having a driver’s license is a privilege

We’ve all done things of which we aren’t proud. Perhaps it was the time you gave your little brother a black eye, or the time you got caught cheating on a math quiz. Maybe you were the one who ate all of grandma’s cookies and blamed the dog.

Me? I’m the one who got a ticket for reckless driving.

In talking to my friends about it, I’ve tried to make it sound like I had any number of understandable, maybe even commendable, reasons for speeding.

I wish I could say I was racing to rescue a kitten stuck in a tree or rushing to put out a fire at the nursing home.

Instead, I was speeding for a mundane reason—I was late for school. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to that death glare from my first block teacher for being late; anyone who’s been to school knows that “look.”

As a result of my haste, I wound up with a ticket and “look.”

There is absolutely nothing that requires my parents to allow me to have a license.

Sure, having a daughter who can drive herself makes their lives a little easier; I know they’re very glad their days as chauffeurs are over.

But one court date and an entire Saturday in traffic school later (and anyone who knows teenagers knows that nothing is more precious to them than their weekends), I finally understood the words the judge had said to my parents and me the day I was first issued my license.

I’ve heard it a thousand times, and I suspect that all teenagers are rolling their eyes right now, but having a license is a privilege and not a right.

Sometimes even the most hackneyed of clichés hold more than a grain of truth.

E-mail Madeleine Mashon at: mcmctimes@gmail.com