Dear Annie: Your column is part of my morning ritual. I have three grandchildren, and they're all approaching the age where they'll be learning how to drive. Our adult children are now 48, 44 and 41. Some years ago, when they were learning how to drive, I came across John Violette's "Contract for Drivers," clipped it, and stowed it away. Unfortunately, it's very yellowed and illegible now. Would you be able to print it? — Tutu from Hawaii
Dear Tutu: I am glad to print these wise words and implore teen drivers — and all drivers, really — to remember that they are operating a literal ton of steel, often at incredible speeds, and life can change in an instant. Be safe.
"Contract for Drivers"
By John Violette
It is understood and agreed that having a driver's license and driving a car are privileges. Any privilege has to be earned, and it must be earned on a continuing basis. This means that driving privileges may be revoked due to an infraction of the following rules:
1. Breaking the driving laws or abusing a motor vehicle can result in the loss of driving privileges, even if we learn about it from a source other than the police. You never know who may be observing you.
2. You will strive to maintain the grades, conduct and attitude at the same high level as when we first granted your driving privileges.
3. No one else should be allowed to drive a vehicle entrusted to you. This means you may not lend your vehicle to friends.
4. If you are ever in a condition that might render you less than 100% competent behind the wheel of a car, phone us. We will come get you. This will not result in the loss of your driving privileges.
5. You are never to be a passenger in a car in which the driver should not be driving. A call to come get you will not result in the loss of driving privileges. If you cannot reach us, call a taxi. We will pay for it, and there will be no punishment.
Signed this _______________ day of __________________, 20_ _ .
Newly Licensed Driver: ____________________________________
Dear Annie: Tell "Mortified" that I, too, have those embarrassing pop-up memories. I think we all reflect more on our past and wish we could change some of those actions. Most of the time, the memories are of very minor incidences that for some reason or another are stuck in our minds.
I know I'm a good person with no criminal past and I'm kind and thoughtful. I know my husband and I have raised our children right because we're so proud of them and their accomplishments. Friends, family and even patrons from their business tell us what wonderful young men we have raised. So when I have these memories, I try to remind myself of all this. The other trick I use is to try to remember the occasion. What were the reactions of others? I also try to recall ANY occasions when someone else did something embarrassing. I can't recall any. We are so focused on ourselves that we hardly notice other's actions unless it's something serious. Thanks to "Mortified" for letting me know I'm not alone. — Mortified, Too
Dear Mortified, Too: It's quite amazing: Now that you mention it, not a single thing comes to my mind when I try to think of something embarrassing that someone I know has done. Isn't that telling? Thanks for the revelation.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]