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June 19, 2021

Imagine this mom with a Tesla

Last week, Elon Musk announced that the Tesla would soon be able to drive itself. This is so exciting. I mean, for people who own Teslas…which obviously doesn’t include me.
I did look at the Tesla website briefly and enjoyed the thrilling fantasy of ordering a Tesla for slightly less than the cost of my son’s college education­—but I just couldn’t call Junior and say, “So, exactly how are your grades? Because Mommy needs a new car.”
Yeah, that would not go over very well.
So I have to stick with reality, which basically says that I will never be close enough to a Tesla to actually drive it let alone accidentally key the passenger side with my lowly Ford key out of jealousy. I mean, admiration. (Who put that “jealousy” word there?) Anyway, it costs nothing to fantasize, as anyone who has ever read those awful “50 Shades of Grey” books knows.
I can’t be the only person who thinks a self-driving car would be awesome. If I drove one, everyone in Gilroy would benefit. I am a terrible driver. Can you imagine me in the Nob Hill parking lot with a self-driving car? You would not have to worry about me backing out of my parking space and smashing you. And if you aren’t worried about that now, you should be. Consider that my early warning system.
Unfortunately, it appears the Tesla won’t help you in the Nob Hill parking lot, as it’s limited to highway self-driving. This is perfectly fine with me. I get on the freeway and my muscles get all tense and I turn into Screaming Road Rage Laurie—not a version of me that is attractive or particularly sane.
And if my car drove itself, I’d have time to do other important stuff like figuring out my play-lists, putting on eyeliner, changing clothes and talking to friends. You know, basically what everyone else on the freeway does already, only my car would be under control.
The car also would be able to be “summoned.” You know, kind of like when you scream at your kid to take out the trash. Only the car would actually listen and back out of the garage and wait patiently for you.
Sadly, I do not see Ford soccer mom vehicles on the list of cars that will drive themselves on the highway. So I guess self-driving cars will be in someone else’ garage. But that’s okay. I’ve gotten really good at putting on eyeliner while driving. You should all watch out for me in the Nob Hill parking lot though.
Laurie Sontag is a Gilroy writer and mom who wishes parenthood had come with a how-to-guide. Email her at [email protected]

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