My family and I have taken many road trips over the years. We have driven to California, Texas, and Florida, among other states, from our Midwestern home. Growing up the rule has been that whoever is driving has control over the radio with some consideration given to passengers. Most of these trips have been taken with my father and both he and I follow this rule. When it comes to cell phones we try to refrain from having lengthy conversations because… 1) you should talk to the people in the car, 2) typically the volume of the cell phone users voice keeps other passengers from having a conversation and 3) the other people in the car are unable to listen to the music.
Driving with my mom is an entirely different story. As soon as she gets in the car she is on the cellphone. She goes so far as to plug her charger in so that the phone does not die. She expects the radio and other passengers to remain silent so that she can talk on the phone. She also expects control over the radio. While we do share some similarities in music she prefers slow love ballads while I prefer upbeat music to pass the time. I do limit my list to songs that are not violent or explicit in nature and I am sure to throw in songs she likes.
I will be taking a 3 1/2 hour trip with her soon and since I am driving both ways I told her that any and all calls will be restricted to two minutes. I have also told her that all music will be chosen by me because I need songs with fast tempos to pass the time and cornfields we will be driving through. I have given her the option of using her headphones or suggesting music but she feels I am being unfair. She wants to be able to use the time to talk to her friends. I reminded her that she can plug her headset in and talk but she doesn’t like using the headset because “it sounds weird.” I refuse to spend 7 hours listening to her talk on the phone like a school girl. When she is driving I put my headphones on to drown her out but of course since I am driving this isn’t an option. I have even suggested her riding in the backseat but she says she doesn’t want to do that and doesn’t understand why I am being so difficult.
Miss Jeanne, I have to know. Am I being difficult? 0302-12
Whoever is driving calls the shots in regards to the radio and other noise in the vehicle. This is for safety reasons, not preferences, since the alertness of the driver is paramount to the safety of everyone in the vehicle as well as other vehicles. My husband enjoys listening to audio books when he’s driving to keep him alert but if I were to listen to them while driving, it’s a sure thing that I will get glazed eyes and possibly nod off to sleep.