My mother never allowed this.

"I'm sorry but you can't go in his car."

"But Mooooooom..."

"No buts" - firm shake of her head and a stern look.

I never really understood her reasoning. See - I could only ride with a boy in his car if she had met him, if he guaranteed I would be home by 10:00, and if he was over 18. She used words like responsible, reliable, and capable.

"Boys over 18 are safer drivers," she would repeat everytime I tried to get her to let me go with Randy (who was a mere 16) to Wallyball.

Girls were OK. I could ride with them. She was also all for me getting my license at age 16. (so I could chauffeur my brothers around for the next three years)

"Girls and boys are different. Boys aren't mature enough to handle the responsibility until they are 18."

Yeah right. At 18 my brother got his license. Six months later my Mom was the proud owner of a VW accordion.

I don't think age had anything to do with it. I'm guessing she didn't want me riding in a boy's car for reasons other than what she said. Reasons the over 18 year old boy was more than happy to show me - in the sandy lot - overlooking the airport - by the dashboard light.

Too bad his parents didn't teach him that letting an under 18 year old girl into his car wasn't such a good idea. I think that my mom had been counting on him knowing that little piece of info already. He knows now what she really meant by an 18 year old being responsible.