2011 Mercedes-Benz R-ClassEnlarge Photo
Can I borrow your credit card?
Outside of the inevitable question of why you would need your father’s credit card, this request is likely to generate a slew of additional questions that are better left for another time. Your allowance isn’t enough for whatever you so desperately need money for? It must be something serious or you wouldn’t even dream of bringing it up now. You’ll need to have a pretty convincing argument for getting Dad’s credit card on such short notice. Better not to ask at all and think of other ways to solve your financial needs.
About the side of the car – it’s just a little scratch
Maybe you talked with Mom and said it was no big thing. But she probably said you have to talk with your father about it. Guess what? Now’s not the time, really. First of all, Dad’s trying to drive, not worry about how “little” is little. Dollars and cents are going to be running through his mind. How much it will cost to repair, how long the car will be sidelined, what happened to cause the scratch, and will anyone be coming after him for damages to other vehicle or property? Best to wait until he’s home and had dinner and everything’s peaceful and calm. It won’t be an easy discussion, but it’s better to have it at home than when Dad is driving.
2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0TEnlarge Photo
Why don’t you let me drive?
What is your motivation to ask your Dad this now? If he’s being too aggressive behind the wheel, or is too tired or doesn’t know where he’s going (see the first item on this list), maybe there’s a better way to say it than asking if you can drive. Then, again, maybe there isn’t. You’ll need to weigh and balance what the reaction will be before you open your mouth. And remember, a lot depends on your attitude. If you keep it calm and upbeat, maybe Dad will consider your request and not get bent out of shape. How about, “Want to take a break? I can drive for a little?” It’s just a thought.
OMG – did you see that?
You certainly don’t want to cause an accident, do you? Your Dad might veer into another lane or otherwise lose his concentration on the road trying to see whatever it is you just called his attention to. Of course, if you’re both in any potential jeopardy – and your Dad didn’t see it – maybe suggest he could pull over until it’s safe. Let’s say it’s an accident that’s in the process of happening – and you’re afraid you both could become involved. Or you see a fight break out on the street or there’s a robbery in progress that you witness. But don’t bring up something that’s just nothing and call so much attention to it. Use a little caution about being so excited in your delivery. Maybe it’s a really cute girl (but that would be her, not that), or a shooting star or something cool. Just choose your words carefully so your Dad doesn’t flip.
2010 Chevrolet SuburbanEnlarge Photo
Can my girlfriend borrow your car this Saturday?
This can and will generate all kinds of questions about why in the world your girlfriend would need to borrow Dad’s car – and not yours or her own parents’ or siblings’ car. This is another discussion you’d be much better off having another time and place than in the car when Dad is driving. It can be totally innocent and a reasonable request – like your girlfriend wants to take bags of canned goods to the local food bank or drop off donations to a charity and your Dad’s car is a 2010 Chevrolet Suburban or 2011 Honda Odyssey with better cargo room than her Smart Fortwo. Just pick the right time to ask – and not when Dad’s behind the wheel.
What, you’ve got more to add to the list of things never to say to your Dad when he’s driving? Or, you’re the Dad and you’ve heard a few you’d like to add? Feel free to comment below. If we get enough of them, we’ll do a follow-up piece to include them.
Since this is Family Car Guide, and we’re all about family vehicles, if you want more information about the 2011 Chevrolet Suburban, see this review. Also check out the 2011 Honda Odyssey here and the 2011 Smart Fortwo rating in The Car Connection.