Swearing in the driver’s seat of a car that isn’t mine

If you're not one for swear words, try driving a standard car for the first time.  It is effing hard! The reason I attempted is because my van finally broke down past the point of repair. Poor, poor Leonidis has reached the end of the road and is resting sadly in the driveway like a tarnished gold trophy worn well past its prime. The loss is bittersweet to me: As much as I loved him so, it is definitely time for a new and more reliable model. Unfortunately all dealerships are closed for the long weekend and finding a replacement isn't the easiest to do when you're in a pinch. Roger got the brilliant idea to lend me his car--just to get me to and from work until I find another vehicle that suits me. Let's just say I'll stick to the bus or an automatic rental for now...

Shut up and drive

My emotional state while learning to drive a manual transmission ranged from hesitation to exhilaration, from extreme stress to almost success. Luckily I had a pretty patient guy in the passenger seat to see me through the lesson. He urged me to continue when I felt like giving up and he beamed alongside me when I mastered a new skill. He only grimaced a little when I stalled for the 8th time in a row.

Standard

Rule # 1: If you're learning to drive standard for the first time, pick the most deserted, corn-fieldy-est, dirt road that you can find. Rule # 2: Try not to wear too much make-up--just in case you cry a little. Rule # 3: Get familiar with the 4 ways. Rule # 4: Have your waving hand ready for laughing farmers as they pass.

Learning how to drive

It's not that I'm a bad driver--I swear I'm better than most--but finding the perfect balance (the sweet spot as Roger calls it) between the clutch and the gas was incredibly frustrating. I kept trying to start the car from 3rd gear, which is apparently a major no-no. I think I'll be A-okay once I remember to always shift to 1st gear after breaking. Being a good driver is a confidence thing; there is no way I'd successfully drive a manual car in busy traffic tomorrow, but I'm 100% positive that I'll be great after a few more times behind the wheel. In the meantime, wish me luck on the car shopping!! Now excuse me while I wash my potty mouth out with soap... 😉        

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