Saturday, March 6, 2010

Deployment Prep: Driving Lessons

NavyGuy is teaching me to drive stick-shift.

Let's discuss why this is complete and utter nonsense:

1) I don't like driving to begin with. As a teenager, I wasn't clamoring to get my license like all my friends. I didn't count down the days until I turned sixteen. I didn't beg for my own car. I don't actually enjoy the act of driving. I find it tedious. Obviously I do it, but if I could simply blink and go from point A to point B, eliminating all that starting and turning and braking and whatnot, I'd be giddy. (Or if beaming me from one place to another instantaneously isn't in the cards, then a chauffeur would be nice.)

2) So when I do have to drive, I like to be as comfortable as possible. With a refreshment in the cup holder next to me. A good song on the radio. Perhaps a snack. The ability to dislocate my shoulder and randomly reach into the seat behind me to reach my coat, or errant box of Cheerios that I want to snack on.

Stick-shift takes driving to an exponentially more complicated level and eliminates any of the possible comfortableness of driving. You can't eat! You can't drink! You can't change the CD! You need both hands, and both FEET to drive a stick shift. One hand on the wheel, one hand on the shifter thingy (I'm still learning the lingo), one foot on the gas, one foot on the clutch, one foot on the brake... it's humanly impossible! You have to watch like six different gauges on the dashboard, which means au revoir to being able to look at your lipstick in the rearview mirror, let alone being able to look at the road. You have to be in peak physical condition to balance the tricky "let the clutch out and push the accelerator down" at the same time (I'm sorry - if I wanted to do leg presses and work my quads, I'd go to the gym... not drive a car!).

It's too much work. NavyGuy and I have had two lessons so far, and I hate it. Don't get me wrong- NavyGuy was a shockingly good teacher. (Shockingly good - like, I didn't want to kill him at all. And we're still married). I just have no interest in stick shift driving. It feels like I have no control over the car. It jumps into gear and takes way too much work to slow down. And don't get me STARTED on trying to deal with all the hills around here; every freaking stop sign is on a hill. NavyGuy is constantly telling me "more gas, more gas" as I'm trying to get into first gear, and it took me two hours to discover that you can brake when you're in second, and it's just too much work. Give me my nice automatic, please.

Who's with me!! Why, if we've advanced to the point of automatic cars, are there still manual transmission vehicles? (NavyGuy, I'm not actually looking for an answer here, k?) Am I the only 27 year old who is just now learning to stick it?

Oh, P.S. - we're doing this because NavyGuy has a stick shift car, and he wants me to drive it while he's deployed... cuz apparently you can't just leave the car in the garage for six months. (You should have seen how red his face got at that suggestion! Like a tomato!)

7 comments:

Mrs. Wookie March 8, 2010 at 3:24 AM  

I'm not with you. Sorry.

I own a manual transmission, and prefer it. Actually, all my siblings do. By choice.

My lessons came from my roommates when I was only 20 and was bribed into hauling their drunk asses around. Drunk teachers are amazing. Because they don't care what happens to the car/tires/clutch/brakes/etc. That's a recommendation, if I had to have one.

Good luck though.

ebs handler March 8, 2010 at 4:01 AM  

Another reason to learn....when you and I are on the Amazing Race, I will NOT do all of the driving (think P'cola trip to realize why you must also do some of the driving.) Gut it out. It's one of those life skills that you never know when you will need.
Patience, NavyGuy! Just keep paying those insurance premiums.

historygirlie March 8, 2010 at 5:29 AM  

Agreed, Mugs! I also don't see the point, and I never had a lesson. I have better things to learn to do, like make flowers out of frosting and put up my own wallpaper. Just to name a few.

Farmer says I have to learn if I want to drive the tractor, and I do want to drive the tractor (free tan time, and noone can blame me! I'm helping with the work! Everyone benefits) but he never seens to to want to teach me to drive it.

Maybe he knows i have an alterior motive for tractoring......

CWB March 8, 2010 at 8:43 AM  

WesternShorebirds led me to this blog, and I've been reading it for a week or two, normally only finding things to comment on when NavyGuy writes a guest post.

But I agree with you on this one. Neither me nor EMB drive a stick shift, and neither of us know how. And neither of us feel any desire to learn. If Navy Guy wants the car driven whn he's deployed, couldn't you just drive it around the block and keep it in first gear?

Brooklet March 8, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

I agree with you. My 2 attempts at driving a stick shift ended with both people terrified to get into a car with me, and a complete lack of interest on my part to ever try again.

And tell Navy Guy that when our squadron was deployed, my friend kept her husband's car (a stick shift) in perfect condition just by starting it once a week. She never drove it around the block, or even down the driveway. She just turned it on and the car was in perfect driving condition when he got home :-).

Mommy McD March 8, 2010 at 2:55 PM  

Lol, in order to get my license I had to learn to drive a stick. My dad gave me some soliloquy about "tractors" and "the real way to drive". I rolled my eyes and went along with it.

Mario Adretti, I'm not. But, I am capable - even though I now choose automatic in order to be able to drive one handed and throw cheerios into the back seat at the trolls.

Mrs. Wookie is right. Drunk teachers are the best. My husband gave me a "refresher" course when we were in college, because he got smashed and his car was stick.
Best. Driving. Lesson. Ever.
Good luck!

Rebecca March 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM  

Yup, still haven't learned. But I'm not opposed to learning at some point.

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