Funny stories... tales from the road... life with us.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stick Shifts and Safety Belts

Rob is teaching me to drive stick shift. My first lesson was tonight, and all in all, I didn't do too bad! Only stalled twice and didn't hit a thing. :)

We went to our church parking lot, which is about a mile from our house. Our church is letting a nearby hospital's employees park in the lot during the day (and we overflow to their lots on Sunday). We waited until about 7 p.m., when we figured most of the cars would be gone.

After Rob thoroughly explained every in, out and about of the clutch and gear shifter, he finally let me take the wheel. We'd spotted a lot security guard on the other side of the lot, and as we rounded the corner, she waved us over and asked what we were doing. Rob explained it and noted that we attended church there, and she asked if I had a driver's permit. Did she think I was 16?!?

Anywho, she let us keep driving and I looped and shifted for about 20 minutes. Our preacher even came out of the building and spotted us, then laughed that an old girlfriend taught him to drive stick and they ended up breaking up. He gave kudos to Rob for his bravery and patience!

Why am I learning to drive stick? I drive a CRV SUV, and Rob has a Civic. With gas $4+ a gallon, we need to use his car more for weekend road trips, and goodness knows he's not doing all of the driving!

Why have I never learned before? To be honest, I don't want to think about clutch-shift-neutral-clutch-shift-blah-blah-blah when I'm driving. I'd rather pay attention to the song on the radio or gab on the (wireless headset!) phone. Isn't that crazy?

So, I'll practice some more and maybe venture out on to a real road this weekend. All of the traffic around here makes me so nervous. Pray I don't crash!


Leann said...

My brother's first car (that wasn't a hand me down from my parents) was purchased around the time I turned 16. It was purchased with a stick shift just so I wouldn't be able to borrow it. :)

I'm completely uncoordinated, so that's my reason for never having learned to drive stick.'s a wonder I can walk upright. :)

However, I, too, would rather listen to the radio or talk on the phone...or attention to the idiot drivers around me instead of thinking about shifting gears.

elizabeth said...

I learned how to drive a stick shift in our church parking lot as well! I loved my little standard Honda Prelude that I got right after I got married. What a fun little car!

Andrea said...

Okay, I'm still a stick-shift wannabe. I had a boyfriend who attempted to teach me in his jeep in high school but my legs were too short to reach the clutch and the seat couldn't be adjusted to move me forward.

Mike tried to teach me in his old Ford Ranger pick-up before we got married and I acquired the technical ability to cruise a parking lot, but I would NEVER attempt anything that actually has hills or cars that might try to sneak up behind me. So... I greatly admire you, and I hope you'll become the stick shifter that I always wanted to be!