Sunday, March 7, 2010

Driving 101 (with a Manual Transmission)...Again

A few years ago (circa fall 2001) my boyfriend (now my hubby), Brandon, sincerely and patiently taught me how to drive his car that had a manual transmission.  We mostly practiced "stop and go" in his apartment complex's parking lot with a huge focus on the "go".  I'm sure we had a few practice sessions (maybe two?) before I was "comfortable" driving on an actual road with (gasp!) traffic.  My last memory of driving his car was after one of our blue & white cross country meets (side note:  These meets are similar to the blue & white inter squad PSU football game that happens in the spring, except this was the PSU women's cross country team obviously.  I was on the white team that year, not that it matters).  I remember screeching out of the parking lot (my trademark getaway) and nearly hitting someone from my team - good times, right?  eeek!  

I was actually getting OK at driving his car (at least I remember it that tires squealing or pedestrian lives in danger), and then for some reason I just stopped driving his car.  Now that I think more about it, though, that same year was when the September 11 attacks occurred leading to the activation of multiple National Guard Units across the nation - including Brandon's local Air National Guard unit.  Within a couple weeks of the attacks, he had swiftly withdrawn from PSU and was then stationed in Rome, NY, at NEADS (now EADS) for what turned out to be two years.  I stayed at PSU during that time (and pretty much up until now)...lived a lot, learned a little...and eventually here we are in 2010.  And, sadly, I never drove his car again....until today!

For years, literally, Brandon and I joked about me driving his car and how I always had a lame excuse.  Some examples of our brief conversations:  
Bran:  "you wanna drive?" 
Me:  "oh, I can't.  I'm wearing heels" or "I can't. I just showered" or "Nope. I broke my ankle."
I think you get it...lame!

So, yes, I had my first practice session since 2001 today.  I was inspired to learn again, after reading Miss Melly's gals guide blog (see here:  Gals Guide).  I honestly did want to drive his car all these years, but I was truly uncomfortable with the thought of not really being in control of the car since I was so out of practice.  Reading Melly's blog, though, got me thinking that it's silly that I don't know how to drive a manual transmission.  I know how to change wiper blades (seriously cake!) and perform other deceivingly easy tasks, I should know how to drive a car with a manual transmission!  Therefore,  I will be spending some quality time with Brandon to re-learn how to drive a car with a manual transmission.  

We only had an hour or so to practice today, but I feel some of it coming back to me.  I must say, I remember from before and I am realizing again today - Brandon's pretty damn patient (lucky me!).  Even with all the jerky, screeching and stalling moments, he still smiles at me and encourages me to keep trying.  :)

1 comment:

  1. YAY!!! Go Mere!!!! You are awesome :) Stick with it - it will take practice before you are comfortable! Back in my automatic days, my sister had a manual VW Golf.... she let me drive it one day and I nearly broke the damn car! I was so bad at it that she made me get out so that she could drive home LOL!

    Keep up the good work! And high-five to Brandon for being patient... that's the only way you'll feel comfortable enough to keep at it!