I learned how to drive a stick today. Actually, since I learned, it’s been more like, “OhmahgodIlearnedhowtodriveastick!” but we can leave off some of my enthusiasm.
To say I’m qualified to drive anyone’s car is an overstatement, of course, given that I only drove said stick for about an hour, and that I didn’t get actually good at it until the end. But really, given my ever-growing love of driving, I will take the time to learn someone’s car so I can drive it. I’m just sick like that.
I got a call early this afternoon from grungy-Chris, who’s a cool guy in a bad way and who doesn’t currently have a license. He needed a ride to his church, then to his parents’ house to get a financial aid form signed. He also mentioned idly that we could try to swing by his brother’s place of employment to borrow Chris’s car so I could learn how to drive a stick.
So I picked him up and drove him around, making sure to actually go inside his parents’ abode with him to attempt to forestall an attack by his father. Now, I don’t like Chris’s father: I don’t like his body language; I don’t like the way he talks to people; I don’t like the way he’s treating his son who’s just trying to fucking go to college and do something more with his life than he might otherwise have done. So I went in the house with Chris, thinking that surely this man wouldn’t be such a bastard in front of one of Chris’s friends. I think being a girl in this situation usually helps, even if the parents don’t know enough about me to think I’m a good influence on their spawn. Both of those are cards I will play, if I think it will help. At any rate, suffice it to say the man was still belligerent, even if he didn’t do anything particularly dick-ish while I was there.
So then we hunted down his brother’s place of employment, which took a while, since we didn’t quite know where it was. Then I learned how to drive a stick in his sexy, loud ’89 Prelude with a hole in the muffler. I swear, he spent 45 minutes teaching me this slow way of getting started that I could barely get to work for me; there was, of course, much jerking and stalling and rolling backwards. I kept dropping the clutch too fast, or letting off the gas when I should have held it down, and eventually we had to pop the hood to let his car cool down.
In my defense, it was also a pretty warm day, and we were never going fast enough to give his car a chance to cool down. Yeah, that’s it. Right.
And then he taught me a better way–let up on the clutch until the RPMs begin to drop, then give it gas. And that I got on the first time, most likely because it required less coordination of foot speeds than the slower method. (This is the girl that gave up on trying to play piano because she couldn’t make her left hand do something different from her right hand at the same time.) I got it on subsequent attempts as well, although I didn’t get to practice for long because the temperature gauge was heading into the red.
I must have driven Chris nuts all the way home, thanking him for teaching me and squealing that I could drive a stick now. I got the feeling he was quietly laughing at me, though, when he said, “I see how it is. IB diploma after all that work? ‘Eh.’ Learning how to drive a stick? ‘Eee!'” Yeah, just a little laughter there.
Have I mentioned how much I love to drive? Anybody’s car, wherever they want to go.
My next car (if I have a reasonable choice in the matter) is so going to be a stick.