Hi my name is Sharon; I play two instruments, speak four languages, and I can now drive a stick-shift!*
Every couple weeks this summer my boyfriend’s been teaching me how to drive his manual transmission car, and this past weekend I got good enough to drive on actual streets with traffic lights and actual other drivers on the road.
I do have to point out, though, that it hasn’t been a smooth process. In addition to being a multitalented fellow, my boyfriend has the magic ability to stay perfectly calm while I…
1. …stall the car, yell, and let out a string of expletives,
2. …pop the clutch, yell, and let out a string of expletives,
3. …change the gear and mutter a string of expletives under my breath.
In fact, this was a typical exchange:
Him: Okay, hear that? You should change to fourth gear.
Me: OhgodohgodohgodokayhereIgo [changes to fourth gear]
Me: I know I’m going at 35 in a 45 zone but I don’t care, if the other cars think I’m going too slow they can just go around me.
Him: That’s totally fine.
Me: Ohmygosh it’s a red light whatamIgoingtodo [censored censored censored]
Him: Just brake, you’ll be fine.
The reason why I wanted to be able to drive stick, though, was not so I could drive my boyfriend’s car at my leisure, or because I wanted to be a better driver in general, or any of the sensible reasons you might come up with.
I wanted to know how to drive stick so that if I’m ever in a situation where I’m running from bad guys and my only getaway option is a stick shift, I’ll be okay.
Hey, you never know.
*I still don’t know how to back up and I haven’t driven on the freeway yet, but I think that if I’m on the run from bad guys, backing up won’t be involved, and everyone knows only the criminals from “Cops” take their getaways to the freeway.