Saturday, January 29, 2011

On why I hate driving stick

Or, In which I sound conceited and maybe sort of bitchy

I had my first lesson in how to drive a standard yesterday. When I first started driving, I learned on a standard, but then haven't driven one in eight years. But now my lovely little car is gone and Andy's truck is a manual, so it's time for me to relearn. It doesn't hurt that it's one of my goals for the year, either.

Here's why I really don't like driving stick: I'M NOT GOOD AT IT. I know that this applies to pretty much anyone who doesn't know how, but the thing is, I'm usually pretty good at whatever I try to do. I know my strengths, and I tend to stick to them. I'm an educated, intelligent person, so I can usually figure new stuff out pretty well. But I'm not great at physical/spatial stuff, so learning standard is like asking me to learn Irish dancing in a few hours. I can get the car to start moving from a stop maybe an eighth of the time, but it feels like I'm doing the same thing both when I'm successful and when I'm unsuccessful. I can't just feel it a few times and then know what I'm doing right or wrong.

I also don't typically stick to doing stuff I'm not good at. I can do easy-level sudoku, but I can't do the really hard ones, so I don't bother trying. But with this, I have to stick with it, and I have to keep failing, over and over again. I really hate it every single time I stall the car out, but I can't just be like, okay, tell me the secret, and I'll get it right every time. It's something I have to learn slowly and painfully.

Add to this the complicated emotional issues that came with learning it the first time from my mom. My mom is a lovely lady, and a lot of fun to hang out with, but I have no idea what made my parents decide she should be the one to teach us to drive. Often she would wait till the last second to give an instruction, then yell it, so the whole time I was behind the wheel I felt nervous, waiting for Andy to yell something, even though he's not that kind of communicator. The only huge, blow-up, multiday fight I got in with my mother was a direct result of her teaching me to drive. So I hate feeling like every time I stall the car (which was a lot, you guys), I failed a little more, and I feel anxious on top of it because of bad memories.

But! I'm smart and I'm strong and I'm going to get the hang of it! We're going back out later for another lesson, and I'm hoping that by the end of the week, with a few more practice sessions, I'll be good to go.

Can you drive a standard? Who taught you? Please share any secrets you may have that will lead to my success.

1 comment:

  1. You're not very smart.

    Manuals are shit anyway, forget it.