Wait, You Think I Actually Want to Drive This Thing?

For a couple of years now Devoted Spouse has been driving this ultra cool little fire engine red fast Mazda Miata convertible – it was his mid-life crisis thing.  I was real glad he brought home a red car…not a younger redhead if ya get my meaning.

Tonight I wanted to try a new rib joint in town and as we walked out to the garage I said, “Sweetie, let’s take your car.”  That really surprised him.  My back has been acting wonky lately and I think he was a little concerned with me trying to get myself down into that little sardine can and then get back up and out of it again.  I just wanted to do something different.

Into the Miata I got and off we drove.  We had a good meal and a fun time and then it was again time for me to get into a car that pretty much is about the size of Barbie’s dreamcar and strap myself in with my knees up in my nose and no place for my purse, let alone the box of left-over ribs. (note to self: crap, get ribs out of car.)

On the way home I was reminiscing about how when we were first married 26 years ago, he had this old Datsun that was a stick shift and he tried so hard to teach me how to drive it.  I remember driving around the parking lot of the local shopping mall on an early Sunday morning coz there were no cars there and I could actually go fast enough to shift into a few gears.  I wasn’t very good at it.  In fact it was a total disaster.  The phrase stripped gears comes to mind.  He took me out on the open road and it was a classic scene of the parent teaching the teenager to drive…’No, let out the clutch easy…No, don’t ride the clutch…No, you’re in the wrong gear.”  “Use the emergency brake!”  Jeez Louize.  Driving a stick shift was a pain in the you-know-what.  The Datsun was parked in our suburb one day (we used to park and then take a bus into the Pentagon in those days) and I got sick at work.  I got a bus out to the suburbs but had to drive the Datsun about two miles to our townhouse — I think I drove in 1st gear the whole way.  It was just a matter of days until Devoted Spouse sold the Datsun and we bought “the family car.”

Anyway…back to the present time…tonight we’re flying down our country roads and I notice he has six gears and I’m watching him work all of this stuff and I start asking questions.  When do you put the clutch in?  If a deer runs across the road now do you have to put the clutch in as you slam your foot on the brake?  Does the clutch have to go in all the way and do you have to downshift before or after you run over the deer?  Why are you in 6th gear when you’re only doing 40 miles an hour?  I had so many questions.

I reminded him of how when he was teaching me to use the stick shift and we were on a hill at a stoplight, I would ride the clutch and he would get so mad at me.  But if I didn’t ride the clutch, either the car would drift backward, or the engine would stall when I tried to get it into 1st gear again.  Gah…  It was a major no-no – “Don’t ride the clutch.”

So, this evening as we’re on this country road I start talking about how to keep it from rolling down the hill and he STOPS THE CAR and starts going through this rigamarole of showing me how to clutch and then  you pull up on the emergency brake thingie and it’s the emergency brake thingie that keeps you from rolling down the hill.  Then you ease the emergency brake down and let out the clutch a little I think and let your foot off the regular brake, and probably pee a little, and Oh For The Love of Mike WTH is he goin on about? I just asked a question; I didn’t expect a demonstration.  I’m listening and thinking in my head La La La La and we’re TOTALLY STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN’ ROAD IN THE DARK OF NIGHT.  He thinks I understand what he’s showing me.   Now I ask you if I’m driving this 6-speed monster and I’m stopped at a light on a hill and I have to have the emergency brake on in order to keep the car from drifting backwards and then the light changes and I slowly lift up on the brake while trying to remember to put the clutch in and also the accelerator and put the gear shift into 1st gear, HOW THE BLOODY HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO CHANGE THE CD I’M LISTENING TO?   Exhausting.   Crap on toast.  (Why is it when you ask a man a question he either has to draw something or actually show you how to do it — just tell me.)  He actually thought I wanted to LEARN to drive this thing.  Snort.

So that was my first ride in his car for 2010 and will be the last one for awhile.  Just watching him go through all the motions wears me out.  Ya might know an automatic transmission kinda gal would end up with a raving stick shift kinda guy.  sigh…

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11 thoughts on “Wait, You Think I Actually Want to Drive This Thing?

  1. I love sticks and my first car was a little two seater convertible Fiat Spider with manual transmission. It’s a wonder I survived that time in my life. 🙂
    When I was younger I loved sticks too but that’s another story for another day coz I wonder how I survived too…..laughs hysterically – OMG she’s just a stitch…

  2. With the exception of my current truck ALL of my vehicles have been sticks. I love them! Well except for city driving, then not so much.
    Obviously I am the princess in the group – it’s automatic transmission or nothing – I actually prefer to be chauferred but we’ll talk about that later. I’m such a diva.

  3. I love stick shifts too, of course when I learned to drive one, it wasn’t so pretty. My ex told me I was the only person he knew who could lay rubber in VW (Bug), lol
    you guys are giving me a complex here…

  4. Sweetie I loved your story but I can’t relate I’m a stick shift momma and I love them.LOL
    Didn’t drive automatics till the last few years and I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to put them in Park. When the key would come out, not a problem, just thought something was wrong with the car. LOL
    I put my car in Reverse the other day instead of Park. Yikes! I simply am not coordinated enough for a stick shift – too much work. lol

  5. when the key wouldn’t come out. LOL left out the not..
    How many times have we all made typos on a comment and wished we could retrieve the comment to fix it? Hello Blogging Platforms, are you listening?? LOL – not a prob sweetie I knew what u meant.

  6. I learned to drive in a car with a stick shift and my first two cars were sticks. I enjoyed the first one…the second, not at all.

    All of my cars since have been automatics. I too prefer automatic transmissions, thank you very much.

    We have entirely too many hills about town and every one of them has a stop light at either the top, or the middle of it, or both.
    Thank you – finally, someone who understands the hill issue!

  7. Have many funny stick shift stories and drove stick shift for many years. Then my chiropractor told me it was the source of my back problems. That did it. Switched to automatic and only drive shift if I have to drive DS midlife crisis Jeep.
    I want a midlife crisis Jeep – but w/a cabana boy driving it for me and handing me little drinks w/umbrellas in them.

  8. Too funny, I can relate. DH has wanted to teach me drive stick for years but I’ve refused.
    You are so right….how can I do that and change a CD at the same time. LOL
    I’m so glad you’re on my side…afterall what if I need to check my lipstick too? Gah…too much pressure. A princess never works that hard.

  9. Sort of like when you want to rant about something to a man and all you want is for him to LISTEN. You don’t want him to SOLVE the problem but they always try to. I’ve been know to yell something like….shut up, I didn’t ask for a solution, I just need to vent.
    Amen Sistah – THANK YOU – exactly what I was “driving” at (sorry) LOL

  10. Great little car!!! I’ve got a stick shift also. My husband thought I was crazy, but after years of driving an automatic I so wanted a stick shift again. So, I’m driving a little VW Jetta now and I loooove it! Just 5 speeds, though. I guess it seems like a lot of work to some people, but to me it’s just fun. It does make multi-tasking in the car a little bit harder, so I just try not to. It’s hard, though!
    Hey – Listen to me – DO NOT multitask in the car – NO NO NO – put down the coffee and the phone and stop texting when you are trying to shift gears. Gah…

  11. LOL. Stick shifts are evil! My hubby tried to teach me 20 years ago. Within 30 minutes, I stopped the car in the middle of the road and had a major meltdown. We too ended up buying a “family car”.
    🙂
    Thank you for being one of the “normal” people who understand that stick shifts are simply wrong. 🙂

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