So. It was all up to Dad. When I managed to pass muster on the Mazda, it was time for my own car. I ended up with a 1984 Chevy Cavalier, like this one to the left, only powder blue. And with a standard transmission.
(I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the extra few weeks required to get me road-ready on this car kept me off the open road longer. Now that I’m a parent myself, I tip my hat to you, Mom and Dad. Very cunning strategy.)
Dad wasn’t happy with me simply mastering the low gears and reverse, oh no. He took me to the steepest hill in Kent County, made me stop halfway up, and then start again with no rolling back. He also taught me to pop the clutch to start a car.
It was heinous, but now I’m proud to have “stick shift driving” in my list of talents. It impresses dudes that a chick can drive a stick. It was fun for me to teach my then-boyfriend (now husband) to drive my car. (Though, it took him all of about 15 minutes to master it, which put my slow learning curve to shame).
Once, I was pulling out of a drive-through with Bruce and he handed me my drink just as I was turning and shifting at the same time. Somehow I accepted the drink, turned, shifted, and didn’t miss a beat. He was amazed. Multi-tasking!
Driving a stick is really driving isn’t it? Alas, now I’m in sedan-and-minivan land. Still, I look forward to a time when I can drive again with both feet, and both hands.
Four on the floor, baby.
(So…can you drive a stick?)