Saturday, March 28, 2009

No longer shall I be oppressed!

On Friday afternoon, Chloe taught me how to drive a stick shift. Despite the fact that I have been driving for more than ten years now, I never was taught how. I asked, but various circumstances prevented my learning. And so it went.

When I realized that Chloe drove a stick shift, I responded with my trademark unbounded enthusiasm. So, at the end of business on Friday, Chloe came over (freshly blond-ed!) with the express purpose of teaching me The Stick.

The first couple of attempts at first gear were not stellar, but warranted cheering from the neighbor kids, who watched the car have a seizure (and heard me shriek), and then yelled "THAT was AWESOME!" (Note: It was not so awesome from where I was sitting.)

Through failed attempts, a few successes, and a few stalls at lights, Chloe kept her cool. She was encouraging, kind, and calm. (My parents could have taken a lesson in teaching driving from her.) She gave praise regularly, and assured me that I am NOT stupid for not figuring it out in ten minutes.

She also Kinneared me, as proof:

(Photo courtesy of Chloe Sparkle)

After about an hour behind the wheel, I was EXHAUSTED, but encouraged. Chloe went off to work, and Andrew and I traded his car for his brother's, which is a stick. I drove to Purlescence that night, and to Los Altos on Saturday. (YAY! Fifth gear!) One stall per trip, that's all.

And Chloe? Sorry about the whiplash. First gear is tricky.


  1. I've been driving a stick for years. And I still stall sometimes. You're good!

  2. So, if I trust you with my car, you'd be able to get from say, Purlescence to home with only minor bumper car issues?

    Always good to know you can drive a manual transmission if you needed to. Although anytime I drive an automatic, I try to stomp on the imaginary clutch pedal...

  3. Congrats!! My first car was a stick so I have to learn fast or not drive. :) Keep at it...eventually you'll miss it when it's gone like I do now.

  4. the baby car was a good incentive, no? - giggling

  5. I just learned how to drive stick about two and a half months ago. My little brother taught me, and was marvelous - very calm and unflappable, no matter what horrific noises I was making the car produce, repeatedly telling me that I was, "doing beautifully." It took me a while to shake the whiplash, but now even starting on hills doesn't scare me. Just hang in there, you'll get it!

  6. When I was a teen, my father tried to teach me how to in his brand new car, tried REALLY hard to keep his cool the whole time, and when we got home, yelled across the house to Mom, "Frances! I am NOT taking that child out again!"


If you'd like me to respond, please make sure to put your email address in the field. :)