It’s a small thing really, nothing too remarkable. Millions have learned the skill and use it every day without so much as a second thought. A simple matter of hand-eye coordination and synchronization, and you’re off. There’s not much to remember, or even think about especially if you’ve been doing it for any amount of time. Many prefer it over the alternative, swearing it’s ten times more fun.
The control you have, the zip you feel, it’s something, sadly I can only imagine. This skill has eluded me, despite my best efforts to master it. I dream about it, I obsess over it. I try, over and over, to figure it out, willing my feet and hands and head to work together and make this machine go. I ice my neck and heat my back after another failed attempt. What am I missing?
Sitting down, I crack my knuckles and say a silent prayer. Will this be the try that finally brings me success? Starting goes off without a hitch, that’s half the battle and I ease forward. So far so good. I take the corner like a pro and feel confidence swell in my chest. Uh oh, a stop up a head… this is the tricky part. Easing to a stop, I breathe a sigh of relief. I did it. And then I stall. And stall again. And again.
I’m never going to learn to drive stick.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: This morning Andy managed to get me behind the wheel of his car while we were out garage-sale-ing. This probably doesn’t sound like anything remarkable, except his car is a manual-drive, and I do not know how to drive a manual. Yes, that’s right, I’m 30-years-old and still have not managed to figure out how to drive a stick-shift. Not for lack of trying, mind you. From the time I was 16, I’ve been forced behind the wheel of various manual-drive vehicles. Who knew it would be a skill that every man in my life seemed determined I simply must master? One after another, friends, boyfriends, my brother, father, and step-father all gave it a go- confident they would be the one to finally teach me. So far, they all have failed. Today’s attempt ended much the same as every previous attempt, although I am proud to say I didn’t cry this time, like I normally do. I started out ok, but then rounding a corner we can to a stop sign. And that’s where the lesson ended after stalling out four times I had had enough. Knowing that any further attempts would end in my entire day being ruined (I don’t take failure at anything very well) I announced that I was done and jumped out of the car. Maybe another time… but not likely.
Love & Squirrels.