Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Learning To Drive A Stick Shift

My husband and I are in the market for another car. We were advised that my car would start costing us big money in the near future, so we started looking for a replacement. We figured out how much we should spend based on our income, so now we're checking out websites and dealerships whenever it fits our schedule.
I would love to have a SUV. A pick up truck would be fun too, but not family friendly --- I am not announcing anything, we're just trying to be prepared for whatever happens in the future. :) Anyways, back to the SUV, most of them are out of our price range, so most likely, I will have to settle for a car. But, one day I discovered my favorite SUV in our price range - a Ford Escape. I called my honey up, and said, "I have a great desire to learn to drive stick!" He answered, "Does this have anything to do with an Escape?"
A few years ago my mom gave me a few lessons in her car, but I got too busy to pursue it, and ended up getting my own car. Now, Geoff has tried to teach my to drive car which is a manual. But, those lessons last about 20 minutes, because he starts to worry about his clutch going out. So needless to say, if there's an emergency, I could probably get you to the hospital driving a stick, but you would probably have major whiplash to deal with by the time we got there, not to mention, it wouldn't be the fastest due to all the stall outs.
We actually test drove this Escape, and Geoff liked it, but he's afraid I will hate driving if we get it, since I'm not the best at stick yet. So, we made a deal. I would start driving to church on Sunday mornings (due to the lack of traffic), and slowly but surely learn to drive a stick. In a month's time, if that Escape is still there, which I highly doubt that it will be, we'll go look at it again, and this time I'll try driving it on the road instead of just a parking lot.
This past Sunday morning, I actually forgot that I was going to drive until we headed out to our apartment parking lot. I was hoping Geoff would forget, but he didn't. In all honesty, it wasn't that bad. I stalled once, but that was while we were still in our parking lot, so it doesn't REALLY count. :) The funny thing was that whenever Geoff wanted me to do something, he would yell, "SHIFT, SHIFT, SHIFT!!" or "BRAKE, BRAKE, BRAKE!" or "CLUTCH, CLUTCH, CLUTCH!" It wasn't constnat, but I knew if I needed to do something right away. : )
Even if we don't get an SUV, at least I will have learned to drive a stick - hopefully.


Shyla said...

I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE driving a stick! You feel like such a race driver! And I really have TONS of stories (perhaps making a great blog entry someday :)
I learned while I was at NBBC - where else in the world do you have so many cruddy cars all over the place! So, a couple of my guy friends showed me how to do it and here I am today! :) Once you can get it out of first - it's all smooth sailing! :)
Once quick thing...if you want to hear a HORRENDOUS sound while driving a stick (i don't think this is possible on any newer car) but I was driving an OLD car at school and I went to put it into 4th and threw it into reverse! AHAHHHHHH BAD BAD BAD!! I thought I was going to wet myself I was so scared and laughing so hard - don't let Geoff hear you trying any of those shenanigans (i have never attempted to spell that word before....)or you'll never see that Escape! :) Happy Stick shifting!

pamela s said...

Shyla, You crack me up! Thankfully Geoff's car can't go into reverse, but I have gone from 4th to 3rd instead of 5th, and I think Geoff just about wet his pants. :)

Katie said...

I don't know how to drive a stick either. A friend's dad made her learn to drive the truck (a stick shift) before she could get her license - that was thinking!

I love SUV's too - they're just cool. And I like being way up and feeling like I can go through fields and stuff (I suppose that's only applicable at someplace like my parents') . . . but I have to say that I'm going for a nice minivan when we get a "new" (it will be used - I WON'T buy brand new) car. By that time, we'll have 2 -3 kids (Lord-willing); and besides, are SUVs gas-guzzlers? (This is the practical, poor Katie talking.)

pamela s said...

Geoff REFUSES to drive a mini van. He won't even consider it. Surprisingly, the smaller SUVs are almost the same gas mileage wise as a mid-size sedan. On the other hand, the BIG ones like a Surburban use a gallon a gas per block. :)

Alicia said...

Good luck with the stick shift driving! I have driven a bit of stick shift but not much. I probably don't have as many stories as Shyla but I was forced to drive my friend Kathleen's car to the airport in San Francisco BY MYSELF with only her verbal directions. I then had to find my way back to her apartment with a gal and baby in tow since getting back wasn't just doing the directions in reverse. Driving stick shift in the hilliest city in the world is no fun at all. And the smell of burning rubber isn't too nice either. :) Keep us posted on the SUV! I agree with your hubby, minivans are practical but I'd much rather drive a volvo station wagon or a vw toureg.


Heather said...

STICK! More power to you! I never could do more than one thing at a time. Imagine me trying to do this all at once...letting out the gas, pushing down the clutch, changing gears and putting a turn signal on. HAHAHA! I can barely walk and talk at the same time, let alone do all that.

I LOVE SUV's. Last year this time, we bought a Envoy. I loved it. Then gas went up to $3 a gallon. I kept telling kevin that I was going to buy a car, but didn't want to because I loved SUV's more. He said it was my vehicle so it was up to me if I wanted a car. Well sometime in August, I was leaving a store and was across the street from our dealership and then a gas station was next to that. I noticed that gas had gone up over $.50 in just that one day. Needless to say, I bought our car (Impala) that day!

Our Envoy was a "smaller" SUV (no third row) but my car gets double the miles on the same size tank. At the time we were doing ALL CITY driving. That was killing us too!

Bottom line....I miss my Envoy horribly, but I know I can't take my car back anytime soon. :)

Please don't think that this blog is to talk you out of your SUV! If that is what you want to get and it works out for you GET IT!!!

Oh and have fun learning stick! You are my hero for learniing how to do it!

pamela s said...

Thanks for the encouragement you guys! Sunday Lesson #2 will be here before I know it!

nate, christina, and connor said...

go pammy! i love driving sticks! they are so much fun...once you have the hang of it. and really it's just getting out of first gear that's the really hard part. my dad made me go up to the church parking lot and learn how to drive his truck when i was 15 or 16. he had me in tears more than i can recall. but it paid off. i only remember once stalling on a major road. i stalled right through three lights and waved all the cars from around me. i just kept starting the truck and trying until finally through my tear soaked eyes i could get our of first. i was shaking like a leaf. i thought for sure someone was going to come beat me up for being a dumb teen driver. traumatic...yes. hilarious... also yes.

pamela s said...

Christina, You poor thing. I have a feeling that will also happen to me.