Apparently I'm never going to learn to drive...

MacAvity's picture

Yeah. Today I got a new learner's permit (the first one, which I got some time when I was sixteen, expired after one year, and then for maybe almost another year I didn't get another one, which is how I come to be eighteen and a half years old and have only the barest rudiments of driving ability) (this time I passed the written test with only one away from perfect, rather than one away from failing, like last time, though) (pardon the parentheses, I've forgotten where this sentence was before them... ah, okay, it was a short but complete sentence, so I'll end it as soon as I close this parenthesis, thus).

And then my mom took me to some big empty parking lot so I could practice with her car, which happens to be a 1998 manual-transmission Accord. And I had driven it twice before, each time driving only until I stalled it, or hit the gas instead of the brake, so I've never managed to stop that car the way it's supposed to be stopped. And still haven't. Blasted manual transmission. Must have stalled it scores of times in that parking lot today. And yes, I use 'scores' as a number. 'Cause it is a number, just like 'dozens.' A score is twenty.

Pretty much all the driving I've done in the past twoish years was in my dad's car, which has an automatic transmission and is therefore incalculably easier (but still terrifying on account of its being a huge moving machine and all). Said automatic-transition car, being my dad's, is only geographically available to me on certain weekends. Then I make all sorts of excuses and I-don't-want-tos, further lessening the already limited time I spend driving it. Which is why I got my first learner's permit twoish years ago and still don't trust myself driving on any trafficked road in any vehicle regardless of its transmission.

And then today, driving around in that parking lot was so stressful, almost traumatic. All stalling the car and depressing the clutch ('You have to depress the clutch!' my mom said. 'I haven't pressed the clutch!' 'You have to depress the clutch!' 'I haven't pressed the clutch! I can't de-press it if I haven't pressed it!') and screaming whenever anything unexpected happened, which it was always doing, for an hour. And then we went to lunch and I must have been in quite a state because my mom said I looked 'shellshocked.'

And then when we got home I basically went and lay in bed (alternating that with sitting in bed) for the rest of the day, while a headache developed. Mom says that maybe I'm getting sick, or maybe it's from the vaccinations I got last week, but I know it's just from the stress of that one hour of driving.

And maybe I'll get a driver's license someday, but progress is slow - slow and rough. Heheheh, I'll probably get a driver's license at the same time my four-years-younger brother gets one. We did both get our first cell phones within maybe two weeks of each other. Maybe we'll get our first girlfriends at the same time too. Maybe I'm just four years behind schedule on everything. Maybe he's two years behind schedule and I'm six years behind. Maybe I'm reading too much into a couple of stupid cell phones. Regardless.


Super Duck's picture

Don't worry

I used to be CONVINCED I would never, ever be able to drive correctly. I would get so angry and stressed and upset whenever I would drive with my dad. But I took my test and passed it on the first try, and as soon as I started driving by myself, I finally gained confidence. It just takes practice!

jeff's picture


Blech, why pay all that money for a car that doesn't even know how to drive itself?!

"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (

elph's picture

Agree... vehemently!

I think it would make a great PhD dissertation: Manuals are chosen largely by those possessing a (latent?) domineering personality disorder :)

Or... maybe :(

Nanook's picture

Because it saves on brakes?

Because it saves on brakes? And more engine power is converted into torque? And they're also inherently less complicated, and thus easier to repair.

jeff's picture

OK, let me rephrase...

Any *good* reasons for using stick over automatic? ;-)

"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (

elph's picture


If a large portion of the car's use is in a mountainous area!

MacAvity's picture


I don't know how it helps, but my mom insists that manual transmission is better in the mountains. And, being a big hiking-and-backpacking-and-suchlike person, she drives in the mountains sort of a lot. Except that the Accord has to stay on paved roads because otherwise it will scrape along the ground or something.

Also, she likes to coast. She's got some weird obsession about coasting, which I don't understand at all. But she insists that any car she owns must have a manual transmission so it can coast.

elph's picture

btw... coasting is not safe!

If you mean going down a hill in neutral...

Please note.

Nanook's picture

The mechanical coupling

The mechanical coupling between the engine and wheels is much more efficient than the lock-up torque converters found in hydrodynamic fluid couplings. This means A) popping the clutch becomes possible and B) less gas is used.

Splash's picture

I got my license three

I got my license three months ago. I'm 21. I've yet to drive in a car by myself. Don't worry, it's not just you.

~~~ the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses ~ e e cummings ~~~

lonewolf678's picture


you and I MacAvity are in the same position it seems.

MacAvity's picture

Oh -

That's good to know that I'm not the only one. Thanks, Splash and Lone Wolf.

SometimesY's picture


Waited a year to get my permit and I still have yet to get my license. I'll be 19 in April.