Thursday, February 13, 2014

Learning to Drive with Him

Our new car

It's been a rough couple of days.  Our lifestyle has seemingly taken a back seat to other responsibilities, such as learning to drive a manual transmission...(haha, do you get the back seat pun now?)

My sister taught me to drive a stick shift long ago, but driving stick is one of those "if you don't use it, you lose it" things, because I feel like I'm taking driver's ed all over again.  Except this time, the car stalls out every five feet.

My husband already knows how to drive manual, but I decided to give it a go while he was at work.  With no one in the car to tell me what I was doing wrong, I couldn't even get the car to the end of the street.  I'm embarrassed to say how many times I stalled out (let's just say, you'd have to use fingers and toes to count), but I eventually stalled it into somewhat of a parking spot on the street, and broke down into sobs, and ran back into the house to mope.  Not my finest moment.

But I'm not one to stay off the horse, so, when my husband came home from work, I announced that I wanted to drive us to the Panera Bread down the street to get dinner.  With my husband in the car, I was able to make it all the way to the intersection in front of the restaurant, where I waited at the stoplight to turn left into the parking lot.

The green arrow lit up.  I went for the turn.  I stalled.  The car behind me honked and honked.  And by the time I started the car up, the light had turned red again.  I was really flustered, and my poor husband was trying to get me to take a deep breath, relax, and not feel the pressure of the growing line of cars behind me.

The light turned green again.  I went for it.  I stalled.  The entire line of cars honked and inevitably yelled obscenities at me.  I began to get hysterical, yelling at my husband to switch places with me.  By this time, the light was red again, and the line of cars was stretched back to where the left turn lane began.  I freaked out, threw the car into park, and made my husband get into the driver's seat while I, too embarrassed to even get out of the car, crawled over the console into the passenger seat.

Once in the parking lot of Panera, I was again sobbing, saying I would never learn to drive this fucking car and I would be stuck at home forever with no vehicle to drive.  Yeah, I'm a bit of a drama queen.  My husband spent the next 10 minutes comforting me, giving me pep talks, saying everything would be alright, these things take time, and I'd be driving around comfortably in no time.

I treated myself to a cupcake at Panera, because, goddamn it, I deserved it.

What does this experience have to do with DD, you ask?  Well, if you haven't caught on to the analogy by now, it's all about my husband taking the driver's seat!  I asked for this lifestyle because I want his guidance, his corrections, and his comforting words and actions.  Him doing this for me makes me feel more confident, more productive, and prouder of myself.  I'm already a pretty motivated person, but this lifestyle gives me extra incentive to be the person I know I can be.  And I feel so loved and so cared for to know that my husband is there to teach me, correct me, and give me pep talks (sometimes on my bottom).

And I can already see the results--for example, today I drove all the way to the grocery store 20 minutes away and back without so much as a shudder! (OK, the car shuddered occasionally.) And my husband was in the seat next to me, guiding me when I needed it and cheering me on when I deserved it--a metaphor for the lifestyle that has given me new found confidence, reassurance, and affection.


  1. I remember learning to drive a stick shift. I hated it. My dad said I had to learn on one of those first because then I would always remember how to drive any car whether it was stick or automatic. I proved him wrong. As soon as we sold that awful car I never looked back and I can't remember how to drive one! Glad you have your hubby there guiding you and that you are conquering the car. What kind of cupcake did you eat? :D

  2. I'm getting the hang of it. And my cupcake was chocolate with chocolate frosting--is there any other kind? ;)