Friday, June 1, 2012

How To Know You're Good At Driving A Standard

My mom taught me how to drive a standard when I was 15. My first car was a standard and I absolutely love them. Of course, I didn't learn the traditional go-to-an-empty-parking-lot method. Oh no. My mom was driving to my aunt's house and I was in the passenger seat. She whipped into a parking lot and said "Ok, it's your turn." I think my heart stopped. It took me about 15 minutes to get out of the parking lot and I have no idea how many times I stalled once I actually got on the road. These are some of the ways that I realized that I was actually getting good at driving my little standard (granted some of these skills I'm still working on but...).

1. You no longer have to try a million times to just move 5 feet.
2. Your car no longer looks like a  kangaroo jumping down the road while you're in first gear or changing gears.
3. Stop and go traffic doesn't provoke sweaty hands and a pounding heart.
4. Even great drivers stall their cars every now and then (although they probably wouldn't admit it), and especially if it's a new car to them. The key is that they don't panic and swear that they're going to die.
5. You realize that down shifting can be used to slow you down and speed up AND you can do this without risking your life, others and the well being of your car.
6. You can actually drive your standard in heels (I can't actually do this... I don't usually even drive an automatic in heels but I have a friend that can do this... Meagan... and am slightly envious).
7. Stopping on a hill no longer requires you to peel out and cause your father to stand in the driveway screaming at you to stop pressing the gas so hard. In order to get off my street and on to the actual road I have to go up, and stop on a 45 degree hill. It was hell to begin with.
8. You have perfected shifting with you LEFT hand, instead of your right. Please see #9 as to why you would do this.
9. Contrary to popular belief (and please note that I am not admitting to this nor am I condoning it) it is possible to eat, talk on the phone, drink, along with various other activities AND shift ALL at the same time (again, not saying I've done this and not recommending that you do... but it can be done.. just sayin').
10. And the way I knew that I was really going to make it in the world of driving a standard.... You no longer die a little inside when you see a red light or you no longer pray that a light will stay green. As a matter of fact, sometimes I enjoy having to stop at a red light... especially if I'm first in line :D.

Driving a standard is not only fun (if you know how... it sucks having to learn) but it's a useful skill. Wouldn't it be a bummer if you were stuck somewhere and the only thing you had to drive was a standard... and you didn't know how? Yup, it would. By the way, if you haven't seen it yet click here to see my new-to-me car.

Well that's my Southern Soapbox! Happy driving!


  1. The last time I rode with you I noticed your were doing quite well. Driving a standard is quickly becoming a lost art..especially among females.


    1. Thanks Dad :) It's certainly fun!