Let me begin by saying that I hate to drive. I absolutely despise the idea of getting into a vehicle, even one that I am "comfortable" with, moving said vehicle onto the road, and then driving. I was overjoyed when, two and a half years ago, I was finally able to junk my old Ford Taurus. I had bought the "beater" from my brother a couple years previous to get me cheaply from my home in Chicago, to work in the suburbs. It gave me trouble off and on, as would be expected from a car that had nearly 200,000 miles on it, but near it's junk-yard end, had been giving me consistently more and more trouble. Needless to say, when the opportunity arose with a job prospect in downtown Chicago, I jumped on it, thinking of no longer having to deal with the hassles of owning or driving an automobile, and dreaming sweetly of the Chicago Transit Authority. Within two weeks of starting my new job, I had called the towing service to have the Taurus moved to its eternal resting-place in the junkyard. I was free. I thought I would never have to deal with the expressways, with traffic, other impatient drivers, road rage, or having to drive endlessly looking for a parking space, only to have to try and parallel park in one that was too small for my vehicle. .
That dream came to an end one and a half years later when I married the love of my life. The problem: he had a car, and it was a stick shift, something I had never bothered to learn. It had been over a year since I had driven. In fact, I had tried very hard to erase all memories of driving, as I loathed every moment of being behind the wheel. Despite my unwillingness, my husband, Matthew, was determined that I would learn to maneuver in the stick shift and drive again, even if it killed one of us. .
I successfully put Matthew's insistence off for a couple of months. I knew it couldn't work forever, but the longer I didn't have to deal with learning to drive again, I thought, the better.