Sunday, August 10, 2008

{a day of diffidence}

Up until this last week, I have dreaded learning the stick shift that my husband and I own. I've been pretty content letting him drive us around. That is until I found myself stuck at coffee shops for hours when I could have been running errands.

So, here is where my story begins. Matt, the handsome prince, had spent at least two sessions patiently teaching his little whiny wife. I'd done well, and then scared myself thus professing "I'm NOT driving."

Eventually the 'stuck at home' syndrome kicked in. I found myself eager...even excited to get into our little neon. My dear mother, when staying at her home, bravely got into this little bright blue car we call Buster with her daughter at the wheel. With her in command, I made stops and I started again and again...and again. She had me drive into a steep incline and back out onto the highway. By the end of our half hour session, I was feeling pretty confident. Tomorrow, I was going to drive around the neighborhood looking for garage sales. By myself.

It was a Friday. The garage door opened with its rythmic groan. One could see the smooth movement of little Buster coming out of the garage with the sun on his hood. Yup. I was feeling proud. Look at me, I thought, pretty good, eh? I pulled quickly out into the street and switched into first. I drove all around. I made stops and started up with ease. I turned, I went up little hills. I felt it. Oh, yes I did.

Soon I had my husband in the car with me. This is when I typically tend to slip up. I pulled out of the garage and he hopped in. I backed into the street and started out. "That was nearly perfect!" he exclaimed with enthusiasm. I smiled humbly. We drove around and around, all the time I proved myself an excellent stick shifter.

We pulled out onto the highway to make it over to another part of town. By this time I had been driving for nearly half an hour. I slipped up. Oops! I'm okay. We're doing good. We stop at a light. Green...that means go. Nice, smooth. Good transition. Soon a bright sign advertising a garage sale appears on the left. Do I turn here? Go straight?! I decided to turn. Wait. A car. Yes, must wait. I watch a car slowly pass. I see another, but in my confidence (sorta), I pull out. 'gluh chucka gluh-KA PUH' We weren't moving. My heart poked me. I turned the key and tried again. Buster died. I felt panic overtaking me. "Matt, it died!" He sat without expression. I tried it again. And again. The car was coming. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my charming prince with his hand over his grimaced face. We're gonna die and he gives me that. I let out a "DON'T DO THAT! Matt, I'm about to cry and I don't need that!" (>>yes, ask my brothers, I can be a drama queen). Eventually I put-putted the car to the other side of the street and started to glide along the street. With a snarl and a teary face I choked out " Will YOU drive?"

I got out of the car and could feel multiple curious eyeballs on me. I marched over to the other side of the car. Matt felt terrible for me and attempted to comfort me with a hug. His stubborn little wifey just wanted in the car. I knew what this looked like. I was a girl who couldn't control her car and her emotions, and here was the rescuer hugging and reassuring her. I wasn't going to let everyone see this streaky face and broken pride. "Can I just get in?". He opened the door for me allowing me to skulk in and pout.

Here we are again. It's Sunday. And I don't want to drive. Yet, I need to be able to drive myself around when we move to New York. I'm determined that by Tuesday I will get back on the wheel.

I'm scared.

{a tribute to those involved in my experience of discipline}

>Thank you, M. for your patience. And for driving.
>Erika, my sister not only in marriage, but in the learning of the stick shift, you are an encourager.
>Praise to my Creator for protection...and for answering my prayer for humility. I might not pray that for awhile.