Sunday, June 6, 2010

Me, Menopause, and My Magic Car

This is my new Honda Fit. I decided it's a car that needs a name, even though I don't usually name my cars. But this one has too much personality to not have a name. So I call it 'Magic'. It was called a magic car in one of the reviews I read, and it really does feel like magic. Even my hubby says so. See, it's this tiny little thing. Only takes up about half the space of a regular car in the garage (or it seems like it), but you forget that when you're inside. It just feels like a regular car with plenty of leg room, head room, and storage space. It's not till you get out that you go, 'oh yeah, this thing is tiny'.

So I absolutely love love love this little car. Except for one tiny little problem: I can not drive it.
Yeah I know, that's really a big problem.

The picture above was actually taken with the intent of posting it in the classifieds, which I haven't done yet. Because I really don't want to get rid of it. What I want is to love it unconditionally. But I think I have to be able to drive it for that to happen. If you remember, it's a manual. Which I don't exactly know how to drive.

So here's a bit of news, in case you're wondering. A 47-year-old woman who has just been put into chemical menopause with subsequent wild mood swings is NOT a good candidate for learning new tricks like driving a stick shift. Who woulda thought?

I'm really surprised there haven't been news headlines about this little red wanna-be car causing traffic jams at intersections around the city. Because that's what's been happening. The thing is, I do just fine in parking lots. I can stop and start and putter and all those good things. But get me at an intersection and's kind of like the time I played a piano solo in church.

Anybody who was there knows exactly what I'm talking about. For those who don't, the story goes like this: I knew this song inside out and backwards. My fingers knew it better than my brain did. When I was at home, I could play it like nobody's business. But when I sat down in that church meeting to play, I went one note, two notes, crash. One note, two notes, crash. One note, two notes, crash. At that point I decided that my fingers were just not going to go beyond those two notes. So here's what I did: I walked up to the microphone at the pulpit and asked everybody to leave. Really. Not even making that up. I then explained that I was having serious stage fright and could do much better if they were all out in the foyer. I then begged their forgiveness and tried one more time. I made it through with just a couple minor flubs. One of my friends told me it was the first time she'd wanted to give a standing ovation while in church.

So now that you know that story about me and my quirkiness, this next one will make more sense. I've been telling this story for days, because when anyone asks about the car, someone in the house says, "Tell them The Story, Mom." And I proceed to tell them The Story. So I guess I need to blog about it. And THAT story goes like this:

After some serious parking lot practice sessions, I took my little new car out on errands, and was feeling pretty cocky about my stick-shift driving abilities. Until I get to an intersection that is on a serious hill. Anybody who knows stick-shift driving knows that getting started while on a hill is the hardest part. But I hadn't learned that yet. Not until I took my foot off the brake, the car rolled backwards, towards the car behind me, and then died. I tried again, and again, and again. But every time the car threatened to roll into the car behind me. Eventually that car went around me. And so did the next. And the next. All while I started and restarted the car. I eventually came to the conclusion that the car was not getting off that hill with me driving it. So I did the only thing I could think of. I got out, walked to the car that had just pulled up behind me, and asked the driver if he knew how to drive a stick shift.

Well, it just so happens that the driver was in his mid-twenties, and cute. The kind of cute that makes you forget for a few minutes that you're an old lady. An old mostly-bald lady. He also happened to be driving a very nice car. The men in my house can't believe that I didn't notice the make and model. But I didn't. Just that it looked very valuable, with lush leather upholstery. He (the cutie) was also very kind and did what his mother taught him to do with a lady in distress. He jumped out of his fancy sports car and told me to follow him. Yep. The poor kid told the crazy mostly-bald lady who was causing major traffic jams to drive HIS very expensive and beautiful car. I'm sure that later on he was whacking his head wondering what on earth he was thinking. But I jumped in and I drove behind him, muttering to myself, 'Don't hurt this car. Don't hurt this car.' He got me to a parking lot and was still very polite, but couldn't get out of there fast enough.

And now even though I've mastered hills, I still go into a panic at intersections, even when they aren't on a hill. I haven't had to ask any more strangers for help, but I've annoyed plenty of them.

And that's the story of me, menopause, and my magic car... still waiting on the happily ever after.


Laurie said...

Suzanne, you are now my favorite almost bald woman! (I refuse to say you are old!;-) ) My dad made me buy a stick shift car once, I didn't know how to drive it then either... Let's just say, my dad is a VERY patient man. Now, several years and 3 cars later, I would give anything to have that little car back. Don't give up, you can do it! And you will love it!


EVO SIX said...

Please don't get rid of your car! Hang in there! Speaking from experience the anxiety goes away. Really! It's too cute of a car and I'm sure it would be so sad.

Dante Mallet said...

So how's your car now? Is it still with you? Hope you did not get rid of it 'coz it's too gorgeous! Nothing's impossible! I know you can drive it really soon!