Friday, November 14, 2008

Freeeeeedom!

I don't know if I've ever mentioned my irrational phone phobia. I can talk on the phone to people I know, that's fine. But I have sometimes have mini panic attacks when it comes to calling somebody I don't. I psych myself out, thinking they'll not hear me right and think I am saying obscene things or I'll mishear them and respond by saying obscene things. Or maybe I'll just be nervous and "Fuck you shitwad" will come flying out of my mouth. Also, they cant see me, so what if they can't tell I'm using sarcasm? Is the meaning lost if you can't see me making a jack off motion in the air?
(I sometimes worry about this when I leave messages on people's blogs too. In my head I can hear myself saying one thing, but I think maybe without the inflection and scrunched faces people sometimes think I am just a weirdo.)
Anyways, I've always had this phobia. It's gotten better, but as a teenager when my mom told me to call the driving school to register for the class, I couldn't do it. I just knew that if I tried calling I would screw something up. So I didn't sign up to learn how to drive. It wasn't until the next summer, when I figured out I could pay my little brother five bucks to make him do it, that I signed up for driving school.
I can't believe it took me that long.
Once I went through driving school and got my license, it was like a whole new world. Indianapolis is sadly lacking in any real public transportation system, so being able to drive is really the only way to break free from your parents. I didn't have my own car, but I could borrow my mom's. (And my boyfriend had a car. What an amazing little Honda that was...) I loved being able to hop in the car and go wherever I wanted. Finally I was the master of my little seven mile universe.
As much as I love A, I feel like finally getting my car back on Thursday was like getting my license all over again. Two weeks of having to have him drive me to work every day was getting to me. And because his car is a stick and I am pathetic, (I never learned how to drive stick shift and the next person who tells me how much more *fuuuun* it is to drive a stick gets said stick shoved up their left nostril) I had to ask friends to pick me up if we did anything. It was like junior year when everyone else had their license and I had to beg them to let me bum a ride with them to the Perkins to drink coffee and play cards. Pathetic.

But now I have my trusty girl back. And let me tell you - getting new steering, tires and brakes makes a difference. She sticks to the road as we hug curves. She flies over train tracks without pulling. She actually stops when little kids and pregnant women run out in front of her.
Well. Little kids anyways. I make no promises about pregnant women.

Today A had a friend over to watch the football, and I ran out to the Ghetto Kroger to get them a frozen pizza. All.by.myself.

Yesterday? I decided I wanted to go to the Value City that was going out of business and had everything 80% off. So I went. All.by.myself.

Friday? I drove to work. All.by.myself.

Thursday evening? I drove up to a friends house to walk dogs for an hour in her dark crunchy-leaf neighborhood. Kind of all.by.myself, except for Charlie. Who also loves the freedom of the car.


**********
There were a couple of nice moments that come from not having my car. A drove me to work every day (and picked me up, which sucked for him, because it always takes me 30 minutes longer to leave than I think it will) and so it was nice to have that routine. Also, I babysat for a friend on Wednesday. I was supposed to have my car back, but the mechanic set off my airbags and had to have them reset, so I didn't get it back until Thursday. So A had to drive me way the fuck up into suburbia and since he would have had to turn right back around to get me, he stayed and watched the girls.

My friend M has the smartest cutest darn kids. Her daughter Am who just turned five a month ago is reading like a champ, flying through books without hesitation. She asks these amazing questions and has perfected her disparaging look when you try to talk around one of the answers.
M's one year old Av, the one she wanted to have at the same time as me, is totally edible. I could just gnaw on her cheeks all day. We brought Charlie and she was delighted to have a stuffed animal that would kiss her and steal her bear.
A and I had a great time with the kids. He's going to be such a good father someday.

But god I'm glad I don't need him to drive me around anymore.

Edit:
By the way, this heat thing? Awesome. I love it. And now I can screech at people to close the door because I am *not* trying to heat the entire world, do I *look* like I am made of money. Of course, by people, I mean Charlie when I am bringing him back in from going outside and he pauses before running into the house. I gotta practice though.
And the animals don't think it's all that warm. Thomas is sleeping under the covers like he always does
and both he and Charlie tried to sleep in my lap today.

12 comments:

  1. Congrats on reclaiming your freedom! I never really learned how to drive a stick either. Why bother?

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  2. Yeah for getting your car back! She sounds like she is in great shape now and should last you many more years! Stick shifts are a total pain to drive in traffic. I had one for 3 years in Madrid and I don't care to drive one again!

    A is a good hubby!

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  3. Ha! I totally have that fear about blog comments, too - it's improved over time, but every so often it takes me ages to hit publish cause I keep changing it, thinking people are going to be horrified by my little comment.

    And when Manny used to pick me up from work, I was always half an hour late. Sucked to be him in those days, I'll tell you what!

    Yay for freedom!

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  4. My dad tried to teach me to drive a stick shift (when I was like 24) on his brand new convertible. I backed it out of the driveway, stalled it, and refused to go any further because I was not going to be the one to mess up a brand new car.

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  5. Oh, my GOSH! Now I REALLY know why you're my iBFF- we must have been separated at birth or something (though the 6 year labor must've been hell on old Mom...). Anyhow, I have the same horrible irrational fear of calling strangers, and also the same do-they-get-my-sarcasm? issues with comments. I love words (oh how I love words), and I love the written word, too, but there is something so delicate in trying to appropriately convey humor when you are responding to someone's thoughts on their real-life personal issues, you know?

    And OMG! Driving a stick is soooo fun!!!! Okay, actually, it's a pain in the ass, but until I can afford a bigger/more powerful car, in my class of vehicles, a manual transmission is necessary if I ever want to make it on to a freeway (ever driven an automatic Geo Metro? or a Hyundai Accent? They are the reason manual transmission exists...) Anyhow, when/if you ever want to learn, I have taught more people than I can begin to count- my stinky asshole brother included and I managed to teach him really well even though I wanted to kill him the whole time- and I am patient and a bad-ass stick-shift car driving teacher. Though you, like, have A there who is, like, close and stuff, and could probably teach you just fine, were the inspiration to ever so strike you.

    I liken being without a car to losing the use of your non-dominant arm (left, in my case). It isn't life ending or truly painful, but it just makes everything so much more difficult. Like you try to clap (get groceries), and you start to try (pick up your keys), but then you remember that one hand (your car) doesn't work. Um, analogy over... but I think you know what I mean.

    And yeah. I feel you on the angst over sharing a car. The only thing that saves me is that technically our car is MY car, so if it's ever really necessary, I can trump him on that. But still, the whole picking-up-from-work-waiting-half-an-hour thing SUCKS, no matter which end you're on. H does it to me all the time, but back when I was working, I did it to him all the time.

    We finally got new front tires a month or so ago, and YES, it makes all the difference in the world as far as handling goes. Little cars are like that, I think.


    And, oh, yes. Heat is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I went to Sears tonight to try on some Land's End sweaters that I found (perfect, beautiful, color that lit up my face, but damn if I'm going to pay $50 for a frickin' thin cotton sweater. Nuh-uh.), and found myself considering buying all manner of fleece clothing because it's like wearing a big soft blanket. And then, I realized that it would make me look like one of those douches who pretends to be all outdoorsy but really hasn't been camping since she was in the Campfire Girls back in junior high. But boy was I tempted.

    And oh, I miss having snuggling cats! I just miss it so much!

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  6. I was going to start out by mocking you for not knowing how to drive a stick and I see Denise doesn't either. So now I am doing to rethink my mockery and ponder if there are more people than I think who cannot drive stick. Maybe it's more normal to not know what I think. So I'll table that. For now. :)

    And that last paragraph totally pointed out what I was going to say about how I often think my comments get that same face you mentioned, but also with a "bitch." thrown in there too. I'm always so sarcastic and I'm sure not everyone knows that, so I must get funny thoughts ALL the time.

    I'm really glad you are enjoying your heat. :)

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  7. Yay for freedom. I have never ~not~ driven a stick, but I remember well the many times I stalled as I was learning & the angst my first stick experiences gave me. (doesn't ~that~ sound dirty?) That said- they really are more fun on the right road, but hell in stop & go traffic or even just roads with lots of lights.

    And heat is amazing! We had 4 whole hours of it yesterday & I loved every blissful second! Even when I knew I just had to get up & turn it back to 'normal' for the night...

    (and don't you worry about any silly packages miss. I am doing just fine for the moment & freak out a lot about distant futures that I imagine to be worse than they ever end up being... but you are a sweetheart anyway!)

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  8. Apparently Cincy is as boring as Indy b/c that's wut we did for "fun" on weeknights in high school too - play cards or chess and drink coffee (and smoke) at Perkins. Crazy.

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  9. hooorah for car freedom! Crank that George Michael up and sing, girl.
    A for driving with a stick- I can't. I really, really wanted to learn but my Mother refused to let me practice on her car. So know learning stick is on the massive list of things that I want to learn. Oragami is also on this list.

    Also- my personal phone phobia is answering the phone. In my old life I was ALWAYS on the phone and so now I still have cringe moments when the phone rings. Thank goodness for caller id!

    xo

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  10. Glad you got your car back! You are SO funny. There is always one or two lines in your posts that make me LOL!! You crack me up.

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  11. Ever considered learning to drive a stick shift? It really isn't that hard and you'll be amazed at how much it expands your world. Just *knowing* that you can is very cool. I drove one for years, but admit that I don't miss them at all. Still. I know I can drive one if I need to and that's way cool.

    BTW - I get that same, irrational fear when speaking in public. Not necessarily public speaking, but just talking in a group of people. Especially when everyone in the room stops their conversation to look at you and listen to what you're saying. Eh!

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  12. I'm so glad you got your car back! I remember when I first got my license (I was 21. I had a tattoo before I had my license.) It was amazing to be able to just go where and when I wanted to!

    And who needs to know how to drive a stick? Mr. W wishes I was willing to drive one (I can do it, but who wants to in traffic), but I'd rather not. :-)

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