Driving Lesson No. 2
August 27, 2008, 11:20 am
Filed under: learning to drive | Tags:

I suck.

I cannot drive.

I will be getting lifts for the rest of my sad little life.

Well, that’s how I felt last night. This morning I feel slightly better after a big glass of red wine and a sleep. (The wine was consumed last night of course and not for breakfast.)

Last night, my lovely instructor Dave (not his real name) decided I was ready to risk my life, his life and the pedestrians and motorists of South Dublin by leaving the estate and taking to the main roads. At first I felt exhilarated and brave – was it really me moving this massive lethal weapon? We sauntered along for a bit, feeling great as I moved steadily up the gears. All was lovely. I felt powerful.

But then – red lights. Biiiig red lights. On a hill. With cars behind me. Looking rather impatient to get to wherever they were going so busily at 8pm on a Tuesday evening. And then – the fear set in. And would not let go. I could feel drivers beady eyes burning ‘LEARNER’ into the back of my head. If looks could kill….

However, with deep breaths and some gentle foot removing from the clutch, I moved off from the lights with only a slight kangaroo hop. And all should have been well. But for some bizzarre reason, the more lights I approached, the more nervous I became. I have no idea why – I was moving the car, I’d ‘only’ cut out three times (twice at the same lights), and Dave hadn’t shouted at me too loudly. Yet.

As we approached the home run, I actually confused green lights for red and began to slow down in a panic. Up to that point, most of the lights I had come up to were red by some annoying coincidence and so in my tired frazzled state, I lost all sense of reason and how to tell one colour from another. Dave kindly informed me of my mistake hence I panicked some more and madly revved the car round the turn in to my estate. After narrowly missing some innocent bystanders, I could breathe, I was back into the estate. And nobody had died, or even been maimed.

We had a quick debriefing, where he told me that I hadn’t done that bad at all really whilst I pretended to smile, all the while praying to the dear Lord above that I wouldn’t cry like a child in front of this poor man. We booked another lesson (I bet he wishes I hadn’t), wished each other a nice evening and I walked back into my house, feeling my legs about to collapse underneath me. I waved at him again as I closed the door and as soon as I felt it shut completely, I began to cry. However, the release was bloody amazing.

My next lesson is a couple of days away and I’m looking forward to it with a mixture of pure unadulterated dread and excited anticipation. It can only get better right? Right?!

8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

don’t worry, the worst thing about driving a manual car is when you’re in busy traffic and you have to constantly stop and start. After a while, you do it so much you’ll have it down no problem.

Comment by Tom

Thanks Tom. I’m hoping I won’t get worse now that I’ve been all panicky but I’ll just keep on practicing anyways.

Traffic scares the bejesus out of me.

Comment by anneelicious

Dont worry dearie, practice makes perfect. I was worry i’ll never going to drive when i first start to learn to drive and NOW i drive to work everyday:)

Comment by eve

Don’t worry, hill starts were the worst for me, and now I love them. I just revvvvvv the crap out of my car 🙂

Not a bit of bother to you! 🙂

Comment by raptureponies

You’ll be great! Every day you’ll get a little better. All you need is practice, because practice brings confidence and confidence gets you through all those junctions 🙂 Well done you!

Comment by MJ

Cheers guys, I sincerely appreciate the support and advice. You rawk ❤

Comment by Annie

You’ll get the hang of it. Proper clutch control takes a while to master. Just take enough lessons to get comfortable.

Comment by Anthony

Stick with it. It is a very stressful thing to do, learning to drive. I remember I used to dread the lessons and even after a few months I was nervous going anywhere alone.

Just practice practice practice and you will be flying (or driving) in no time.

Comment by Lottie

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