Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Clutcheon

I got my first for real car (yes I had a for fake car for first but that's a different story all together) right after I turned 18 and had decided to go to college 8 hours away from home. My dad was not so happy about this decision but he had long ago realized that his eldest daughter was a strange, strange child who was oh so different from him and that sense could not be talked into me so instead he gave up and bought me a car so he did not have to drive back and forth several times a year fetching me from my very far away from home school. Win! Sometimes it pays to be difficult and random. 

Sidebar: My father is not a good communicator. At all. We once drove 18 hours in a car together and "chatted" for no more than 20 minutes the entire trip. The rest of the communication was:
  • "Do you have to go to the bathroom?" 
  • "Are you hungry?"
  • "We need gas."
  • "I love this song."
And I am SO not even kidding. Not even one iota. I almost died on that trip. I also realized on that trip that my dad was way weird. Like not normal "my-dad-is-weird" kind of weird. But like whoa, clinical weird. That's another story for another day. I love my dad and he is way awesome in so many ways, but he is also way weird.

So I got home from school and my dad says "Get in the car. We're going to buy you a car." This was the first I had heard that I was getting a car. For a normal person this might be completely jarring. I however had spent my entire life with this strange non-communicative man so I was not floored. A little surprised yes, but not shocked.

So we go to a used car dealership near our house and my dad inquires about two different cars that he had apparently researched on Consumer Reports (his favorite magazine ever). We took said two cars for a test drive. However these two cars were manual transmissions and I did not know how to drive a manual so my dad test drove them and I rode in the backseat. Yes, again, this is normal. 

My dad settles on the black Geo Prizm. It is cute and it is mine. That's all that matters. Now I can't drive this car so my dad decides to give me a "driving lesson" before we head home. And by driving lesson I mean he sat in the front passenger seat and screamed at me while I drove like a blind lunatic with whiplash. It was not good. We got in the car and he handed me the key. I put it in the ignition and turned the key. Nothing happened. I didn't know why. My dad helpfully says "WELL! You have to push on the clutch to start it!" And I'm like "What's a clutch?" He sighs loudly (cause clearly I am the incompetent one) and says "It's that pedal next to the brake." Luckily this is not my first "figure it out yourself" scenario so I somehow manage to figure out the two footed driving thing. My dad is oh so helpful by again screaming at me while I alternate between pushing the clutch too hard and zooming the engine and pushing it not hard enough and killing the car and/or grinding the gears. I somehow manage to move the car towards the direction of my sister's school where she is in the middle of softball practice. 

We somehow managed to not hit any red lights until we were right in front of the school. When I pull up to the school I kill the car HARD because I did not know I had to keep my foot on the clutch when I stopped. My dad screamed his favorite question in life "WELL WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?" and at this point I was so frazzled I screamed right back "BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE THIS FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT CAR AND YOU ARE NOT HELPING!!!" He sighs again and says I am being dramatic and it is not hard. He is oh so helpful and encouraging sometimes.

So we get to my sister's school and he hops out to watch softball practice and instructs me to drive behind the school to the large parking lot and practice. And try not to kill any track runners I suppose. So I drive behind the school and kill the car about 487 times and worry that I will never be able to drive this car and I will be a failure at life and my dad will be screaming at me forever. 

Finally it's time to leave and I whiplash us back to the dealership to pick up my dad's car all the while my sister is complaining LOUDLY that I'm hurting her neck and that I suck at driving. Hate little sisters sometimes. 

For the next few weeks my sisters delight in my less than awesome driving skills and nickname me and my car "The Clutcheon." I do not really know what this means but it's definitely not a compliment and makes me annoyed every time they scream "THERE GOES THE CLUTCHEON!" every time I leave in my car. 

Eventually I learned to drive a manual transmission car very well. And eventually my sister got a manual transmission car and my dad "taught" her how to drive too. Payback is a bitch. Ahahaha.


Leslie Reed said...

i just died on the floor.

xx <---those are my dead eyes.

Lindsay Briggs said...

BWHAHAHA. You're so funny sis. I hope you can pick up your eyes and put them in your head on your shaken neck and drive your clutcheon to school tomorrow.

PBJdreamer said...

Win! Sometimes it pays to be difficult and random. <--

Love that you CLutcheon

I was married to man very much like your dad. I thought he was quiet because he was all deep and soulful and shit but NO he just had nothing to say and no communication skills to use when he did want to talk.


Maybe it WAS your dad?

honey? Hi it's mom---why didn't you tell me you had a blog?

that is all

Lindsay Briggs said...

Hahaha. My dad really is amazing in so many ways. Sometimes? He can be a shit. But most of the time? Amazing.

He has some serious mental issues and that causes him to act weird and non-communicative, but sometimes he talks his face off. It's really like he is two different people. I love him either way.

PBJdreamer said...

I was releived to see you replied!!

You know, on my way home and at different times last night, and even first thing this morning I fretted about my reply above.

I don't know your history with your mom and I thought I might have been inappropriate without trying.

Maybe your dad is a widower and I tramped on your feelings?

It is just that your dad DOES remind me by what you described here? Perfectly of my first husband (yes I say first because I am more than just a one time LOSER at the marriage thing.)

So I hope I did not offend you and that you will allow me to come by here and spew my unrelated comments at random moments?

PS Honey? if it's you, call me, I need you to help me with babysitting your brother this Sunday.


that is all

Lindsay Briggs said...

Bwhahaha. No worries.
My mom is great too, as an aside. I have varied and different relationships with my parents. But overall? Very awesome parents and very awesome relationships.

And furthermore...

Hurt feelings? Never (almost).

Offended? Really never. Not even almost never.

Come by and rant and rave any time you want. Only open arms here.

Shireanian said...

I'm glad you taught me and not Dad... I remember him "teaching" Leslie too...