I’m a chick that can drive stick

That was actually the name of a Facebook group I used to be in.  Way back in 2005.  When Facebook was only for college students.  Geez, pretty soon I’ll be like “Get off my lawn, you punks!!”

A quick hello to all those who found my blog from the link on Susan Cain’s.  Welcome!

Anyway…the A/C in my car has decided that it has better things to do, and now only works when it feels like it.  Sooo I think it’s finally time for that new car I’ve been contemplating for about a year.

Making big decisions is not my strong suit.  I am not am impulse buyer; I do research and make spreadsheets of features and prices for comparison.  It can take me quite a while to make a big purchase.

This is compounded by the fact that car buying is stressful for everyone (except maybe the dealers).  I am the stereotypical non-assertive, polite, people-pleasing woman and I dread having to haggle with car salesmen (let’s face it, they’re mostly male).

I went to test drive some Hondas last weekend and immediately threw the salesguy for a loop when I said I wanted to test 2 models with manual transmission.

Ah, the stick shift. Bane of driver’s ed students for generations.

I don’t know if he was skeptical, confused, or impressed, because he said something like, “Oh, really?  Most girls I know don’t like driving stick.”

It’s funny; I think this is a common conception, yet I wonder why.  Hardly anyone at all anymore drives a manual (they’re only 6.5% of cars sold), so it seems strange to single out women.  Only a handful of people I know can drive stick, yet, at least half of those are women!

I did not learn to drive stick for the fun of it; my parents had manual transmission cars, and I learned to drive in them.  True, it did not make me very excited about driving.  At all.  It was incredibly frustrating at first; I thought I was incompetent at driving.  I remember the first time I drove alone out of the neighborhood and did not kill the engine once.


When it came time to buy my own car, I got a used manual Corolla for a good deal.  (One nice thing about manuals, they are sometimes cheaper.)  At this point, it is really just habit that has me wanting to buy another.  They don’t get better gas mileage.  They are harder to find in fun colors.  Am I just being stubborn in refusing to join the legions of happy automatic drivers?

Probably.  But when someone asks to borrow my car, I can still smile sweetly and say, “Sure! Do you drive stick?”

My theft deterrent system
My theft deterrent system

2 thoughts on “I’m a chick that can drive stick

  1. Lori Robinett August 21, 2013 / 9:19 am

    This made me laugh – I learned to drive a stick when I was a teenager (my boyfriend’s car), and 2 of my favorite cars have been sticks. I just bought a PT Cruiser & am excited that it’s a stick. BTW – did you jerk the car just for the fun of it when you took the salesman for a test drive? Would be hilarious to do that and then say, “I’ve always wanted to learn to drive a stick shift . . . “


    • Mei-Mei August 21, 2013 / 9:55 pm

      Ha! I’ll have to try that next time. Especially if it’s one of the nice, sporty models…


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