I must first start with the warning this post contains a possibly controversial observation. Forgive me if I offend anyone - I do not utter this sentiment with any malice, just reflecting on the world.
With that out of the way, I have begun driving. No, this isn't the statement (family/friends [which is to say, all of you] you can stop with the oh my gosh, clear the streets, alert the media, take cover! jokes. Seriously. Those were old even before they got to me. Let it go!), its the preamble to the statement. Now, I am learning to drive on a manual, which is quite the experience.
Everytime I pull up to an intersection, I get the "Okay, down shift, down shift, come on you dumb light, don't make me *check mirror* start from a dead stop, what if I kill it?! *check mirror* Somebody is coming up behind me, aww crud, its a Porsche, don't stop close to me, stay back stay back stay back I don't want to roll back and hit you!! Okay, light going, didn't kill it, thats good, okay, up shift *check mirror*, get across the intersection, look buddy, I'm a student driver with a clutch, I'm NOT gonna be the first off the line! *check mirror*, ad infinitum.
Approach next intersection. Repeat. Its extremely stressful, but I love it. Its exciting and its new.
Today, however, due to a myriad of events I won't even pretend to comprehend, we had to take my uncles truck. *An aside - what is it with my family and trucks? My dad has one, my mom has one, my brother has one, my uncle has one, my cousin has one...*
Its an automatic.
I know I sound like a complete and utter snob, but seriously.
The only difference between an automatic and a golf cart is turn signals. On top of that downer statement, its nowhere near as fun.
You completely miss out on the fearful anticipation of stopping on a hill, having to perfect the clutch/brake/gas dance, triumphantly shifting beautifully into 6th....er.....I mean... 3rd, the feel of the clutch as you release making your leg shimmy, getting to use BOTH feet, only having 1 hand on the wheel cause the other is on the gear shift.
All that is just too cool, and you miss that in an automatic.
While I appreciate that driving (being a good driver, I should say) still requires awareness, reflexes, quick thinking and a multitude of other skills, you are just missing something fundamental that you can only get with a manual.
You just aren't as involved with the drive, ergo, in my mind, its just not as enjoyable.
I know that the title for this post has little, if nothing, to do with the actual content. But somebody texted that to me the other day, and it made me laugh.