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A Love Affair

September 6, 2010

I’ve driven countless cars, owned one, admired many, but never did I think I’d actually ‘lovvvvvve’ a car. Never did I think I’d climb into one and think, “This car was made for me”. Never did I think I’d get excited opening the garage door and whispering, “Hello Beauty” with a big stupid grin on my face, every…single…time; it really borders the ridiculous.

Add to that, I never thought I’d learn to drive a standard! I come from a long line of, “Drive automatic…it’s easier!!’, advocates. I mean…how else would I be able to hold a soda, talk on my phone, knit a sweater, sign the alphabet AND drive all at the same time? Well, easier it is indeed, but is it as gratifying? I think not. In fact I know not. What’s amazing is I had such anxiety, believing that I was somehow the last person on the planet to learn this skill…..everyone must know except for me…surely. Outside of general talk and loose internet stats, it seems as though there is no way to figure out what percentage of Americans know how and/or drive a manual transmission, but the consensus is….especially for younger generations…not many. Europe…entirely different story. I believe that it’s even mandatory to learn stick shift in certain parts of Europe before being issued a driver’s license, but I could be mistaken. Either way, I’d fully support a law like that in the US. It would make for better, more aware and hopefully more responsible drivers. Plus….it would wipe out the ‘I don’t know how!’ factor.

I decided it was time to get beyond my unhealthy fear when I saw this emerald beauty and was convinced we were destined. The MINI…oh the MINI. It has ‘fun’ written all over it and though I’m not part of the Andretti family quite yet (whilst getting the hang of it all), I can feel that this car is meant to be driven and driven fast. It dashes, it darts, it’s built like a cockpit on the inside and with an enormous sunroof which practically makes up the entire roof, I feel like I’m flying. An unexpected bonus is the camaraderie among MINI owners. We wave and honk at each other on the road and I’ve been warmly embraced by my new family on North American Motoring, a forum for all things Mini. I’ve dubbed all of this “Miniraderie”.

Upon ending this note, I pay tribute to “K” who had such patience (with some playful teasing;) for me while teaching me how to drive; I may never have done it without you.

And…. a salute to my Miniacs….”Get Motoring!”

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