This is me in the driver's seat, I promise. I suppose you can tell by the ring on my right hand? And the fact that my shirt is un-ironed?
Well, sort of. I've only had one afternoon of Manual Transmission Practice behind the wheel thus far with the ever-patient Stacey, but I did manage to sort of go from parked to first to third to stopped. (Stopped on purpose, not "oh goddamn I killed the car again" stopped.)
There is a parking lot not far from us that is perpetually empty, and I drove in circles for an afternoon as I tried to figure out what the hell to do with the clutch. This carousel-like path seemed to amuse all the CTA workers looking down on us from the train platform above the parking lot, and annoy the ever-loving hell out of the homeless man who lives in that parking lot. Highlights of the lesson include the high-pitched noises of triumph we both made when I was able to start the car and shift into first gear without killing the engine (complete with celebratory jazz hands) and the frequent and out-loud apologies made to her car's transmission and clutch.
My god, I never want to have to teach anyone to drive.