Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's never too late to teach an old dog a new trick.

It happened a couple weeks ago, I bought a new old car! This was a long time coming, as it is near impossible to get around in Delaware without a vehicle. I really needed a car, and it just so happened, a neighbor had a car he really didn't need. And it was a nice car; sunroof, power windows, CD player, all the important things I look for when I'm purchasing something to drive. The only problem was it had a manual transmission.

I was never against learning how to drive manual. When I was learning to drive we just didn't have one I could learn on. In fact, I was basically the only one in my family who didn't know how to drive stick, and this bothered me. I needed to know what the big deal was and why people still drove a manual when they could easily drive an automatic.

On the day I bought the new old car I had my dad give me a driving lesson. It was like I was back in high school again learning all over again. We started by just getting the car around the block, which in my parent's neighborhood means going up and down a fairly steep hill. Then it was out into a larger connecting neighborhood with right and left turns, stop signs, and irritated drivers. (I'm happy to report I didn't completely piss any one off enough to receive the passing finger...just a glare here or there.) I felt pretty confident after an hour and a half of driving around the back hilly roads of Hockessin, only stalling out occasionally at a merge or red light. I was nervous, but knew it was time I had to go out on my own...I had to get myself to work anyway.

Wouldn't you know I hit a problem as soon as I left the house? With my heart pounding and my dad's instructions running through my head, I coasted up to the red light with my foot on the clutch, then tried to put the car into first gear. Only the car wouldn't shift. Nothing I did got it into first gear and the row of cars was growing behind me (Who pulls up to a car with their flashers on anyway? Really people, flashers have a meaning and when the car is stopped it usually means it isn't going anywhere.). Dad to the rescue, who gave me a quick scare that I had burned out the clutch (Thankfully, not true, as I've heard this is an expensive repair.). Apparently, the clutch got stuck, making it so you couldn't switch gears, easily fixed by manually pulling it out of engagement.

It's been two weeks since that day. How am I doing? I think great! I stalled a few times at red lights, but have gotten better at preparing to drive. Reverse was a disaster at first (It is not like the other gears, I learned it is more like first.), with a lot of jerking back and forth into a parking spot. But after two weeks of driving, I really feel like I've gotten it down and know what I'm doing. I'm a natural!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What? It's over already?

I was disappointed the conclave didn't last longer. I was looking forward to days of watching black smoke rise above Vatican City, continued speculation on who would be the next leader of the Catholic Church. In the short few weeks since Pope Benedict resigned there was great hope through out the world the Cardinals would elect a younger man capable of leading the church into a new generation of enlightened practice.

At least that was a hope of mine. I knew better then to really believe that to happen.

As much as we may wish for the views of the Catholic Church to relent on certain issues, the conclusion must be made that important changes happen slowly (extremely slow for fast times we live in). I know my grandmother's generation will not take strides to bring the change needed to grow the churches following; their views haven't altered to reflect the changing times. My parents generation might see some new thoughts and practices, one small step at a time.

I predict it will be 40 to 60 years until any major changes come about within the Catholic Church. This is the amount of time it will take until my generation is old enough to be the leaders, and I am hoping they will be more open minded to moral practices and equal rights.

But I know the steps I would like to see happen will not move forward until my church is no longer exclusively lead by a group of men who are enforcing rules established well over 50 years ago. As frustrating as I may find it, small steps are first needed, many small steps...and maybe a good start would be in creating a more welcoming environment for females.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What are you giving up?

It’s Lent. For those of you who are not Catholic, this doesn't have much effect for you. For those of us of the Catholic faith, this means we should abstain from eating meat on Fridays and should give something up for 40 days. Typically this “something” should be an object, activity, or food you think you cannot live without. I’m not a highly religious person; I attend church because I drive my grandmother and I find the environment soothing. I hold on to the notion there is a higher power, mainly because I like the idea.

I’m a bit late in choosing what it is I will give up, but I figure that’s okay, since in the time Lent has started and this point I have consciously refrained from the action I am to abstain from.

What have I given up? Dating.

Are you asking, “How can she give up dating?” I’m asking myself that same question. It is kind of counterproductive since I do want to eventually get married and have children, and dating is a major component to reaching that goal. But the whole process has become a chore, something I have to do, rather than fun and something I want to do.

Using Lent as an excuse, I am taking a mini break from dating. It’s exhausting dealing with online messages from guys you’re not really interested in, finding times to meet said guys, and then trying to come up with topics to keep conversation going. I am not going to miss dealing with any of that in the coming month. I'm rejoicing a little bit.

There is the thought that once you stop looking for something, that is when you find it. And it is a common saying people keep telling me, I will find love as soon as I am not looking for it. Do I believe this? Not necessarily. But even if this phrase proves to be true, my dream man will have to wait until after Easter to go out on a date with me.