Jan 12, 2011

I can't drive 95

It all started with this.
I like to feel like I'm driving when I'm driving. Perhaps it goes back to when I learned to drive. I learned on a VW diesel van, a stick shift because that's all they had in Germany. My dad taught me on the little farmers roads. I cried many times trying to start on a hill, but I got the hang of it. Eventually I even got on the Autobahn. It was a thrill the first time I accellerated onto the entrance ramp, expecting to exceed speeds that I'd never achieved before. Except our diesel van was, well, slow. So I hugged the right lane and only dreamt of the far left lane where there was no limit to acceleration bliss.

Driving Germany: The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930-1970 (Studies in German History)Unfortunately there are no Autobahns in America and these days it's only automatics sitting in our garage. I no longer get to feel one with the car as I push in the clutch and slide the shift into the next higher gear. My one connection with the car has been the gas pedal. A dangerous connection given the limiting speed limits, but one that I have managed to successfully maneuver. So to speak.

My husband likes cruise control and usually reminds me of it's benefits when we pass by speed limit signs along the highway. (Or a patrol car.) I have managed to steer clear of relying on cruise control and losing another connection to the car. 

My new bff.
However, I have recently realized that cruise control just might be my new best friend. I drive 48 miles on the highway everyday to work and back. We said goodbye to our Buick Century (which the kids had dubbed "the Grandpa car") and said hello to a lease on a Toyota Camry. Oh the joy of driving this car! If only I had it on the Autobahn. In fact the other day, I could have been on the Autobahn. I was cruising along on my way to work and I looked at the spedometer. Much to my surprise (delight) it read 95. Quickly I realized that if I went only 5 more miles per hour I'd be in three digits. Just as quickly I realized that it would be a rather large ticket and my checkbook won out over my need for speed.

And so, because of the Camry's ability to lull me to speeding ignorance, I have become familiar with my cruise control. Because really: I can't drive 95.

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