i bought a car today. a mazda3 hatchback with a sunroof. i like it. sure it's a 5-speed... and sure i didn't know how to drive a 5-speed (until an hour or two ago)... mere minor details.
i bought the car at carmax, which i have to say, was a pleasant experience. the guy that worked with me was definitely a car salesman, a tad annoying at times, but he was not one bit slimey. he wasn't clever enough to be slimey, and i mean that in a good way. very what-you-see-is-what-you-get. he'd say things that were very not-smooth, which helped his credibility. it sounds like i'm trashing the guy, but seriously, i liked him. also, carmax is bending over backwards to work with my out-of-state credit union. the credit union lady told me over the phone, "girl, are you lucky. i've never known carmax to treat someone this good." maybe it helped that i brought john (a priest) to test drive the car for me (while wearing his priestly collar). so john test drove it, i bought it, and then my friend aimee drove it home. woohoo!
i had a crash course in driving standard. lat ran to my house, we drove back to his house, did a couple laps around his neighborhood (i stalled maybe 10 times on my first left-hand turn), picked up friends for dinner, drove back to lat's... and then i was on my own. it's only a 3-4 mile drive, but it's not direct. anyway, i made it home without stalling once, thanking God for the lack of traffic. 1st gear is really tricky, but the rest isn't too bad.
so now i have a car, but i'll be riding my bike to my morning appointment... maybe driving standard will keep me from driving too much. the bike life has been good.