20/02/2013 § 1 Comment
The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
View along US 40 in Mount Vernon Canyon, Colorado, 1942. Image via LOC.
As a California native, today’s lesson didn’t immediately come to mind. When you are a Los Angeles teenager, it is the countdown of all countdowns until you reach the fabled age of 15 1/2 and you are finally eligible to start down the illustrious path to getting your driver’s license. I remember that storied day in the tenth grade when the oldest person in our grade level took off her morning classes to go to the DMV with her mother. Her return that afternoon with that piece of paper we all wanted in our own wallets, was something like the opening scene from A Hard Day’s Night. Okay, not really. But almost.
Getting back to my original point, in my LA brain, it is my default assumption that all adults know how to drive, but when I landed on the East Coast, I realized that this wasn’t actually true. I encountered plenty of people who had grown up on the efficiency of public transportation and hadn’t needed to learn how to parallel park (okay, yes, I will admit that I envied that part). And while I currently enjoy partaking of said efficient transportation, there really is something about having the ability to jump into a car and head off into the great unknown…or to IKEA to buy a dresser, if you feel like it. It is a ticket to adventure similar to my very first Charm School lesson, where I recommended getting your passport. Adventures happen when you make yourself available for them. Add a few skills to your arsenal and you never know where you might end up.
Sidenote: For those of you who already know how to drive an automatic, I’d challenge you to learn how to drive a manual transmission, which will come in handy when traveling internationally. Or when racing cars. Or when driving sweet old cars. If you already know how to do that, I’m sure there’s something you don’t know how to drive. Get out there and find it.