Tuesday, 30 March 2010

In which I drive on the wrong side of the road and have trouble making friends

I can't drive.

Well, I guess I technically CAN, but I hate to and it usually makes anyone else in the car with me terribly uncomfortable.

This might have something to do with how I grip the wheel until my knuckles turn white, sweat a lot, and shriek when cars pass me too fast ... or maybe not.

I feel bad about admitting this and reinforcing to anyone the Women Are Bad Drivers stereotype. I'm just one woman, yo. But, I confess, I'm one of THOSE women.

I was going to say how I don't understand why people are fearful of being in a car with me because I'm a careful driver who hasn't had an accident since she was a rookie, yada yada.

But the other day I took my first adventure out on my own in my new sparkly city of Minneapolis to meet a friend for lunch. Said lunch was in St. Paul, which is very close but where I have never driven to before.

So, like anyone would, I mapquested the shiz out of it.

Now confident in where I was going, I set out. However, there was no road labeled CR-20, my first step. So, I went where I thought I was supposed to go. Which, as it turns out, took me on a long one-way street into downtown Mpls. From there I proceeded to:

* Drive on the wrong side of the road down a major thoroughfare
* Be lost for 15 minutes
* Be beeped at for driving too slow on the freeway
* Be beeped at for not knowing how to properly parallel park
* Run a red light
* Get lost for another 10 minutes
* Have to make no less than four u-turns because I was going the wrong way
* Park two blocks from my apartment so as to not have to attempt parallel parking again.

So, yeah ...

Phoenix is one big parking lot with six lanes in each direction. I'm adjusting to life in this big old city. But I'm loving that it's a very walkable city with better public transit than PHX. I will be hoping to keep the car parked as much as possible.

In all of that, you may have missed the point that I MADE A FRIEND and had a lovely lunch in the middle of all of this.

Being here has been a big adjustment for me. Moving from what was, essentially an adult dorm full of dozens of friends who would have dinner, play video games, drink beers any night of the week, I guess I forgot what it was like to be alone a lot.

So I was super excited when a friend of a friend suggested we get together.

Until the part of the conversation where she asked me what my hobbies are.

Dead Silence. Blank stare. More silence.

See, the thing is, like anyone, I like to look good, interesting, smart even, to new people. And the things is, I think I am smart and interesting.

But I don't really have a lot of things that would qualify as "hobbies." I don't run (again, why do people run? Where are they going? They don't look cute doing it. I don't get it.) or cycle (although I enjoy me a Sunday cruise if it ends in Bloody Mary, but alas, I am, at the moment, bike-less.) I don't take any classes or do things like make jewelry or knit sweaters.

So, when people ask me about hobbies, I always draw this dumb blank. But I do have hobbies. I write this blog. I love me some Twatter. I drink a lot. Which takes careful practice.

I mean, I drink a lot. I've realized that eating and drinking had become my primary hobbies in PHX. Every night was a HH, or a dinner with a friend, or having a friend over for dinner and wine.

So, now that I don't have that kind of gig going, I'm going to need some new hobbies. I mean, I used to have hobbies -- like painting and playing music and stuff. I can get that back, right? Or is it like once the girls go south, cuz, I'm not down for surgery.

This is where you come in. WHAT THE EFF SHOULD I DO WITH MY LIFE?

What's been fun for you all? I'll admit now, I'm not the most "active" person. And when I've tried to be, I get injured. So, rock climbing is probably out. Also, I'm temporarily terribly poor. So, like, diamond collecting is out. Dammit.

Help me. I'm bored.


  1. I am right there with you at the not being able to drive. I've come to think of it as a good thing. People don't trust me enough to ride in my car, so I never have to drive other people. I pretty much keep my car as messy as I want... and even when I offer- people are like oh nonono I'll drive...

  2. Drinking is definitely a hobby!

  3. Well I am one of those people that like running and cycling class but I also like drinking. But there is always reading, movies or even sticker collecting.

  4. I have no hobbies either. I am one more foster litter away from being the crazy dog lady of the neighborhood so I am not the best person to give advice. Maybe decorating your new apt could be a hobby. Or learning to drive in a new city - seems good to me.

  5. I'm glad you're at least willing to admit you're a bad driver. Combining it with your drinking hobby is probably not the best idea. I tried painting once but it stressed me out too much because I need things to be exact and you can't really do that with art. I've noticed a lot of women like scrapbooking. I don't get it, but who knows.

  6. Hmm... First off, I think your new hobby needs to be "Buying a GPS," because that's what has kept me alive and not lost in an alleyway in Hoboken the last few months.

    Second off, (?) , why don't you be a nice person and go volunteer somewhere? That's a hobby and, unlike diamond collecting, it's free. Or why don't you take a pickle-making class?

  7. I took RS the wrong way down a one way street, among other things. I feel you on that one. And I have the same problem (re:hobbies). I started taking Bikram partially so I'd have something to talk about besides the Kardashians and what the best gas station wine is. You are not alone!

  8. Jordan drove the wrong way down the only one way street in Houston. That has to be a hobby. I'll call it "One Way, Wrong Way, Hair Day - A Stylistic Club"

    Membership fees are due next week.

  9. Carissajaded - Good point! People NEVER ask me to drive them places.

    Bill - hecks yes.

    LBluca - I envy active people. I've tried to make myself into one of you, but it's not happening ... sad.

    Erin - I'd say doggie fostering keeps you pretty busy.

    OG - I honestly never ever drink and drive. Would be especially dangerous. And scrapbooking. Meh. Maybe cross stitch?

    Andrea - First off, I love when people say Hoboken. I can't explain it. Also, I have been poking around this week to find a cool place to volunteer.

    Jordan -- sometimes I think we were separated at birth. And maybe that's a good thing. Could one city handle both of us??

    Rahul - and you lived to tell the tale? Check's in the mail. I swear.

  10. do you still have paints? it's so soothing. and also, you can rent books on CD from the library to listen to while painting. then! we can be twinsies!

    you could also take up crochet. make me a scarf. i also wouldn't say no to a jar of homemade pickles. just sayin.

  11. You should say you're writing a screenplay. People expect it to take a long time so you can use it forever, and it's fun to make up a different storyline every time someone asks you what it's about. "So there's a dinosaur and he just found out he has AIDS..."

  12. Becks - I bequethed much of that stuff when I moved. But it's a good idea. And, I'm sending you a jar of pickles (but probably from the grocery store ...)

    Martini - I wonder what the rate of AIDS would have been in the dinosaur community. I mean those would be some big condoms. I feel there is a story here.

  13. I don't have any hobbies either. I read every now and then and go to the gym about 3 times a week but other than that my hobbies were to hang out and drink. Now that I'm knocked up I can't drink so I've become uber boring. Sucks. I can't wait until July when I can have this baby and drink again. :)