First Steps

Fargo, one of the few places where the first thing you can do with your new car is get it stuck in the driveway.

This is day five. This is the fifth day in ownership of my 2007 Honda Civic Si. I'll admit it's not as balls-to-the-wall awesome as owning a Zonda (literally going balls-to-the-wall is probably a terrible idea, but you get my hyperbole), or as interesting as coming across a mint 1988 MR2. But coming down to this humble sports sedan is a step in the right direction for me. I shouldn't say "coming down," because this is a big step forward from my mother's 1993 Buick Century. The only reason I said that was because I had set my sights on American RWD monsters. I really wanted a 2004 GTO, and then I figured a V6 Mustang, especially a 2011+, would be nice. Interesting cars are hard to find in Fargo though. I made a trip to Minneapolis to drive my first manual; that was a back and forth trip of eight hours to test drive a Mustang I didn't get.

Really, I just wanted a sporty car with a manual transmission. Given that my only experience with the third pedal was via proxy in the form of a button while playing Forza, the smooth clutch on the Civic is much, much more sensible. In the 23 years I've been alive, I've never felt as thrilled by a car as I have these past five days, because until now, it's all been pretend. When I was boy, I collected Hot Wheels and Bburagos, and then there was Need for Speed and Forza. I'm finally no longer that boy making fake car-noises and pretending to shift gears.


I don't want to completely bad-mouth my old car, and I don't want to sound ungrateful. The Buick was and is technically my mom's; I didn't choose it, but it was handed to me. I'm thankful for the time I had it working. Currently, it's a piece of shit, and I've been spending at least $500 a year in repairs for the last four years. The only reason I have it is because my mom still doesn't have a driver's license. Yes, my mom bought a car, planning to get her license, and in that car's lifetime, she never was able to legally drive it. One at fault fender-bender and a few replaced parts later, the car now refuses to start when it's under 20 degrees. - Oh, it's 17 degrees outside? Nope, the car will turnover until the battery drains itself dead. - When a mechanic doesn't want you to spend money on a car, it's time to move on and let it sit on the driveway until you figure a way to get rid of it.

Good night, horrible prince.

With less than 30k miles on the odometer, I'm planning on getting the most out of my new car and making sure it doesn't go the way of my Buick. I sometimes miss third gear, revving the engine in neutral and making me feel like a total jackass. This current weather is terrible for learning to drive it, but I'm stalling less and less. I also find the assisted steering to be intrusive, if not rather dangerous. But I already love this car, and the few opportunities I get to redline, make the APR totally worth it.


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