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First gear is tricky: So suck it up, Buttercup!



First gear is tricky So suck it up Buttercup

It was early June of 2001. I had just graduated high school. I met my dad at the used car lot about 20 miles from my house. He had purchased a cheap and fantastically adorable, little mermaid green Honda Civic coup, stick-shift (manual transmission) so that I could drive to and from college that upcoming fall. I felt like I had hit the lottery! Even though my cute lil’ decade old, cheap car had a non-functioning air conditioning (and we were in the midst of a typical, blazing and humid Memphis summer) I didn’t care!  I had literally been given a CAR!

I got a car!

I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the whole – wide – world! For all intents and purposes, I was! I really was!

Well… But… Except…. I did have just one tiny, itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny problem: I had absolutely no idea how to drive a car with a manual transmission. No Clue! None! Zero. Zilch. Nada.

I sat there beside my daddy, bubbling with excitement inside as he signed all of the paperwork. I was waiting and anticipating for that little, mermaid green car to finally be mine. It felt like FOR-E-VAH!


It was at this point that, due to the unfortunately fact that I was incapable of driving a stick-shift, I looked at my father and pragmatically suggested, “Dad, I’ll drive your truck home and you drive my car. Then, once we get home, you can teach me how to drive my car.” That seemed pretty reasonable, right? WRONG! So…………..WRONG!

I had unwittingly made a fatal flaw some number months before the actual purchasing of my little coup. “The Fast and the Furious” movie was “all the rage” in my high school days with its cool, fast cars (all with manual transmissions) and the sexy Paul Walker behind the wheel.  So, at one point – at some point – in that particular time period, I had mentioned to my father that I desired to have a car with a stick-shift.

THAT…. That was my mistake.

There is a reason we are told to be careful about what we wish for…

Back to my story: I had just proposed to my father that he drive my new (manual transmission) Honda Civic home so that he could, once home, teach me how to drive it. What did he say? What was his answer? Did he accept my seemingly pragmatic and certainly not unreasonable offer?

Did he?
Well, did he?
NO! He did not!

“You asked for it and you got it. —- I’ll see you at home.”

Those were the last words my father said to me as I stood, staring out of the dealership window in a moment of complete terror…. watching him drive away… watching him leave me at a car dealership miles from my home… with a car that I had no clue how to operate. (This might also be a good time to note that the car dealership wasn’t exactly in a good part of town.)

But, guess what???
Guess who made it all the way back home???
ME! ME! ME!!! Let me says it just one more time, ME!!!!!

Okay, sure, the first gear is kind of tricky. And, yes, I may have peeled-out at every single stoplight that I encountered on my journey home, but I did it! Dog-gone-it, I did it! ME! It was so awesome!

So, let’s jump forward to 2017. We have Berkeley – which, for a reason that only God knows, still carries some vague aftertaste of honor, prestige and legitimacy – offering counseling to its poor, poor, POOOOOOOOOR student body who may or may not be traumatized by WORDS.  Words!

Let me say it again: words. (AH! Run away!)

It is as if the “adults” at this “institution of higher learning” have actually chosen to inflict a twisted kind of emotional, philosophical, and intellectual handicap upon their own student body. Or are the faculty themselves unable – incapable – of making it past the first gear.

There are times and situations in life in which the why is completely irrelevant. This is one of those times. This is the kind of defining moment when the true adults in the room must walk away, forcing young people into adulthood (even if unpleasantly).

Those with the responsibility of leading and shaping the next generations must simply say, “Suck it up, Buttercup! It is time for you to GROW UP!” Or, in the words of Clark Gable (Rhett Butler), “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

After all, at some point, won’t these people will have to drive themselves home???

Paige Rogers is a Christian artist and author, and a former professional practitioner in the field of Early Childhood Development. She is the creator of, a blog offering Christian reflection, exhortation and discernment alongside various artistic techniques visually documented through Paige's unique artistic endeavors. A lover of learning, Paige is an avid enthusiast of history, civics, political geography and human nature, physical geography and the sciences. She is an incurably inquisitive and chronically creative “egghead.” Paige is a strong supporter of America's service members and veterans.

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