(The Blog Formerly Known as "Countdown to 30" and "30 is the New Twenty")

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Battle with Parallel Parking

Parallel parking and I have been enemies for the past fourteen years. We don't generally get along. Parallel parking frustrates me and gives me horrible headaches. I guess I should start at the beginning of our long standing hatred. I was sixteen and my dad was teaching me how to drive (I could write a novel on that experience). I kept asking him when was he going to show how to parallel park and he kept making up excuses. When we finally got around to it, I was not allowed to practice it on an actual street with real cars. My dad was nervous that I would hit another car, so we went over to the high school parking lot. The first time we went, my dad had me envision two imaginary cars parked on either side of the space. This ended in disaster. I ended up in a huge argument with my dad about the imaginary cars that I couldn't see. I couldn't see how this was helpful. Maybe for mimes, but not for me. I needed something real, like actual cars. We tried it again a couple of days later, this time using the light poles in the high school parking lot as the pretend cars. This ended with equally bad results. In driver's ed, I was embarrassed every time we practiced parallel parking because I was the worst at it. I finally persuaded my dad to let me practice with real cars, well sort of. His new version involved my mom driving her car over, too, so we could use her car as an actual car! The other car was two construction cones (to this day, I have no idea where my dad found those). This attempt was better than the others, but would've went more smoothly had my dad not have been so paranoid that I would hit my mom's car. I somehow managed to parallel park well enough to get my driver's license. Or perhaps word had spread that my dad used some ridiculous teaching methods for parallel parking and the DMV took pity on me. Whatever the case, for the next fourteen years, I avoided Parallel Parking at all costs. I spent hours circling neighborhoods looking for a parking spot that didn't require parallel parking. When I did attempt it, I felt foolish and often found myself very angry.

Recently, though, I decided I needed to stop being afraid of parallel parking. It has become a little ridiculous to be driving in circles looking for the perfect parking spot. It's quite silly actually. My new plan is to look for a situation to parallel park, instead of the easy spot. Today I managed to parallel park in a small spot in one try. It can be done. With real cars and no damage to other cars. Maybe parallel parking and I can be friends. Or at least not enemies.


Tiffany said...

Good for you! I definitely prefer parallel parking with my small car instead of say, a big truck. Size definitely helps!

Michelle said...

Thanks. It is much easier with my little Ford Focus!

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