Friday, March 9, 2012

Parallel Parking and Other Such Evils

I can't parallel park. It's not that I won't or I don't know how. I can not do it. It's the pressure.

You know when you're standing at the Redbox DVD rental. You're scrolling through, trying to find that latest Nicholas Sparks Martin Scorcese. Or, maybe you're in the mood for comedy. You just don't know. Suddenly, you feel someone behind you. They may not be tapping their foot or obnoxiously sighing, but their mere presence throws you into a panic....Ok, ME, it throws ME into a panic. I have to pick a movie. I have to pick it NOW. The next thing I know, I'm sheepishly pulling Hot Tub Time Machine out of the dispenser and shrugging off to continue my shopping.

That's what parallel parking is to me. I know the mechanics. I understand what to do. But then I see cars behind me. And. I . Panic. Sometimes I'll give it a half-assed attempt, not get it, and leave to go on my merry way with a "I didn't want that parking spot anyways" attitude. I wanted to park 3 blocks further away where I could just pull into the spot. 

(At least I'm not 
nearly as bad as the woman in the video.)

In my own defense, I have some depth-perception issues. I always think I'm much closer to the other cars than I actually am. The few times I've successful parallel parked (usually at odd hours when other cars weren't pressuring me with their judgmental blinkers indicating that they want to get the heck around me), I've slowly backed up as far as I could go, only to get out of the car and find that one could fit a Smart Car in between us. (Maybe I should drive a Smart Car...)

My college friends can attest to my depth perception shortcomings. At baseball games, every single foul ball was out to get me. No matter where I sat, they all zoomed straight for ME. Except, they didn't actually. But, that didn't stop me from freaking out and squealing. One time, I pushed my friend out of the way and made her sit in nachos. Ok, that was pretty funny. By "funny" I mean "awesome." And, I did have her best interests at heart. The ball landed nowhere near her. As you've probably guessed, most of those foul balls usually landed about 5 rows up and 30 feet over.

All this to say that I'd like to think my inability to parallel park is partly due to a visual handicap. A legitimate excuse. I like to err on the side of extreme caution. That should be a good quality in a driver, right?

However, I'll soon live in a city that expects me to be able to maneuver my car into parallel spots without damaging anyone's property or clogging traffic. For the record, I have never damaged anyone's property trying to park. 

(Um, so that's sort of a lie. I backed into a wall in a parking deck a few weeks ago. But, it came out of nowhere. So, I guess technically I damaged someone else's property because whoever owns that deck had to repaint the "cautionary" yellow paint. If you ask me, that yellow was not very good at being cautionary.) 

I have one week to work out my personal demon that is parallel parking. Who wants to lend me two cars to park in between? Don't be scared. I'll try so hard not to hit them. I promise.

God bless it. Who am I kidding? I see many many Metro rides in my future.

Parking deck guru,


P.S. You should all know that I now search RedBox online prior to going to the actual machine in the store. 


  1. You can borrow our two cars to park between as soon as I cover them in bubble wrap.

  2. 1. i love your blog.
    2. i am a college friend, and i can vouch for the truthfulness of this beloved author.
    3. i went to the redbox about a month ago and ended up renting five movies for that very reason. i couldn't decide, and there was just so much judgment happening.
    4. i hear you have a studio apartment, so i hope you're getting your guest corner ready for me.


  3. Sb, the guest corner is ALWAYS ready for you. We will watch pre-selected redbox movies.

  4. i laughed out loud when i read about the nachos. i miss you, decas! this blog is great and now on my google reader! i hope to see you in DC when i'm there in may for a visit! xo