In college, I could parallel park with the best of ’em. At Ball State University, you parallel parked or you walked. Since I lived 45 minutes from campus, the latter wasn’t exactly an attractive option. So I learned.
And it seems, as a thirty-something, I’ve unlearned.
Nowadays, I can’t seem to even pull into a parking spot straight. I’m always crooked. If I do manage to pull in straight, when I get out, I see I’ve taken my half in the middle of two spots.
I’ve been known to have my back end sticking way out because I failed to actually pull into the parking spot. One of these days, someone is going to come along and take it off for me.
From all this, I knew my parking skills were lax, but I didn’t know how bad the problem had gotten until I tried to parallel park a couple weeks ago. That didn’t go well.
I was just swinging into the office for a minute, so I thought I would park on the street and avoid walking in the rain. Thinking was my first mistake.
Of course, the only open spot would require parallel parking. I decided to put on my big-girl pants and just do it.
I pulled past the space just like to you’re supposed to. That’s where I stopped doing it right.
I started to turn the wheel and back in. I must’ve turned too hard because my back tire was making friends with the curb. Realizing I was too far gone to correct, I pulled out and tried again.
This time I didn’t turn the wheel enough, so I was half a car width outside the parking spot. Not wanting to get side-swiped, I pulled out again. Feeling a little dumb, I was ready to say forget it, but that twenty-something buried deep inside said she could do this.
So, I tried one more time.
I turned in way too hard. This time, though, I was so far up the sidewalk I almost took out one of those decorative trees in front of the Tribune offices.
At this point, I decided I was a danger to society and went around back to park. I sulked through the rain to the building, wondering what happened to that college student I once knew.
I was quite disheartened with myself, but was thankful none of my coworkers were around to watch.
Hmm ... I guess they know now.
interim [friday] editor / apologized to the tree