All In A Row

April 17, 2009 § 2 Comments

Tuesday was the second time that I drove in Columbia. It was also the second time I had driven in Columbia using somebody else’s car for the first time [don’t think about that one too hard; it makes sense, I promise].

This time, I drove Roomie #1’s car home from the bank after we went to the mall. Who goes shopping on a Tuesday, you ask? Well, it certainly was a nice almost-mid-week pick-me-up. At the bank, I exchanged my $20 bill for some quarters to feed the parking meters since her on-campus parking spot is located literally a mile away from where we live. I was going to borrow her car the next day, so I needed to become accustomed to her vehicle [I’m thankful that people trust me with their cars, but there’s no reason not to, since my record is spotless].

We planned to leave the car at a meter overnight, which meant that I had to try parallel parking for the first time since junior year of high school. When I say parallel parking, I mean parking-on-the-street-between-two-cars, not simply rolling up next to the curb [if I couldn’t do that by now, I might as well ride a bike for the rest of my life]. This created some unease within me, especially a fear that I might crack under the pressure of having Roomie #1 in the passenger seat watching me as well as the potential for there to be a whole line of cars behind me trying to pass as I fumbled around on the street [it was rush hour, after all].

Three years ago, ALo and I received an assignment in APUSH to find a certain historic statue in downtown Nville. I drove. Upon arriving at our destination, we searched for a parking spot in the crowded parking lot and eventually found one on the street between two other cars. All I can recall from there is that we spent what felt like 15 minutes trying to squeeze into the space, and even when ALo stood on the curb directing me, I still couldn’t completely manuever inside smoothly [that’s what…he said? Ugh my polluted mind].

I never tried again after that [fortunately, I was never forced to. Thanks suburbia!]. But on Tuesday, I bravely faced the demons of my past while behind the wheel of a strange car.

Miraculously, a spot was open on the street right in front of our apartment complex. I tried to remember all the times I had recently been in cars that had parallel parked, and guided myself by those recollections. When I pulled up next to the car in front and started backing in, Roomie #1 looked at me quizzically [that is probably the first time I have ever used that word. It is such a weird word] and told me that she usually goes in nose-first. What??? Doesn’t that result in a complete fail whale? Unless you have 4-wheel drive or something like that [okay now I’m totally guessing]?

Anyway, I succeeded on my first try, and felt immensely proud of myself. It also helps that the parking spaces in Columbia are fantastically long. One could probably shove two or three Smart Cars into a spot, or maybe 45 Segways.

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