It’s a well-known fact in my family that I’m a ninja parallel parker. I can park any car, in the middle of rush hour traffic, into a parking spot designed for a much smaller car, with room to spare. I’m magical that way.
Living in the city and owning a car means learning to avail yourself of any street parking spot the universe provides you with. Parallel parking is one of the most important keys to being able to take advantage of those parking spots.
Sixteen years ago this month, we moved in our house, and I experienced my last late-night parking angst, an angst that often brought me to the point of being willing to hand my keys and car to any taker. The problem was finding the taker.
Hands down one of the best things about our house is always coming home to a parking spot, one I didn’t have to hunt hours for, stalk for, or turn into a raving lunatic to protect. I continue to be grateful for this privilege of pulling into our garage without a parking care in the world—except for one pesky mother-son issue.
Much to my teen’s discontent, I pull into the garage as opposed to backing in. I hate backing the car into the garage because I worry about hitting his car, which is parked on the other side of the garage. And there is that awful twisting-head motion you have to make when you back up; it’s unattractive and uncomfortable.
The child I taught to drive, back up, and parallel park feels that pulling the car into the garage makes it harder to pull out of the garage. I disagree. Plus, twisting only once is an added advantage. He claims that the risk of hitting someone or another car is higher when you back out. Possibly, but unlike him, I know how to inch out and go slow.
Backing in, as opposed to pulling in, is more of an issue now that he is using my van to pick up day campers on a daily basis. When we are together, he backs the car in the garage; when I drive alone, I pull my car into my garage with the added pleasure of knowing that I am torturing my kid. As my sweet mom always says, why have kids if you don’t torture them. Works for me.
Today, my teen took my van to pick up some pups, and when he returned home, I grabbed my keys to run an errand. I opened the garage door and….
I hate kids sometimes. Of course, my teen followed me to the garage, doubled over with laughter. He explained, between gulps of laughter, that since his car was in the shop, he wanted to offer me another parking option. Perhaps, I’d be more comfortable parallel parking the car in the garage?
I’ll get even. Count on it. But didn’t I do a good job teaching him to parallel park?
Odd Loves Company,