I put the car in park and glance around, waiting for my round of applause. Hello world…did anyone notice my crowing moment of glory? I, Lauren beth, just parallel parked. I’m ready for my trophy.
Parking has been the constant thorn in my side since I moved to LA. Friends invite me out and my first question is always, “is there a parking lot near by?” I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona where the streets form a grid nicely numbered and parking lots abound. There was no parallel parking on the driving test – who needed to? Unfortunately, this is not the case in the city of angels. My outings have been dictated by whether or not the restaurant offers valet (not always the wisest choice when one has no source of income) or is limited to remote areas where street parking offers spots wide enough for three cars.
I seem to be lacking the spatial distance gene – somehow viewing my Nissan altima as the length of a limo… Interesting…I have distorted car image! I never realized my skewed image in the mirror has now expanded to include my car. I wonder if there is a sort of therapy for this…learning to love your car as it really is, curves and all. Then again, on the list of things I should work on, this ranks rather low.
Last summer, my very capable parking friend took me out for lessons in a school parking lot. (reminiscent of my first driving lesson at 15 where my mom allowed me to ‘coast’ around the lot, as I was banned from the gas pedal, as she explained how to use the windows – big fun to be the first child of driving age! Then again, her nervousness was understandable as I pulled into the garage and hit the wall causing my dad’s desk on the other side to jut out a few inches…again, damn parking!)
Anyway, my friend set up some plastic cones and proceeded to try and teach me the art of parallel parking. I was convinced the lesson would end with me running her over, but we both returned home with our limbs intact. Still, it’s a whole different ball game when you’re trying to fit your grandmother’s old 2000 car between a porche and a Lexus in Beverly hills.
However, yesterday I was running late and saw a largish spot (I thought my limo could fit!) and holding my breath, I parked. I had to circle my car a few times in awed glee as I awaited my trophy from the judges. And so, this was enough for the day – this small achievement – on days when they are sometimes hard to find – I decided to be content with this accomplishment and count the day as a success. It was enough – dayainu… as I take my bow to my adoring fans.