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What is it with women and parallel parking?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by sujathaumakanth, May 7, 2010.

  1. sujathaumakanth

    sujathaumakanth Bronze IL'ite

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    “Now that women are jockeys, baseball umpires, atomic scientists, and business executives, maybe someday they can master parallel parking.”
    -Bill Vaughn


    [JUSTIFY]One Saturday afternoon, with my trembling hands clutching the steering wheel, I sat there perspiring and summoning the Good Lord to perform a miracle and keep the roads deserted in the neighbourhood. It was the dreaded hour of my driving test. The driving examiner, a burly man who almost caused my tiny Laser to topple heavily onto one side, was rubbing his hands gleefully at my rather miserable attempts at composure and egging me to get the action started. Cursing inwardly at myself for all those driving lessons I skimped on but desperately needed, I was hoping he would not be one of those garrulous types who would distract me with his non-stop chatter. Wow, was that the pot calling the kettle black?

    Anyway, I started quite confidently, even giving myself a mental pat on my back when I made a smooth transition between lanes. I believed everything was going on fine, despite his frustration at my slow speed of driving, when he asked me to stop and do a parallel parking. I never was good at driving, let alone parking – and after I saw his bewildered expression on completion of my parallel park, I gave up any hopes of passing the test. Later I heard him comment to my driving instructor “I asked her to parallel park and she parked in the middle of the road”, though I believe that was an outright exaggeration, I was merely metres away from the curb, the middle of the road was still a long way off After exacting promises (from me) of not inciting road rage given my slow driving, he overlooked my parking indiscretion and gave me my license. I rode home in a daze knowing I was extremely lucky to have landed the licence on the first go, but still that did not stop me from doing an exuberant war dance and gloating over my license before a stunned Anna who was raving at the injustice of letting me loose on the road.

    Eight years later, I can perhaps boast of reasonable driving skills but not when it comes to parking. I am the “squatter” of the parking lot who conveniently drives dang in the middle of two parking lots and takes up both places. Once, my Laser received a scar that would make Harry Potter proud because I misjudged the space between the last parking lot in the awfully crowded cinema complex and the wall. But above all, I still have not mastered parallel parking. So you can imagine my acute embarrassment when having found a parking spot right between two cars in front of the school, I was forced to do a parallel parking. Of course this time I did park in the middle of the road and was squirming awkwardly in my seat waiting for my daughter to make an appearance, so I can flee my crime-scene in my wretched shame-mobile before my parking skills became the highlight of the next P&C meeting.

    I used to believe it was just me but then I discovered most of my friends are in the same league as me. Most women prefer to park a few blocks away than manoeuvre parking in congested and claustrophobic parking lots and definitely reserve parallel parking as the last option before hailing a perfect stranger to help park the car or ditch the car. In fact a week ago, while I was on the phone wheedling Anna to park for me in return for picking him up for our lunch date, I had my friend laugh at me and go “yeah I do the same”.

    Ah well, my parking skills serve me as a reminder that I am not from Krypton and I am not expected to excel in everything I do but still the thought offers no solace especially today when my Laser has gone for servicing and I am stuck with Anna’s beast of a car for the school pickups. Duh, it is hunting around the block for today :([/JUSTIFY]
     
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  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Sujatha

    I dont know anything about driving but because I love to give the first fb I came here. It was interesting to read your write up and glad that you got the licence.

    love
    viji
     
  3. knot2share

    knot2share Gold IL'ite

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    I was really hoping for this one to appear ! Not just your friends, I can delightfully push a whole lot of my friends too, to join the bandwagon of "I hate parallel parking". So why am I out of the list? I don't drive!!! Everything about it scares me and the very thought of a car moving, with me sitting behind the steering, freezes my brain and in turn everything else. I still remember how my driving instructor (Eddie, an old sweet man) guided me with that - Parallel park in three moves or something right? God I dunno how I managed that. It feels like ages ago. I did parallel park quite well to get the lic, but have never done that ever since. Theoritically I am fine still.

    I quite like the way you manage to find just the right quote before the start of your posts. Love them!
     
  4. Malavika81

    Malavika81 Bronze IL'ite

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    Get a car that can parallel park itself. I believe Lexus and few other car manufacturers have automatic parallel parking feature(probably Mercedes as well) in the cars so get one of them and problem solved.
     
  5. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi sujatha,

    Really???? you should see me beaming with maternal pride when my daughter parks with a"now mamma, this is what is called parking,not what appa does" :)
    i do not drive ( that my driving instructor died in between the process of instructing me is quite another story and which my dh loves to narrate LOL) so do congratulate you on the effort itself.:thumbsup
    hey and noted the correction for my quote :):thumbsup
     
  6. Arunarc

    Arunarc Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Sujatha
    Nice reading on parallel parking.
    I knew driving for a very long time but when i went to australia I thought better to join some driving classes just to know the rules and regulation of that country. When started teaching me he asked me why are you taking classes you know it perfectly. Then I told him I just want to know the way you guys park, drive with all the instructions, and then he started teaching me accordingly. I never needed to have a aussie lic. I could make use of my Indian lic. or Fiji lic was also ok which i had during my stay in Australia. You know in front of the instructor my parallel parking was perfect but for me sometimes it comes out perfect but sometimes it is very hard especially when you will have a big car on hand.
     
  7. Tubelight

    Tubelight Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi
    Hope you got through the ordeal with the beast mobile without much mishap !

    One more member to your club ! :), Ex-member, actually, as I have stopped driving now.

    When I took the test, luckily, i wasn't expected to park between vehicles. Here, tests are done with in a hurry. If you can change gears smoothly and reverse without hitch, you are handed the DL. After that, we learn on the road ! Scary, but millions are getting by !

    {so I can flee my crime-scene in my wretched shame-mobile before my parking skills became the highlight of the next P&C meeting.} :rotfl

    Enjoyed reading :thumbsup
     
  8. radsahana

    radsahana Silver IL'ite

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    Hey Sujatha

    You can add my list to the female species, who sweats when it comes to parallel parking. Though i manage ok ok, unlike you i dont park in middle of road:rotfl. I get some solace, that i am little bit better:).

    I got DL here in USA,without road test, since i had license back from India, i had to write only written test. But like TL said, in India we dont have to do Parallel parking for getting DL and in India i never tried to do parallel parking, i did linear parking though, that is much easier.

    So as of now I am mastering the art of parallel parking, will graduate soon i think:)
     
  9. sujathaumakanth

    sujathaumakanth Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi dear Knot2Share :)

    Yep, thought I might post something on a lighter vein :)

    Ha ha, we were driving in Melbourne this weekend and even Anna was struggling a bit......we are discovering new suburbs however :) We then drove back along the Nepean Highway and came across some lovely suburbs.......it is really beautiful, I am now tempted to move somewhere near Melbourne :)

    How was yr weekend? Sorry could not catch up with u on email as promised.....left for Frankston in a hurry on friday.

    Are you on FB dear?

    PS: Can you please guide me on to what you would like me to post next :) Might like some suggestions please !!!
     
  10. sujathaumakanth

    sujathaumakanth Bronze IL'ite

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    Hey Radhika,

    I am sure you will do great :)) I think I have a mental block when it comes to parallel parking.......I breeze in near the spot and then freeze !!! Luckily, I have moved to this tiny little town where there are plenty of parking spaces so I don't have to sweat unnecessarily nowadays. It is quite terrible when my little gal comments about my parking and asks me "amma when will you learn to park?"
     

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