Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Driveway Drama

This is a re-post from a long, long time ago (fall 2010). I think. But I ran across it and it brought back so many memories . . .

I'm a nervous passenger, and it drives Stephen crazy. I try, really I do, to keep the gasps and yelps and nagging within reasonable limits, but sometimes I just can't help myself.

It really comes to a head in two locations we've encountered so far:
  1. Switchbacks on mountain passes - and there are PLENTY of those in Colorado! In winter, they are generously sprinkled with icy patches.
  2. Crazy high-speed traffic in L.A.
What can I say? I just hate that feeling that you're going to fall off the edge of the planet or occupy the same physical space as another vehicle. And it just FRUSTRATES ME to no end that there are no brakes on the passenger side of our cars.

You'd think, since I'm so here-let-me-tell-you-how-to-drive, that I'd be a pretty decent driver myself. Well, while it's true that I haven't had any insurance claims in decades, I have had a few mishaps.

Most of them in my own driveway. How pathetic is that?

I once ran over a metal post while backing up the long driveway at our cottage. It pierced a small hole in the trunk. At the time, I was trying to avoid running over my friend, so I think that was a fair trade-off. [Never mind that I was never closer than 10 feet from her.]

I once backed out of our garage while the car's hatchback was wide open. You'd be surprised how loud a noise a hatch makes when it strikes a garage door. You'd be even more surprised to see that neither was damaged.

I once broke a water spigot off the wall of our house while trying to maneuver - again, backing up - around another car in our driveway. Astonishingly, the car was not damaged at all, but my ego was damaged as my friend watched me do it; she generously attributed my poor skill to "pregnancy brain."

But my favourite most memorable happened shortly after we moved to Colorado. While driving into our garage, I marvelled at how incredibly tidy and well organized the space was: canoe paddles in their rack, storage bins in custom-built shelves, gardening supplies tidied away. It was a little moment of OCD bliss until I heard the crunch and grind of the side of our van scraping along the garage opening.

As I backed out of the garage, I knew that this was going to be an expensive screw-up, and it was. (For his part, Steve would've been happy to drive around indefinitely with a smashed-in door and missing side mirror, but I found it too humiliating.)

So, while I am very good at getting from point A to point B, it is safe to say that valet parking was invented for people like me.

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