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go ahead and laugh, I did

Recent snow falls and a lack of decent or any parking in this city have given me ample opportunities to practice parallel parking.

Background: The first time I took my driving test, I failed. How did that happen, you ask, since it’s the ONLY test I ever failed? Well, in the time it takes to say “Bob Saget” I had backed into a cone and knocked it over. Game over. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. (In my defense, I had to make a last minute switch to my grandparents Buick LeSabre for the test instead of the Pontiac Grand Am I had been practicing in. It was a full foot and a half longer, and I wasn’t good at judging for that.) Since then, I have had a very strong aversion to parallel parking. In fact, in Findlay, all summer I walked an extra block home each day to avoid on-street parking.

Unfortunately, my assigned parking lot at the J&C is always full. As in probably 50 percent of the time, which seems like always. Unfortunately, there are only about 20 spots. There are apparently more people than that parking there.

There is another parking lot a few blocks away or on-street parking for 2-hour intervals in the general area. The latter is what I have mostly opted for, and considering I am usually leaving within two hours for an assignment, it hasn’t been a big issue yet. However, the very first day during my brief orientation, I was specifically warned about parking on street. Apparently, the police are merciless and the fines add up quick. So I’m paranoid. As soon as I park my car, I set an alarm on my phone for 1 hour and 50 minutes later, lest I forget and get ticketed or towed.

Aside from the fines, the bad part about parking on the road is that I can’t just pull into a nice pre-measured spot. Nope, I have to gauge whether my taurus (not the smallest of cars) can a) actually fit in the allotted space and b) whether I can actually maneuver into it.

Today, I parallel parked between cars twice. Go ahead and applaud. I definitely did. I still pretty much go for it and hold my breath. (Incidentally, that was how I passed my driving test the second time around. When I pulled out of the maneuverability course, the instructor literally told me, “OK, you can breathe now.” And for the record, I may have failed my test the first time, but I scored a perfect 100 percent for the entire test my second go-round.)

The funny thing, however, is not my parking inexperience or annoyance. (Though, I will say both Lafayette and West Lafayette have real issues with parking availability. The entire cities. It’s really annoying. It’s like college all over again, only the fines don’t get attached to my bursar’s account.) The funny thing about today was how I lost my shoe.

Because of recent snows, there are huge mounds of snow piled along every road. These mounds are probably two or three feet tall and dirty from all the plows and car exhaust. Well, I was running late to one of my appointments. I decided it would take too long to walk all the way around the snow when the door I needed to enter was literally right in front of my car. The catch was, I had to go over the mound of snow between me and the door. So I did.

The first step was fine, very little sinking at all. The second step, OK, I sunk a little, but it was doable. The third step, mere inches from my destination was the killer. My leg slipped all the way down and up to my thigh. My now snow-covered leg was not my problem, however. My problem was what wasn’t on my right leg: my shoe. Yes, when I yanked my foot out of the pile, my shoe was stuck. Not only that, but the commotion of trying to get out of the snow had caused an avalanche of other snow to fall in the hole. My shoe was buried. And I was standing on the side of the road, now late for my appointment, with a leg covered in snow and no shoe on my now-freezing foot. So, I’m pretty sure I looked like a crazy person to any passers-by who happened to catch a glimpse of me using my hands — sans gloves — digging in the snow like a dog.

I did find my shoe. It was not only covered in snow, it was filled with snow. I banged out as much as I could. Put it on my foot and walked into my interview acting like nothing ever happened. What else could I do?

That is yet another item to add to my list of reasons why I hate parallel parking.

2 Responses to “go ahead and laugh, I did”

  1. Jaclyn Says:

    This is why I should read your blog at work; I had to swallow my laughter to keep from LOUDLY cracking up at your show catastrophe. Good job, Love.

  2. Meranda Writes » Blog Archive » Responding to Google searches Says:

    [...] the legions of teens who’ve been searching for guidance passing the manuverability portion of their driver’s test, which I blogged about in my discussion of parallel parking. [...]