Men vs. women, who is the best driver? As a sex we women seem to get the bum deal in terms of reputation. The boys in the office were surprised one lunch to see me manage to successfully parallel park in a tiny space, get out of the car and manage to do so with three cups of coffee in one of those fancy starbucks holders, without spilling a drop. Yes, I did somewhat mar it when I tripped over a cable on the way into the bomb site that is slowly taking shape as our new office, but the car bit could have qualified me as the next stig. Result!
It hasn’t always been this way. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the car, and my worst hour was when first-boyfriend and I went for a Chinese a few years ago. I was stressed and the only space was a teeny tiny one. To the right hand side of my car. If you learnt to drive in the UK you will understand my problem; the driving test parallel park is in a space to the left of the car, and therefore we spend hours of our lives practicing this manoeuvre (which I am perfectly good at!). Right hand spaces throw me in a fizz though, so it wasn’t pretty. I backed, I forwarded, I tooed and froed until I lost my temper. This doesn’t happen too often anymore, but back then I had a short fuse. So I smacked the steering wheel in frustration, and saw a girl across the road laugh at me. Poor Paul took the brunt of it with me shouting “why is that girl laughing at me? Does SHE want to try and come and park it? Then we’ll see whose laughing!!!!” he laughed. Not a good idea. I got out the car, kicked the tyre (ouch!!) and threw the keys at him. Bless him, he quietly got out of the car, effortlessly parked it for me, said “that was a little over the top babe” and then we went in and ate. GOD. LOVE. HIM.
Thankfully I haven’t managed to lose the plot over parking so spectacularly since, but I have to agree with the boys when they saw girls are rubbish with cars. The old van (RIP) had such a dodgy handbrake that if one of them had driven it before me, I had to get one of them to come and let the handbrake back off if I wanted to do my best man-in-van impression. WOW. This is partly because my upper body muscles are like little knots in a ball of string, and partly because they found it so amusing they would put it on extra hard.
We can’t all be good at everything.