I Simply Cannot Park

7 Mar

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.


18 Responses to “I Simply Cannot Park”

  1. Jules March 7, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    .. perhaps that’s the reason why I’ve never learnt how to drive…?! x

  2. vixter2010 March 7, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Haha, so true about parallel parking although I don’t even try the left side now, all my good driving skills from my test seem to have faded 🙂

  3. prenin March 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    You are one up on me hun – I can’t even drive!!!

    OK I’m forbidden because of my medication, but I can appreciate your problems!!!

    Love and squishy hugs!


  4. 1970kikiproject March 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    wow, i can’t imagine parallel parking in the UK! it’s hard enough in canada! i am very hit and miss – sometimes i can wheel right in, first try; other times it’s back and forth about 8 x before i kinda get it ok-parked…
    nice work on the parking AND coffee carrying! way to show up the guys!

    • tinkerbelle86 March 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      yep im rubbish with computers but im the coffee carrying queen. i think i should make myself a badge. apparently im the tea maker, someone said today “i quite fancy a brew” and like teleportation, the next thing i knew i was at the kettle. WTF!! need to address this. damn boys!

  5. Nathan Marcello Rotunda March 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Sounds like you might like one of the fancy new cars that park themselves.

  6. missymiller March 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm #


    I like the way you tell a story.

    • tinkerbelle86 March 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

      thanks chick, ill keep telling ’em if you keep reading them! 🙂

  7. melissasmeanderings March 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    I hate parallel parking!! It’s the one thing I failed on my drivers test! (you’re allowed to fail one thing and still pass)

  8. happykidshappymom March 8, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    Another great post. Made me laugh. Thanks! The first time I got pulled over, I was inching through an intersection, running a red light at about two miles per hour. I thought the driver behind me was going to run into me. So I kept moving forward. So did he. Inch by inch, and then I saw the cop watching us directly to my left. I think he was too surprised at my idiocy at “running” a red light at 2 mph to give me a ticket. And I agree — I bet that girl laughing at your parallel parking attempt couldn’t have done any better!

  9. aka gringita March 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    I can’t parallel park either. Never actually learned (shame on me, and on the person who gave me my driving test).

    The research shows that women are better drivers in terms of being less likely to hit something (we have better range of vision/better peripheral vision – which is also why we can find the butter although they’ve spent the last 10 minutes staring in the fridge & insisting it’s not there). And we are better at learning rote tasks (so you can parallel park – probably better than a man can – provided it’s the exact scenario that you have learned to do over and over and over again). BUT we are crap, compared to men, at calculating angles… they have whole sections of their brains dedicated to just spacial relations, making them great at a lot of sports AND at parallel parking when the situation is NOT the exact one we’ve learned.

    When I visit the boy in the city… I call when I arrive at his place and make him come down and park my car. Might as well play to his strengths, after all. 😉

  10. Seth Ryan March 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    If you could see some women (girls) in my life, I bet your feminist side would get all excited again and you’d praise the “evolution” of female emancipation… I would not be surprised if I would see my sister manage to drive, break and then spin the car a couple times to end up perfectly parked between some cars… This, while I’m like an old lady going back and forth thirty times to end up with the car half on the sidewalk. And once I dated a girl who could drive a truck. Which might not be uncommon to some. But if you could only see the looks on the faces of the men who saw this truck drive up on the parking lot and the girl who crawled out of it in her high heels and mini skirt… priceless 🙂

    • tinkerbelle86 March 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

      i often have to drive a van for work. i can barely see over the steering wheel but in the summer when im all shades and skirts i get some REALLY confused looks. and it means i can drive like a douche. which is fun sometimes 🙂 keep practising that parking granny!

  11. Jos March 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    I’m bad in parallel parking as well so usually I just avoid it 😛

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