The first time I’m asked to speak on national radio (BBC Woman’s Hour) and what’s the topic? Why I can’t park my car!
I have never been able to park the car- or at least not alongside the pavement (or parallel parking as they call it in the US). I have no sense of how much space I have alongside or behind me. Even with park assist. I panic, I don’t know which way to turn the wheel! Friends have been known to park for me. Passers by actually stop and watch me.
Trying to parallel park
My biggest disaster was when I was living and working in Canada- ‘parallel parking’ was part of the test. I booked 10 lessons to get me accustomed to driving on the opposite side of the road , 9 were spent practising my parking. You had to park between 2 ‘pretend cars’ ie blocks of concrete. Despite having postage stamps discretely stuck on the front and rear window to help me line up the car, I still couldn’t do it. My instructor had told me to smile confidently and offer to do it again- I was told the examiner would always say no- due to time pressures. He didn’t. Four parking attempts later I went from bad to worse! The examiner was marking notes on his clipboard. My smile was becoming less confident.
I was relieved when he said ‘drive on’. I assumed I had failed my test. I thought he was cruel making me continue knowing that he would fail me. Surprisingly he passed me- but told me to practice my parking!
More than 20 years of practising later I still can’t parallel park! And now my secret is out!