My husband always tells me to park my car in an end spot. Unlike female-logic, which states it’s better to have the dings evenly spaced across both sides of a vehicle, man-logic dictates that it’s better to have only one side of your car looking like it has followed the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field. This way at least fifty-percent of your automobile remains in showroom shape. Another parking option, or so I’m told, is to lay claim next to a more expensive vehicle because in all likelihood, its owner will take care to protect his investment. This is easy to do in Park City where my 2008 Subaru Outback finds itself sitting sheepishly between a Mercedes and an Escalade on a daily basis. There it sits, penned like a brown goat, between two silver thoroughbreds. Besides, goats are hardy, they go for miles on practically pennies (comparatively speaking), and they can climb anything you ask them to climb.
I recently eased said Subaru into an end space. Better yet, I maneuvered myself to the extreme outside edge so you could have parked another half of a vehicle next to me without intruding into the next stall. My husband would be proud. I sat there smug and confident that I had parked like a man.
As my community is rife with 7-seater SUV’s, I wasn’t surprised to see an Audi Q7 pulling in next to me. I became somewhat concerned when the woman behind the wheel of her high-end automobile had to rethink her trajectory for the fourth time. I held my breath and white-knuckled the steering wheel as she inched forward and back, forward and back like a fledgling teen or a geriatric confronting the dilemma of depth perception and indecision. The parking spaces are tight, but they are not that tight.
I breathed a sigh of relief when the young woman seemed to settle in, exited her vehicle, and headed toward Black Diamond Gymnastics. She returned a short while later with a howling toddler under her arm and began to wrestle him into his car seat.
I soon heard a small “thud” and turned to see that the rear passenger door of the Audi Q7 was resting gently against my driver’s side door. Nice.
“Common now Brecky,” she cajoled, “sit down please.” Brecky was arching his back and flailing his legs; each time he slipped farther down toward the floor of the car.
How bad could it be? No sooner did it cross my mind when my car suddenly shifted on all 4 tires. I turned again to see that the woman was using her car door and her knee as leverage to push a thrashing Brecky back into his seat. Metal scraped on metal. It was time to roll down my window. “What’s the deal?”
“Sorry,” she smiled over her shoulder and eased her door off mine.
I cracked my door, bent over, and fingered my latest asteroid ding. She continued with her backseat fumblings. Should I say something? I knew what I wanted to say.
“Sorry,” she said again. “You know how kids are.”
I know how your kid is. He’s a f*&^%$# A!!^&*% just like his mother. But I didn’t. I got back in my car and tried to put it into perspective…until I heard a healthy crunch. Strike three. I got out of my car for the second time, inspected the dent, and lost my mind. “What’s your major malfunction?” I looked at her license plate.
“What are you doing?”
“I want to know who to send this f&^%$#g bill to.”
“It’s way small,” she waved me away. “Don’t even worry about it.”
“Are you letting me off the hook, or are you missing the f*&^%$g point?”
“I said sorry.”
“And what? What else do you want me to do?”
“I want you to stop banging my car with your f*&^%$g door, that’s what!”
“Well, I said I was sorry. Anyway, there’s nothing you can do about it; we’re, like, on private property or something.”
Wait a second, I recognize that Valleyspeak. I pointed at her, at Brecky, and back again. “You’re the f!#$%^g nanny aren’t you…you aren’t even the little s*&^’s mother, and this isn’t your g*&&^%$! car!” Just then Brecky decided to shut the hell up and sit in his seat, so she popped her gum, snapped him up in his booster, and piloted the Audi into reverse.
Strangers stared and then looked away uncomfortably.
I flipped her the bird. She waved back with all 5 fingers. Then I climbed back into my freshly-dinged, brown goat and took it like a man.