“Yes, you can!”
I wasn’t overly keen on parking along the road by Maia’s nursery, but it was either that or walk home in the dark. Her potential new school for next year was having an open evening and I knew parking outside the school would be the simplest option. You’re really a winner if you manage to get a space outside the primary school. There’s probably space for about ten cars and I’d never dare try and get one during school pick up, until today.
I arrived 40 minutes early, and found one space, a tight gap between a gigantic Range Rover and a more normal sized Hyundai.
Now I should mention, I’m s*** at parallel parking into tight spaces. Bay parking; fine but I’d never reverse into a space, parallel parking; only if it’s really really necessary. I knew it would be a challenge, but not quite impossible..- After all, it’s just a road, they’re just cars…(with paint work I might scratch as I edge closer and closer, heartbeat racing), not to mention the impatient drivers wondering if I know what I’m doing as I no doubt go back and forth and back again trying to fit in the seemingly teeny weeny gap…
So I begun the treacherous task of trying to wedge my – well my Dad’s- average sized Volkswagen Golf in between the two cars. – challenging because this chunk of road was just before a bend, so I was particularly wary of cars coming out of no-where.
Then my fears came to life, I couldn’t quite do it. I was jutting out into the road, and cars were having to creep past me, then at one point I was blocking the road for what felt like minutes – a huge nightmare hold up- when in reality the car trying to get past had been there for about 8 seconds.
Then, just as I thought maybe I should abandon all hope and go home, return on foot, attend the open evening then walk home with Maia in the pitch black, a little old lady approached my car and came right up to the window, she must have noticed the appalling attempt from afar..
I rolled down the window; “I CAN’T DO IT!” I said, exasperated..
“Yes you can, now what you’ve got to do is…”.
And step by step the little old lady instructed me on how to manoeuvre my whale of a –actually pretty average sized– car. She stood in the middle of the road, tapping away every time I needed to stop “okay now into first gear..“..”come right back” “now straighten the wheel” (all whilst standing inches away from the car).
“Please, I don’t want to run you over!” (Imagining myself rolling forward and crushing her tiny feet) “You won’t!”
“There we go! Perfect!”
“Ah I can’t thank you enough…I couldn’t have done it without you!”
Then I recalled how my driving instructor did say if I failed my test it would be because of my parallel parking (I didn’t fail but only because I got bay parking- walk in the park)..She then kindly summarised how to parallel park between two cars.
I thanked her again..
“At least I did my good deed for the day!” she said.
“Oh you did you did!” I said, at this point admiring just how straight I’d managed to get the car and wanting to hug her.
“I was so worried about not being able to park along this road and holding all the other cars up..”
“Oh well you did it!”
I did it, because one kind old lady happened to see me struggling and had the instinct to come over and help.
And in those few moments I was reminded that the world may be full of dooshebags and d***heads, but there will always be people out there helping strangers to parallel park.