Thursday, January 1, 2009

Driving in Reverse


It's that time of year...time to dwell on changes we need to make, mistakes we've made in the past, and hope to avoid......Mistakes we hope to avoid.......That got me thinking.........

Remember my earlier post about (click)being unobservant as a teenager? *Dear Reader, if you can think of other instances, I don't need reminding...Thank you.

I had an epiphany of other instances of poor observance when I was sharing my tales with Studmuffin's family last weekend. Yes, I inflict my stories on everyone I meet. If you don't want a story, don't approach me. I probably have one to share. Or ten. On second thought if you don't want a story, you should probably avoid me altogether, because I'll share even if you don't initiate communication. I'm just.....friendly that way!

So, I shared even more embarrassing moments. And they all involved backing into things. That's right...I said ALL. Yikes.

The first experience I wasn't even backing. I had just gotten my brand-new-to-me 1993 Ford Tempo. Standard transmission, Cherry red. I loved that car. It could drive like the wind. No kidding. I won't give examples, because it may not reflect well on my character. Okay, actually, because I have too many other things to say, and this post would truly go on forever, so... we'll save the drag racing tales for another day.

Back to our story. I was on my way to school. I stopped at Slapout (a convenience store/service station that I worked at growing up) to get a cup of coffee. I was running late, as usual. I hopped in my car, coffee in hand, started my car, began to put it in gear...and spilled HOT coffee all over my lap. I looked down, and started cleaning it up......

WHAM! What the?!......Someone hit me!!! I couldn't believe it! I looked up, and....Wait a minute....Why is the building so far away?

You see Dear Reader, I was new to a stick shift. In my fervor to remove the scalding liquid from my lap, I unthinkingly left my car in neutral, took my foot off of the brake (on a slanted parking space) and rolled backward into a parked car behind me! But wait! It gets better....It does....So much better that I can't believe I'm admitting this.....

Do you know who's car I hit? My ex-boyfriend's current wife, soon to be ex who was there serving him divorce papers (he was a service mechanic there.) Yes, I was in high school. Yes, he was obviously older when I dated him. Yes, he was a mistake....But to hit his wife's car! How mortifying! And, to make it worse, if indeed it could get worse, everyone saw it happen. They were all (customers, workers, soon to be exes-everyobody) looking out the giant plate glass window, with mixtures of horror and hilarity on their faces! (Depending on your feelings towards the soon-to-be ex, I'm sure.)

Oh, Reader, it was truly horrifying. I'm truly shocked that I'm sharing this with you, but I must. I must vent my spleen of every stupid, idiotic thing that I've done.....If it could possibly garner a laugh, of course. If no laughter is involved, I will keep my idiocy to myself, thank you very much.

Oh, but there's more....Sadly my backing into things trial did not end with this ugly tale of mortification.

The year was 1996. I was attending college at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. I was a nursing major in my sophomore year of college. Studmuffin and I had our lunch break at the same time that day. And, we happened to be parked next to each other in the parking lot. We decided to eat lunch together. It was cold. It was rainy. We smooched for a few minutes (to take the edge off of the chill, you understand) and got into our respective cars. I waited for him to back up.

He's waving at me...."Yes, I'll see you soon, Studmuffin."

I wait.....

He begins to wave again.....More frantically. He's moving his lips and pointing backwards. Oh! I get it! He wants me to go first. What a romantic. Ladies first, and all of that.....Truly, a gentleman, my Studmuffin.....

I begin to back up....He continues to wave, point and talk. I'm looking at him, but I can't figure out this weird male sign language (ladies, you know you would have been clear to begin with, and no miscommunication of this caliber would have ever occurred.)


I backed into a pole. That was behind his pickup. That was preventing him from backing out until I was gone, so he could avoid it. That he was pointing behind me and telling me about through 2 closed windows (no power windows in the old Tempo). That he had began to gesture and wave frantically about, the further I backed....Never taking my eyes off of him, trying to understand what he was telling me.....(I don't know about you, but usually a hand, palm forward, held still means stop to me....but moving on...)

You understand this was in no way my fault, right? You can see how, if he had never began the strange gesture/talking/waving thing I would have looked behind me, and seen the giant pole instead of focusing my energy trying to decipher his manspeak? I know you feel my pain, and understand the plight I face in male/female communication methods. Thank you for your feelings of sympathy and outrage you feel on my behalf at this moment. I appreciate you, truly I do.

So, it is with this security in the affection and sympathy I know you feel for me that I share my 3rd, and thankfully final tale of backing into things. Unfortunately, I cannot blame teenage dreaminess on this accident. But, I CAN still blame it on Studmuffin, so of course I will and do.

Bookworm was about 3 months old. She was sleeping through the night. My neighbor down the street (she had a baby the same age) and I decided to treat ourselves to a girls night out...movies and dinner. I could hardly wait.

I crammed my still, shall we say voluptuous? postpartum figure into my best stretch pants and stretchy top (I was still nursing) and headed out for a night of fun and laughter.....Only I didn't get too far.

Studmuffin parked the car in a different place than usual (he was driving my beloved Tempo at this time, and I was driving the more family-friendly Jeep Grand Cherokee.) I raised the garage door opener, popped that car in reverse....and hit the right tail light on my beloved rockets driver mirror.

Oh, the horror....The outrage I felt towards Studmuffin's parking choice (he surely should have realized that the grass was safer than slightly behind the jeep, even if I could have avoided it by angling slightly to the left as I backed, if I had taken time to verify the exact location of the rocket.) But, you see, he always parked on the far right side of the driveway. He knew me. He knew my struggles with backing into things, even though it was never truly my fault, but still....He made sure to compensate for my trials, by making sure his lady love never had to be subjugated to that embarrassment again....Until that fateful night when he neglected his duties as my protector from all things (even my own nonobservance~read here: irresponsibility) and parked slightly to the left of his normal parking space.

You understand how this, too was not my fault (okay, so maybe it was, slightly....a teeny tiny bit....maybe more like a lot, but we're not dwelling on that). We are focusing on the injustice of it all....That I should have 3 backing accidents, and all 3 be BARELY my fault.

Again, I feel your waves of sympathy for my suffering, and I appreciate it. Someone needs to, because by the time I finished my 3 tales of woe to Studmuffin's family, my brother-in-law decided I must be truly blond. Yes, only God knows my hair color, it changes so regularly, but I resent the blond comment. I mean, honestly .....As if any of this is my fault in the first place!!! If that pole had not been so huge (like 3 foot diameter) and in a bad place (it had a rainbow of paint on it,) and if the soon-to-be-ex had parked in a real space instead of stopping in the middle of a driveway, and if Studmuffin had remembered my penchant for nonobservance, none of these things would have happened. I am just the victim of happenstance. It could happen to anybody, I'm sure!

Thank you for your understanding in these sensitive matters.

1 comment:

Becky said...


Those are huge waves of sympathy because I blame every fender bender on my mother. It ...ahem... they were all her fault. :-p