Sister and I took The Littles to the local rec center’s indoor playland at the crack of YES, WE’RE REALLY OUT AND ABOUT NOW.
Actually, it wasn’t all that bad; we just sent our bigger kids to school and loaded our smaller kids up in the Suburbans. Thing 2 had some energy to burn, and a padded playland, with slides and climbing walls and tubes and YOU CAN’T BREAK ANYTHING IN HERE was exactly what we needed.
I’ll just go on record and state that in the entire hour and ten minutes that we were there, Thing 2 DID NOT pinch, hit, bite or kick anyone.
It was exactly like the angel of the Lord had descended upon us.
The enormous climbing tubes and slides and tunnels plum wore our baby out. When we came home, he knocked out a two-hour nap, which gave me and Max Lucado plenty of time to get real friendly through the book I’m reading.
After that, Hubs and I went to the boy’s parent-teacher conferences. We met with all of his teachers, and our time at the school couldn’t have gone better. The boy pulled straight A’s again, and every single teacher told us that he was the model student in class.
I may have mentioned that Hubs and I nailed that parenting thing with the boy and even decided we should write a book to help other parents who are doing things wrong.
As we were walking out of the school, Hubs and I wondered aloud how Thing 2’s parent-teacher conferences would go in the fall of 2017, when he starts kindergarten. I told Hubs that I should probably just buy into the whole homeschooling lifestyle before then, so that I’m not horribly embarrassed when he’s kicked out of school before his first class Halloween party rolls around.
When our conferences wrapped up, I picked the boy and Enzo up, and we ran a couple of errands downtown. One of these errands involved me parallel parking in the city, so that the boy and Enzo could quickly dash into a store.
Here’s the thing.
There was the end of the street. Then there was a pickup that was parked. Then there were two entire open parking spots. I pulled in, because GLORY, GLORY, HALLELUJAH! With my beastly Suburban, I never attempt the whole BACKING RIGHT INTO a parallel parking spot. Oh, no! I’d end up fined for all the street signs I would wipe out.
While I was pulling into the double-opening, the pickup that was at the head of the block LEFT! And there you have it, people. It was a Parking Miracle. I just finished driving forward to the end of the block and threw my giant bus into PARK. The boy and Enzo bolted to do their quick shopping, and I settled in to wait for five minutes.
In that time, an elderly woman in a maroon Cadillac pulled in to park behind me, and I’ll be honest. Even though it’s like the pot calling the kettle black, I have to say… she was doing a flat-out AWFUL job of it. There were two spaces for her (the two spaces that I hadn’t ended up using, after I’d pulled forward when the truck left). Her Caddy was sticking out into traffic, and a nice gentleman in a truck that was jacked up four feet and was covered in bumper stickers with foul words regarding politics honked his giant horn at her.
That’s when she began laying on her own horn.
It was like a horn-off.
The trucker eventually gunned his gas pedal, jerked his steering wheel to the left, switched lanes in a huff, and roared around that little old lady, whose Cadillac trunk was blocking traffic.
And that, folks, is exactly how she LEFT her car.
She got out.
She locked her PRACTICALLY BRAND NEW CAR BY INSERTING THE KEY INTO THE DOOR. I had no idea that anyone still did that. What did she think the buttons on her keychain were for? Was this 1986 again?
As she walked by my Suburban, she stopped at my passenger window and very firmly made hand motions to let me know that I should roll my window down. Since she was about 75 to 80 years old and weighed approximately 89 pounds, I decided she wasn’t a threat.
I was in the city, you know, so you can never be too careful.
I rolled down my passenger window and said, “Hi!”
And that is when she unleashed a black cloud of verbal abuse on me that made the bumper stickers on the jacked up truck look tame.
She called me a PARKING PIG, because if I had moved twelve inches forward, she would have been able to get her Caddy in behind me, and HOW DARE I REFUSE TO MOVE FORWARD TWELVE INCHES, BECAUSE DID I NOT KNOW THAT I WAS CAUSING OTHER PEOPLE A GIANT INCONVENIENCE? She barked at me, “Did you not hear me honking at you, to get you to move twelve inches FORWARD?!”
And then she said the phrase PARKING PIG again, which would be hysterical if… you know… it wasn’t what she was calling ME… right to my face.
And then she told me that maybe I’d better visit an eye doctor if I couldn’t see that I still had an entire foot ahead of me to use, and that perhaps I should attempt being a little more polite to other people who wanted to park on the street by USING MY FULL SPOT, so that they could USE THEIR FULL PARKING SPOTS.
What did I do about all of this?
I said, “Thank you for telling me.”
And then I pulled forward twelve entire inches.
In the meantime, all of the traffic coming our way had to switch lanes to go around the Cadillac that was hanging out into the street, while she ran into the pharmacy for five minutes.
So yeah. I’m still trying to come to grips with the fact that I am a parking pig.
When I told the boy and Enzo about it later, the boy was ready to go to battle for me and kick an elderly woman down. It’s nice to know he’s on my team, even though he often criticizes my parking himself.
Later this afternoon, after my own little private pep talk, in which I said, “You’re not a complete parking pig,” to myself in an effort to rebuild my self-esteem from the ground up, Thing 2 and I did some dishes together.
There were also some times when I had to say, “No, no, no! We stay OUT OF the sink when we do dishes!”
Times eighteen thousand.
It was exactly like you would imagine washing dishes to be, if you had a twenty-seven pound raccoon standing on a chair beside you.
And then I wrote, “I WILL NOT BE A PARKING PIG,” on the blackboard one thousand times.
(Had I been thinking, I could have released Thing 2 from his carseat and said, “Remember how good you were at the playland this morning? Well, this is your chance to give a little old lady a good pinching! Go get her, Son!”)
Y’all have a great weekend.
And please. For the sake of your community, please pull your vehicles forward that last twelve inches, so that Cadillacs can park comfortably behind you, even though their spot is large enough to parallel park a train in.