Don’t park behind me

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 10, 2005

As of today I have had my driver’s license officially for 13 years.

I know I am a terrible driver and have come to terms with it.

If I am in my car with anyone else of legal driving age, I turn over the keys.

I would much rather sit back and fiddle with the buttons on the radio than have to think about merging lanes or checking my rearview mirror.

The last two states I have lived in have only written driving tests.

I know and obey the rules on the road.

I aced my signs test and can tell you how far to stop from a school bus with its lights on.

The second time was a charm for me at the North Carolina DMV office. I only missed the first time by one, well maybe it was two questions, from the maximum number wrong.

I laugh every time I have to show my driver’s license. I was so excited I passed the test, I have a huge smile on my face.

I don’t know if I slept through driver’s training or I was too busy talking, but I missed out on all the important driving techniques.

I cannot parallel park. If I have to go somewhere in downtown Ahoskie, I will walk blocks to get to my destination.

I also have not mastered the &uot;R&uot; gear.

My dad tried to teach me these skills before I got my driver’s license, but he got so frustrated with me he gave up.

I think I have also convinced him I can get through life not knowing how to parallel park and how a little walking is good for your heart.

The night before my 16th birthday, a few friends and I headed down the backcountry roads to the town next to my hometown.

My one friend was a year older and had a car.

On the way home, about 15 miles from my hometown, I begged him to let me drive since it was less than 24 hours until I was a legal driver.

He pulled in to a driveway and I jumped in the driver’s seat.

I mentioned I was not good at the backing up part. I put the car in reverse and hit the gas, crossed over the road and into a huge snow filled ditch.

We tried everything and the car was not coming out of the ditch without a tow truck.

In the freezing cold, I walked a mile to the nearest residence and phoned the tow truck.

The tow truck took every penny of birthday money I had.

I hope my dad does not read this column. I have failed to mention to him I was the one driving when the car went in the ditch.

If we needed something from the grocery store, I was the first to volunteer. Even if we didn’t need anything, I would still go. The two blocks to the grocery store were enough to heal my driving fix for a few days.

My norm was to park in the furthest parking spot at the store so I could drive through the parking spot without backing up.

One day, feeling brave, I parked in a normal spot near the door.

I backed out of the spot and ran in the back of a bag boy’s truck.

There was no hiding the damage this time; thank goodness for insurance.

My most recent driving mishap happened a few weeks ago.

I was at a friend’s house in Northampton County. I always try to park in their circular driveway so I can drive straight through. Somehow, on this trip, I managed to park behind one of their vehicles.

My friend’s roommate was late for a meeting and my friend was on the phone with computer tech support, so I was on my own as I had to back up my car.

I got in, backed up, went forward, backed up again and then forward. Fifteen minutes later and completely embarrassed, I was out on the street.

My advice to the residents of the Roanoke Chowan area, please do not park behind the News Herald circulation manager. If you do, please offer to move my car.