Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Screw the Housekeeper, I Really Want a Driver

I have a love/hate relationship with driving.  I love driving fast and I hate traffic, but I live in an area that makes driving fast nearly impossible due to the traffic.  I've been in about a dozen accidents and probably two weren't my fault, but I haven't had an accident in a few years.  I hate having to park a big car in a teeny, tiny parking space and it seems like every one these days are restriping their parking lots to make more spaces.  Today and yesterday would have been perfect days to employ a chauffeur.

I've been following a blog for quite some time and the writer opened her store today.  I had the address and knew in general where the store was located so I figured I'd make a quick jaunt down the 55 to check out the grand opening.  If only it were so easy. 

Let's start with the freeway itself.  For those of you who aren't familiar, the 55 SB dumps you directly on Newport Blvd.  If you don't take one of the exits before the end of the freeway, you are stuck in an impossible snarl of traffic.  No problem, I was going to take the last exit - Victoria/22nd.  The off ramp was closed.  So, naturally, I was stuck in an impossible snarl of traffic.  To make matters worse, I was all the way over on the right and life would have been better had I been to the far left so that I could make a U-turn at the first opportunity.  The other drivers on the road ensured that was not gonna happen.

I should add that the 55 splits Newport Blvd. into two one-way streets.  I was super-hella-aggravated, but figured that I can solve this problem easily enough.  No problem, I turned right, made it to Harbor, then turned on Victoria.  Eventually I made it back to Newport and started driving the correct direction. 

Imagine my surprise when the address I was looking for did not exist.  I should have just quit then, but I thought that perhaps I had been driving too fast and I missed it.  I was determined to make it to this new store because I've been following the progress and was excited to check it out.  So I crossed the freeway (remember that Newport Blvd. is a one-way at this point) went back on Newport, crossed the freeway, then went back on Newport in the correct direction.

Nope.  The address I was looking for did not exist.

I couldn't check the address because I do not have internet access from my cell.  I called someone and ask them to verify the address.  This person could not find info on the store or the blog that I follow and my son thought this was the perfect opportunity to flex his lungs.  He gave high-pitched squeals as I was trying to give Google suggestions.  How high-pitched?  Well, I think he broke my passenger-side mirror.  Okay, that was me, but more on that later.

Suddenly, I noticed the sign.  Yeah!  I had transposed the last two numbers in the address.  I excitedly pulled into the parking lot.  There were maybe twelve spots.  All taken.  I followed the parking lot to the left and was stuck in a dead end of around four handicapped stalls.  I'm not handicapped.  And I was stuck in the L-shaped lot. 

Thanks to my back-up camera, I managed to turn around without any problems.  If not for the back-up camera, I'm fairly certain that I would have taken out the trash enclosure.  By now there was an open spot in the parking lot.  A COMPACT spot.  I didn't notice that half the parking lot was for COMPACT cars on my first go-around.  Those of you who know me realize that my vehicle does not remotely resemble a COMPACT.

So I got back on Newport Blvd., did the four-lefts U-turn, and came back to the parking lot.  I actually tried the COMPACT space and let's just say that it would work. . .if I planned on jumping out of the car window as if it were the General Lee.  I'm not from Duke County, so I figured that wasn't a good plan.

By this time my son was getting restless and he was asking for lunch.  I eyed a spot that a couple were about to vacate.  The cars on either side of this spot were line riders and there was no way I'd fit.  Feeling discouraged, I decided to call it a day and returned home for lunch and naps.  Well, we both ate lunch and one of us took a nap.

Yesterday I went to my new favorite beach with my little guy.  It was relatively empty and I had my choice of parking spaces.  I chose a spot that had a tree to the right for two reasons.  One is that I remove my son out of the passenger side of the car and I prefer to have no cars to the right so that I can open the door as much as I want.  The other is that I figured the tree would offer a little shade.

Before pulling in to the spot, I didn't realize that this tree was not perfectly upright.  It kinda leaned to the side.  As in, over the parking spot I was taking.

In the resulting battle, my passenger mirror was killed.

Now, my first car didn't even have a passenger mirror and I never even used one on my second car.  But I have grown quite fond of knowing who might be lurking in my right blind spot.  I guess I should be happy that I didn't clip anyone in all of my driving adventures today.

Driving.  It's hard to believe that I really looked forward to this privilege at one time.  Why do teens so want their driver's licenses?  Because they aren't smart enough to realize what a colossal pain in the ass it is if you live anywhere besides a rural community.


  1. You have not had that car very long have you. WOW....poor mirror. Patience girl patience. hehe

  2. I was going to say that it's only been a few months, but I guess it's been over a year. Time really flies. Poor mirror - ha! You mean poor checkbook! My piss-poor parking job cost about $300. Ouch!

  3. I always tell Eric that when we win the lottery the only thing I want is a Towncar and a driver. Poor mirror :( I have also made my share of costly, completely my fault, stupid driving mistakes.

  4. Jenny, I'm glad that I'm not the only one!