Friday, August 21, 2009

lucy comes out to complain...

I love driving. I hate parking. Let me clarify that a bit. I love driving most of the time – particularly long stretches of road with the convertible top down and the sound of music or the silence of the evening swirling through the air. I don’t specifically hate parking in the sense of pulling into a space and placing the car in “P.” In fact, just recently I was complimented on my parallel parking skills. The precision of a perfectly executed sideways entry gives me great satisfaction.

The parking to which I refer is more the hunting for it and, then to add insult to injury, the paying for it. Now, I would rather circle a block a dozen times in the hope of a metered space for $3 rather than a quick stop in the $10 lot. (I realize you New Yorkers are asking about now, what am I whining about? Believe, me it’s not even the price that gets me.) So, what is the deal here? I honestly have no idea and it is not something I care to take to the shrink’s couch. However, I feel strongly enough that I must expound on it for a few more moments.

This week I have had to look (& pay) for more parking than normal. Tuesday, I had lunch with a long-lost friend. I rode my scooter downtown, quickly found the perfect spot marked “motorcycles only” and went to dine in the sunshine with my dear friend. Fabulous, huh? Then as we walked back to my “ride”, we noticed a meter-maid (I’m certain there is a more politically correct term, nonetheless), who was carefully adhering a parking ticket to my handle bars. Aaarrggghhh. I was not enraged or even particularly bothered at the moment. (My friend offered to pay for drinks the next time we gathered ☺). Since then, however, my aversion has raised its not-so-pretty head again and again until I decided I just needed to write about it.

So what is with that? I mean I am willing to drive or walk miles today to avoid the thought of looking and paying for parking again. My mind fantasizes about what kind of person would enjoy giving parking tickets for a living. Who are the bozos who placed all of the meters in MY neighborhood? Where’s the law of attraction when you’re looking for a parking place? Oh, I could go on and on. I was visiting a friend who lives in a high density area several weeks ago. I love this person and I adore spending time with her, but after 20 minutes of unsuccessfully looking for parking (there isn’t even any you can pay for in her ‘hood), I almost turned around and drove back home.

You might be wondering what is the point of this post? What self-revelation have I come to? Where is the spiritual component? The lesson to be learned? The questions to be asked? The point is I love driving. I hate parking. Parking is one of my pet peeves. I am most human behind the wheel. Hmmmmm.

So, I can’t end without a question (or two)? Parking? Any thoughts? How about other pet peeves? Where are you most human?

"an early driver" circa 1967? if you look closely you will see my father in the background. there is not a doubt my mother took this picture since she was infamous for cutting off people's heads (in photos).

17 comments:

Brett said...

Nope. Can't relate to this one, Lucy. I actually haven't driven a car in more than 15 years. A car in Manhattan is more trouble than it's worth. (Unless you can afford to garage it.) So...maybe i CAN relate after all.

kigen said...

I don't own a car, but I do take taxi's. Taxi cabs in New York City are often delivery-van type vehicles, and you have to pull hard with both hands on the latch to slide the door open. I am pint sized (5'4") and sometimes struggle with it. In addition the door is very high off the ground (for me), so that a couple of days ago I opened the cab door and glared in at the driver, and said, DO YOU HAVE A LADDER I COULD USE TO GET IN HERE!! The cabbie started laughing, so did a friend with whom I was going to breakfast. Whereupon (as we sped down Seventh Avenue to Greenwich Village), I began to lecture them both about the increasing height of young people causing middle aged people to become disadvantaged! This prompted more laughter, so I shut up and grrrrrrrrowled sweetly.

Country Parson said...

Pay for parking? Never heard of it out here. We don't even pay for parking at the airport. In a few minutes I'm going to ride my bike to the Y and will take some back streets to avoid the dozen or so cars I might meet on the busy streets.
CP

PS, As for the New Yorkers, I drove in and out of that city daily for quite a few years but had a permit to park in the no parking zone in front of the church. The only clergy discount I ever got, but it was a good one.

lucy said...

very interesting here...the first three comments come from those who either currently live in NY or lived there for many years. hmmmmm.

brett--how about a pet peeve for incomplete train schedules?

kigen--i vote for ladders in cabs. it'll probably take a prolonged lawsuit, however, to make it happen.

cp--how is rush minute these days? in my opinion that clergy perk is almost worth the price of seminary :-)

Barbara said...

Here in Montreal the city government is doing its best to promote public transportation and making it increasingly difficult to take a car downtown. We say we take the BMW -- bus, metro, walking -- and it is actually quite convenient.

However, when using my car to visit friends elsewhere in the city and to do local errands, I am routinely frustrated by the great number of confusing signs indicating areas where only those with special permits may park. While I have great sympathy for the folks who live in these neighbourhoods and cannot always find a place to park, I wish they would use a clearer signage. Add to that the various warnings about street cleaning days and times when no parking at all is permitted (you find these near metro stations) and it will often take longer to park than to take the metro to your final destination.

I join you in a cathartic ARRRGH, lucy!

lucy said...

thanks for joining in, barbara. we all need a good cathartic AAARRGgHHH every now and then!!

kigen said...

Lucy, Is this what you are saying? The ladder is a good idea, but not if it becomes a protracted lawsuit. Good to accept aging, but the best way into it is not confrontation.

lucy said...

kigen - the ladder is an excellent idea, but my sense is that people (cabbies, etc.) will keep laughing about the need until someone breaks their leg (without a ladder) trying to hoist themselves into a cab and then sues. only then will the cabbie (who will have also aged by then) think it's a good idea too.

accept aging, yes, since it is inevitable, huh? i am also all about raging against aging - possibly to defer it, but mainly so i can engage in life as healthily & fully as possible...for myself that looks like taking as good of care as i can through exercise, diet, self-care AND demanding a ladder if that's what i need. Growwwwllll as loudly on that one as you need or want. i'm right there with you!!!

Tess said...

OK, so I'm going to put my sanctimonious hat on here: I run a car and I expect to pay for parking. I expect to pay road tax, tax on petrol and loads of other expenses that are part and parcel of being a car owner. Because if I was really going to put my money where my mouth is on environmental things, I would get rid of my car. So I think everything that can be done to make car ownership prohibitively expensive should be done!

What does bug me? People who drag those little wheeled suitcases behind them in crowded places with no awareness of others around them, and people who stop abruptly at the bottom (or top) of escalators in department stores then just look around gormlessly while the bodies pile up behind them!

lucy said...

tess--yea for the sanctimonious! it is so funny because i believe all of that paying thing is working... because in addition to it being good for the planet - which i am certain always comes first over little old me (i wish) - i would much rather walk, bus or ride my scooter than drive my car to work and other necessary places (and must say i do on a pretty regular basis.)

however, i am struck by my absolute love of driving for pleasure - to clear my head and experience parts of nature i can't get to by bus or foot. sigh. so much to consider.

i always love your perspective. i would imagine that airport escalators are horrible for you if you happen to be behind a wandering, bag dragging, lollygagging, abruptly stopping tourist!!!

Abbey of the Arts said...

Thanks for the morning laughs here, I especially loved Tess' image of the clueless person who dawdles while lost. When I was in NYC last year for the first time in 12 years (and I'll add to the former New Yorkers comments here that having a car was never even considered because of hassle and expense and I didn't learn to drive until turning 21 and moving to California- and I never realized how much I could miss a subway as west coast public transit is terrible in comparison)I found myself walking at quite a good clip along with everyone else and getting so annoyed at the tourists stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk while everyone rushed around them. I laughed at myself because I was on vacation and really didn't have to get anywhere in a hurry, but there is a rhythm of life that is hard to avoid getting swept up in.

lucy said...

C--glad to supply you with a good morning chuckle. i just realized yet another of my pet peeves:

people who leave long-winded and potentially controversial comments on blog posts and then sign it "anonymous". (this just happened over at blisschick.) oh that makes me crabby!!

Erin Wright said...

if i comment on anything having to do with driving or parking, i may never shut up.... :)

Gabrielle said...

I don't know how to drive. I want to drive. Please tell me I'm not too old to learn how to drive, even if you don't know how old I am, and I'm not telling. :) I want to look for parking spots. I'll even gladly pay, at least once or twice. After that, I'll rely on the free-parking-spot angel.

lucy said...

erin - :)

gabrielle--you are NOT to old to learn how to drive!!! thank you for adding your unique perspective. so...when's the driver's ed course begin?

Gabrielle said...

I'm thinking September, if my nerve holds out. Thanks for the encouragement!

lucy said...

gabrielle--yea for you!!! go for it!!!