Saturday, October 27, 2007

"I Learned to Drive in LA"

I am simply amazed at the varied reactions I get when I mention the above. It swings from the reverent looks young Catholic school kids give to visiting Bishops, to annoyed teens looking at their parents like they are the biggest dweebs in the multi-verse.

Whatever the case, it seemed that the group I went to lunch with yesterday was more of the former than the latter group. I mentioned the two almost accidents I'd gotten into in the last two days and I seriously felt that all that defensive driving (and posturing, must remember the posturing) early on in my training kept me from limping to work in a demolished vehicle, yes, knocking on wood and lighting candles about it.

I live in a building with a mini parking garage. I think I've shared the tidbit that I consider it "mini" because the spaces are actually TOO SMALL for even the non-SUV cars? Right. Well the path in and out is really only big enough for 1.5 cars to fit side by side. Great planning I tell ya. To spice it up, the first 1.25 of our two level garage is reserved for the businesses housed on the first level of the building. Mostly lawyers.

Doesn't this sound good?

Right, so as I am grandma-ing my way out of my mini space and crawling along the path out to the exit, this Mercedes barrels in and starts honking at me. I'd come to a stop and they were screeching to one (concrete floors) and yeah, had been going to fast. Slipping into reverse I eased back to give them room. I do the jazz hands asking "WTF?" And she looked at me like, what are YOU doing here!? As if the tenants of the building are scum compared to the people who work in the law office. She could not keep going forward, and you know what? There was no where for me to go, because by that time another car was waiting to go out. More jazz hands...really, I so wanted to pull a "finger" but it reminded me far too much of LA driving and my dad and traffic on the I pointed out one of many Law Office parking spots she could take so neighbor-guy and I could get on with our lives.

Only after she had parked and I was out of there did I realize I was almost hit head-on. What a way to start a Wednesday.

Statistically speaking, the rest of the week should be wonderful.

I like my neighborhood, the major streets are far enough away from one another that you can easily and safely drive the speed limit without needing to deal with people on your ass or being fully awake to deal with the pedestrians I've described before running willie-nillie asking to be mowed down like some PlayStation video game.

Apparently the absence of high-speeds also gives me the extra maneuverability to swerve around people who misunderstand what those big red hexagonal signs placed at the corners of the smaller streets mean. The fellow came to a stop half-way into MY lane. I saw him and knew stopping would mean him slamming into the driver's side, so I crossed my fingers and hoped that all that wave/cosign/tangent stuff I learned in school would apply somehow.

I think I missed him by inches. Well, my failing peripheral vision saw him far too close outside my side window, but the operative word is MISSED. I was too busy with the steering wheel to produce hand gestures of any kind, but in my head there was an explosion of reactions.

As our department was trying to figure out who could drive to the lunch outing they had planned...I buried my car keys. Something about "third time's the charm" kept floating in my head. I definitely did not need it to happen with passengers, that would be too much.

We did, however, contemplate the coming winter, and winter storms, and just how bad Seattle-ites are at driving in snow. I think I need to time how long it takes to walk to work. I learned to drive in the snow in Tahoe, but it won't matter how awesome my snow-driving skillz are if the other 599,999 drivers in the tri-county area can't deal.


more cowbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
more cowbell said...

but it won't matter how awesome my snow-driving skillz are if the other 599,999 drivers in the tri-county area can't deal.

I don't even want to talk about last year's snow/ice debacle.