My husband and I are polar opposites when it comes to parking. He looks for the closest spot, even if it means squeezing in between two cars. I look for a wide spot, even if it means parking further away. And preferably one that’s not next to a big SUV or truck as that makes it difficult to see when you are backing out of the spot.
Speaking of backing up, my preferred parking spot is one where you can pull all the way through so that the car is nose out for exiting. No backing up required! (If you do this in a crowded lot, make sure there isn’t a car trying to pull into the spot at the same time from the front.) This means, of course, that I rarely choose to park, nose in, directly in front of a strip mall – as you are forced to back out upon leaving. Having said that, however, if you DO find yourself having to park this way, take a second to check out your headlights reflected in the plate glass of the storefront. It’s a good way to notice if any of your front lights are out. I just noticed yesterday that one of mine is out. I’ll have to remember to tell Jay.
Speaking of Jay, he can parallel park with ease. I’m terrible and pray to find two parking spaces together, or one next to a no parking zone, so I can just pull into it without jockeying around. I’m so bad it warrants an audience.
It’s not my fault. My spatial perception is bad. Even pulling out of the garage when his car is parked in the driveway is a challenge. He thought I was exaggerating my lack of ability until I scraped his truck one day. (It’s not my fault that I get motion sick, either. On a road trip I need to sit in the front seat and can’t read a road map or text or anything. The Calgary airport has a spiral entrance/exit for the parking structure. I cannot take that and must be dropped off on the first level.)
Besides parking, I’m also very particular about making left turns onto busy streets. We lived in our last house for 21 years and I’ll bet I didn’t leave the neighborhood via the exit requiring a tricky-ish left hand turn more than a couple times/year. People may have laughed at me, but I noticed there were LOTS of accidents at that exit and none of them involved me. Why turn left when you can take a right turn out of the other exit?
The following illustrates the level to which I take my parking/left hand turns planning. A couple of weeks ago my Mom told me that my sister had been hit by an oncoming car when making a left hand turn out of the parking lot where the local Tim Horton’s is. Yeah, that’s a tricky one, I told her. She was probably using the exit near the bank. (She was.) She should use the exit near the Kentucky Fried Chicken, I suggested. It’s a lot easier to manage. You might not think this observation meaningful unless I tell you that I don’t even live in the same city they do. I’ve probably only been to that Tim Horton’s six times in my life. Yet, I have a parking and exit strategy for it.