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Embarrassing problem

Discussion in 'Personal' started by giraffe, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Since passing my driving test some months ago, I've been steadily improving and am becoming fairly competent. I still make occasional mistake, but nothing too bad.
    Only problem is, I've been avoiding parallel parking since passing the test and am now finding it really difficult to get my car into a space on a street.
    I used to be pretty good with my driving instructor's car and could slip into a space nicely. He did have blind spot mirrors fitted, though, and I think these gave me confidence because I could see the kerb. Might get some fitted onto my car, although my husband will no doubt have something mean to say about it if I do.
    It's probably because I'm out of practice and don't feel confident to make decisions about reversing towards other people's prized cars on my own. A couple of times I've ended up doing that really embarrassing thing of shunting backwards and forwards trying to get near enough to the kerb and then giving up and driving away. There is a bay for cars to park just round the corner from my house and I've twice been totally unable to get my car into it. It's very public - just outside houses of neighbours - and I get so flustered, I can't think straight and as a consequence either go in too 'steep' and hit the kerb, or not sharp enough and straighten up miles away from the kerb.
    When I have to drive somewhere, I worry about parking when I get there.
    I get very self conscious about being a woman who can't park - don't want to confirm any sexist stereotypes in passers-by
    I can bay park with no problem and can get the car in and out of our garage that's chocca with timber and boxes with just a teeny gap to get the car in.
    But parking in the street between other cars? [​IMG]
     
  2. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Since passing my driving test some months ago, I've been steadily improving and am becoming fairly competent. I still make occasional mistake, but nothing too bad.
    Only problem is, I've been avoiding parallel parking since passing the test and am now finding it really difficult to get my car into a space on a street.
    I used to be pretty good with my driving instructor's car and could slip into a space nicely. He did have blind spot mirrors fitted, though, and I think these gave me confidence because I could see the kerb. Might get some fitted onto my car, although my husband will no doubt have something mean to say about it if I do.
    It's probably because I'm out of practice and don't feel confident to make decisions about reversing towards other people's prized cars on my own. A couple of times I've ended up doing that really embarrassing thing of shunting backwards and forwards trying to get near enough to the kerb and then giving up and driving away. There is a bay for cars to park just round the corner from my house and I've twice been totally unable to get my car into it. It's very public - just outside houses of neighbours - and I get so flustered, I can't think straight and as a consequence either go in too 'steep' and hit the kerb, or not sharp enough and straighten up miles away from the kerb.
    When I have to drive somewhere, I worry about parking when I get there.
    I get very self conscious about being a woman who can't park - don't want to confirm any sexist stereotypes in passers-by
    I can bay park with no problem and can get the car in and out of our garage that's chocca with timber and boxes with just a teeny gap to get the car in.
    But parking in the street between other cars? [​IMG]
     
  3. Sounds like a bit of practice might help. Is there an industrial estate or somewhere with empty roads that you can practice in without fear of hitting another car?
    If it's any consolation, I have also done the shunting back and forth then driving away thing. Why does that always seem to happen when there are people around to watch?
     
  4. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Shortly after passing, I could do it with no problem, but I did find it one of the more stressful manoeuvres and so avoided it where possible.
    Being a perfectionist doesn't help, either.
    I managed it today in town because we were late for an appointment and there was no time to find an 'end' space. Went in no problem, I suppose.
    i will have to get more practice at this - still have one pass plus lesson to book and so will mention it to my instructor for a booster session on parking!
    Anyone else get parking nerves?
     
  5. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Tbh, it sounds like you may be worrying too much about it, go to a quiet area, get some boxes to be other cars and practice. It's not difficult, but you do need to be confident about doing it.
    Hope all's well with you, what a pity you didn't get to go to Morrocco with your husband. It's a fascinating country, the architecture is incredible and I loved the new mosque in Casablanca.
     
  6. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    I passed my test before parallel parking was on it so have never learned properly and I do have a number of Reginald Molehusband days (you may be too young to remember that!). I am OK parking on the passenger side in the day time but hopeless on the driver's side or in the dark when I can't see the kerb.
    I think some practice somewhere quiet is in order. Industrial estates at weekends are ideal (I did much of my pre test practice on industrial estates). Maybe you could take a couple of plastic crates with you to space out and give you a realistic space to get into without hitting anything and if you do misjudge it and hit them you won't do the car any damage.
     
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Oh, join the crowd giraffe! [​IMG]
    Never learnt how to do it when I took my driving test and now have been known to drive 5-6 times round and round trying to find somewhere 'big enough to park in' (need something the size of a bus!).
    I've done the shunting back & forth, and driving out and in again in a vain attempt to get nearer the kerb! Husband & son always lauugh when for 2nd or 3rd time , always end up with exactly the same space between me and the kerb! I also drive round and round Tesco's car park trying to find a space where I can drive thro' - so don't have to reverse out!
    Years ago a colleague always choose her cars, depending on whether they had more engine 'in front' than boot 'in back' to help her park!
    You are NOT alone and it is something many of us struggle with, always worse if we've people behind us or watching!

     
  8. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Thank you so much for making me feel better about it. [​IMG]
     
  9. Oh I can't park for toffee! Mr C tries to make me feel better about it by saying 'don't worry dear, I can walk to the kerb from here'. Pig!
     
  10. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    Welcome to the club!
    I've avoided parallel parking if at all possible for 30+ years. I only do it if there's no option. It doesn't make me a worse driver and I wouldn't worry there's always something the other critics don't do as well as you!
    Mr Cosmos sounds like Mr GP.
     
  11. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I can't do it, either, so guess what? I find somewhere else.
    I don't do motorways, either. My spatial awareness must be poor. Nothing on earth will make me drive on a motorway.
    We all have something we aren't good at!
     
  12. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    If I had to take a test now - with parallel parking in it - I'd just stop driving. Too hard for me.
    Why is it in the test?
    I've been driving for many, many years and have never needed to do it.
     
  13. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    Oh Dunteachin we must be twins! I passed my test 27 years ago and apart from my one motorway lesson after passing, I haven't driven on a motorway either! I dread parking too - especially on the school drive which has a slight bend - so difficult to get close to the kerb.
    I really thought I was the only one like this!
     
  14. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Maybe you are over thinking it. I was taught all the different positions of when to turn etc when I learnt, but found it really stressful and often got it wrong or panicked if I couldnt remember the sequence. When I did it quickly without thinking about it I did it really well. (mind this is without a car behind.) I did get it for my test which was my worst nightmare, but I thought I had made a mistake earlier and already failed so did a quick wizz in without really caring. As it happened I passed. I too avoid parrallel parking though and am glad I dont live in a big city with onstreet parking.
     
  15. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Don't worry about it, marlin, there are a few of us out there. I go wobbly at the thought of bypasses, too!
    Still, I can get up on stage and sing, dance and act. Bet all those motorway drivers can't!
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Some days it looks as though I've never been taught to parallel park, particularly if I'm tired. On those days I often give up and park elsewhere. I remember once, not long after I passed my test, when I was frantically trying to parallel park in a street where there was no room for cars to pass and I had cars lining up in front of me and behind. I got more and more panicky until I was finally "rescued" by a young woman who'd been watching from her living room window - she could see that I was suffering and came out to offer to park for me. It was only when I was out of the car that I realised that my problem was that the two cars on either side of the space were very badly parked - one too close to the pavement and at a bizarre angle and the other miles from it. I'd been trying to line up with them.
    For a couple of years after passing my test (aged 35 and on the 3 rd attempt) I avoided motorways and roundabouts where I had to exit anywhere beyond the second exit or if the view across the roundabout wasn't completely clear. This resulted in some magical mystery tours in the days prior to satnav.
    I got over my fear of motorways when I took a wrong turning and found myself with little choice but to join it...I didn't die and realised how foolish I was being. I'd actually taken a couple of motorway driving lessons but I was more scared of getting lost than the actual driving.
    19 years later I can do the motorways and the roundabouts but I'm still a bit unreliable with the parking - but now I realise that it doesn't really matter as long as you don't drive dangerously.
     
  17. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Must be twin to my own dear husband!
     
  18. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    And I can play the violin and piano - not everyone can do that either! [​IMG]
     
  19. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

  20. The secret is, go really,really slowly - that way if you accidentally touch another car, you won't do any damage.
    My dad has driven all sorts of vehicles - professionally and otherwise - and that has always been his mantra.
    That, and use your mirrors to reverse - that is how he taught my sister and I to do it.
    He once made me reverse a figure of 8. He wouldn't let us drive on the road until we could reverse competently. He said there was no point going forwards, if you couldn't go backwards.
    I am not fond of driving, but I do love squeezing into a tight spot - especially when there are men watching and thinking "......she's never going to get in there!";)
     

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