Women in Cars

Posted on July 15, 2017


Life in the Boomer Lane has always wished that she could secretly video any number of times that she has been in cars with groups of women.  These video-worthy events are usually precipitated by being lost,  concern about potentially getting lost, inability to find where one’s car is parked, confusion about how to exit parking garages, mistrust of GPS systems (resulting in at least two occupants of the car having their cell phones blaring directions at the same time), disagreement about what road signs mean, and concern about failing eyesight.

Yesterday evening, LBL accepted an invitation from a friend for a group happy hour at a bar/restaurant, about three blocks away from her friend’s home. Everyone met at the friend’s house. From there, they would go to the restaurant. One of the women preferred to drive. Four others, including LBL went in her car.  The rest walked.

As it was very early, there were many parking spaces on the street, close to the restaurant. A, the driver, chose a spot on the left side of the one-way street. She announced very loudly, “I’m parking here! Pay attention! Watch the car! One of the women in the back seat, G, responded with “Oh my!.” Clearly uncomfortable with the idea of left-hand parallel parking, she executed a duck-and-cover maneuver, reminiscent of what airline passengers are told to do in the event of a water landing.

A seamlessly parked the car, only to notice a sign at the curb. “The sign says no parking on Wednesday from 6-8 PM for the farmer’s market!” M, the friend who lived three blocks away, pointed out that this was Thursday, not Wednesday, and that A would be fine. A long debate ensued, with two women not trusting the sign and two others insisting that Thursday was not the same as Wednesday. G gave no opinion, but did manage to slowly unfold herself into a normal sitting position.

After awhile, A said she was too uncomfortable to park near the sign (or any other sign). She pulled out and then attempted to park on the right side of the street. The instructions given were “No talking! Watch my car! Make sure I’m doing this OK!” To her credit, G executed no emergency protective positions, clearly calmer about the idea of right-hand street parking. When the car was parked, M pointed out to A that this side of the street was metered parking. This situation required a new round of discussion.

P asked LBL to please look carefully at the meter and read everything on it. Concern was elicited about what the hours of the meter were, whether it would accept quarters, and whether this meter had anything to do with the farmers’ market. LBL told everyone that this meter only accepted a Parkmobile app (A had no such app) or a credit card. She also told them that, as it was 3:55 PM, and the meter required parking payment up to 6 PM, they would need two hours of parking.

A discussion ensued, concerning the fact that the maximum time on the meter was two hours, but they needed two hours and five minutes. Everyone gave their opinions. LBL noticed that no credit card was being produced during any of this, so she put her own card in the meter, accepted the maximum time and handed A the receipt.

The final discussion revolved around where, exactly, inside the car, the receipt should be displayed. A started to walk toward the driver’s side, but P yelled at her to go to the passenger’s side. By this time, both LBL and M were walking away as rapidly as they could, toward the restaurant. G stayed back, and seemed to have no opinion. She merely checked herself for bruises.

Safely in the restaurant, LBL seated herself at the table and ordered a margarita. When it arrived, it appeared entirely too small an amount to allow her to unwind from her recent parking experience. It took a second margarita to calm her nerves and even to neutrally look forward to the three-block trip back to her friend’s house.