Parallel Lives

Nothing in life is stagnant and there is no greater testament of this than when I return to my childhood home. My parent’s backyard oasis is always lusher, their house more cluttered with “treasures,” and our home, once on the outskirts of town, is practically the inner-city. Well, minus the gangs (unless you count my band of brothers’ occasional visit).

There is only one thing I can count on: my mother’s driving ability. Or rather, the lack thereof.

Mother is a nightmare behind the wheel. Picture the worst driver in the world, throw in a few blinders and you’ve got dear ol’ Christine. I have not let her drive me for years and I strongly protested when she recently offered to take my daughter Haddie to the “treat store.” When she demanded an explanation, all I had to say was “Parallel Parking” and the bomb was diffused.

One day she was out with my sister-in-law, Jane. Mother (who loves to shop) saw a “cute” store in the middle of a shopping district that she just had to visit.

She spotted an open parking space, put on her blinker and proceeded to parallel park. This attempt in itself was very ambitious considering her abysmal driving record. As a bonus, the traffic light up ahead was red so Mom did not have to worry about cars careening past her.

And so she parked. Or at least tried to. She backed in and out, readjusting herself every few seconds as surrounding cars started blazing their horns. She, of course, ignored them. Horns and fingers are very common things that surface when she drives.

My sister-in-law was not paying attention up until this point. She finally looked ahead to the traffic light that had turned green and then back at my mom’s parking job.

She then realized the terrible truth: my mother had been mistakenly trying to parallel park between two moving vehicles that were merely stopped at the red light.

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