I have mentioned here several times, I believe, that I grew up on one of the steepest hills in San Francisco. We were on Leavenworth, between Union and Filbert. The Filbert street hill, from Hyde to Leavenworth, is "the" steepest hill in the city. (In fact, I don't know why people spend so much time going down the crooked street two blocks away when going down Filbert is MUCH more scary!)
When I was going to high school, there were no such things as drivers' ed classes, at least not in Catholic girls' schools, so when it came time for me to learn to drive, I had lessons from my father. Our sessions frequently ended with neither of us speaking to each other, but I did learn how to drive. And park.
We never had an automatic transmission so I learned on a standard transmission and since a good deal of my time in the car would require me to park on our hill, I had to learn how to parallel park on the hill using our standard transmission Chevy.
I was damn good at it. I was master of the clutch, often parking perfectly with only one pass, lining the car up perfectly.
(Now the city has changed parking on the hill to diagonal parking which I feel is cheating! Wimps!)
Now I live in a town where the steepest hill is the overpass over the freeway (and there is no parking there), so I should be a wiz at parking anywhere in town. But the older I get, the worse I get. I can't get the car straight, even with maybe 10 different back and forths. I get out of the car and there is a good 12 inches from the car to the curb.
It's downright embarrassing to someone who was such a master of parking in San Francisco. I chalk it up to age, poor vision, a less flexible neck, and the taller seats in these modern cars. But whatever the reason, I can't park well to save my soul any more
Today I outdid myself.
There was no parking available at Atria, so I went looking on the street where there was also almost no parking available except for those tantalizing vacant Zip car spots.
But then I spied a spot that might work. It would be tight, but maybe I could squeeze in.
Less confident than normal, I tried angling the car right but it wasn't right and it required lots of back and forth, back and forth until I was well and truly stuck and could no longer move. My back tires were against the curb and my front tires were right on top of the back of the car in front of me.
To make matters worse, two servers I recognized from the dining room at Atria told me that I had hit the car in front and was now hooked on its bumper.
(left shot is from the street side, right from the curb side)
It really didn't look like I had hit the car, but merely that I was wedged against it (the dent is from another accident) but I was afraid to try to move. Thank god for AAA. I called for a truck and while waiting called Walt and told him I was never, ever going to leave the house again.
In due course, my savior arrived.
and he did what I was GOING to do until the servers from Atria convinced me I would further damage the other car. He got in my car, put it in reverse, backed over the curb, and I was free. The "fix" took about 2 seconds.
It used to be that if I couldn't find parking in the lot or a BIG spot on the street, I would run an errand and come back later, but it was so late in the day that wasn't possible--and I had not gone to see her yesterday because of the picnic.
I did manage to find a BIG on-street parking slot that just opened up, with only a huge pile of tree clippings in front of me to damage.