I consider it a particular challenge when I see a parking spot that has been passed over by other more timid drivers; a parking spot that left only an inch of clearance between bumpers. I would back into the space confidently, turning the steering wheel sharply right just at the sweet spot right at the end of the passenger side door and ease the car into the space.
I am not averse to bumping the bumpers of cars to get into a tight parking space. There's no other way, unless you want to drive for another hour to find a bigger spot. That would be like looking for true love in a gay bath house. You can find it, but what's the point? Your hair will be all frizzy from the steam and humidity and your relationship is doomed from the start. Everybody knows the foundation to a long term relationship is good hair. When a guy stops caring about his hair, that's when he starts taking you for granted. Besides, that's why it's called a bumper, right? It is meant to be bumped.
Sometimes, I would see people who are trying to carefully back into a spot without touching either car in front or back. Very often, these drivers would be sweating, looking harried or frustrated; their girlfriends outside signaling frantically to turn this way or that. I would shake my head sadly, thinking about how much time is wasted, how the driver is missing out on the satisfying crunch of bumper on bumper. I think about their movie theatre going dark or a maitre d' canceling their coveted dinner reservation—all for the sake of not bumping bumpers.
But then, that all changed.
I bought a new car. A 2004 galactic blue Volkswagen Jetta GLS. It is beautiful. I could go on and on about its virtues: the grey leather interior, the sound system, the moon roof, but I won't bore you. Let's just say that this winter, when you are freezing your ass off getting into your cold, cold car, my ass will be greeted by a warm seat courtesy of built-in ass warmers.
A stray thought: what if ass warmers become so wide-spread that it caused the end of the world by lowering sperm count? What if scientists found out that birth rates plummeted because of raised testicular temperature of those who drove these cars?
When you get a new car, it's like having a new baby in the house. You fanatically keep the interior clean, picking up any microscopic lint or spore. You buy special wipes to polish all surfaces. You refuse to give your boyfriend blowjobs in the car because saliva and spooge might stain the leather.
Outside, you worry about whether you're parking too close to the grocery cart corral at the supermarket. You drive around parking lots evaluating which car would likely not give you a ding by a careless driver opening the door. You avoid cars with any sign of duct tape.
You go shopping at places like Pep Boys or AutoZone, places you normally avoid because their bathrooms have no glory holes. But now you find yourself considering a shelf of nodding dogs, their curious, glassy eyes imploring you to take one of them home.
Of course, once the new parent figures out that the "baby" is not made of glass, they start to relax and become more tolerant of the little scrapes and falls. They don't freak out and start yelling at each other about who parked too close to the curb or why there are coffee stains in the cupholder.
I'm sure that day will happen soon. But right now, the car is shiny and new and pretty as can be.
Yes, "Pretty." That's what Brian's been calling the new car. I personally call it "myyy pret-teeee" while rubbing my palms together, cackling. I don't know if the name will stick. It's a new car's name. Maybe when it's not so new we'll call it "Pretty Dingy" or "Pretty Crappy" or something.
This is Pretty. Very Pretty.