You want me to do what?

I’ve never parallel parked.

You heard me.


I have a phobia about parallel parking. Seriously. I took driver’s ed when I was fifteen and I completed the class with an A grade, but whenever we practiced parallel parking, I simply moved back in the line of drivers and didn’t actually parallel park. I took my driver’s test on my sixteenth birthday and I completed every task requested of me. Finally, the instructor and I are sitting in my car and there’s only one thing left to do.

“Okay Miss Collins,” he said. “If you could just pull forward and park between those two cars, we’ll finish this up.”

The car didn’t move.

I thought about trying it. Really I did. Instead, I turned to the older man in the passenger seat. “If I refuse to do it, will I fail the test?”

He frowned at me and looked over my scores. “Well, no. You’ve aced every part of the test. You pass whether you parallel park or not, but you might as well try.”

I put the car in reverse and parked it in a space in front of the building. (If you don’t parallel park, then what do you call parkingĀ in a regular space? It isn’t perpendicular parking or lateral parking?)

The instructor looked at me and I looked at him. He shrugged and said, “Congratulations. You are a licensed driver.”

That was over twenty years ago. To this day, I have never parallel parked. I’m an excellent driver and I handle a car well. I know that I could parallel park, but I don’t want to – ever, and I don’t even know why I have this issue. I just know that something in me prevents me from putting a car in that position.

What silly little things do you refuse to do?