It’s kind of funny. I switched my kids to the closer school so we could walk and not rely on my car so much. Yet this whole new year we’ve walked maybe two times. And somehow because we’re driving I always end up leaving to get to the school much too late. My perception of how fast I can drive to the school yard is a little off. This means I will be jockeying for a good drop-off positions with all the other miscalculating parents.
As we drive my oldest daughter will yell out ‘There’s a spot. Pull in there.’ I make a glance but quickly assess that there’s not way I could drive into that spot and fit. I drive on only to catch a larger vehicle in my rear view mirror expertly negotiating its way into my missed parking opportunity. I can’t parallel park. I did it for my driving test eons ago and I don’t think I’ve done it since. And now it’s been so long that I’m worried about even trying it. I would be one of those drivers backing up, pulling out, backing up, pulling out. Yes, I would be popular in the school drop-off zone.
I’m always amazed at people who easily wedge their vehicles between cars, in the middle of traffic. The road could be clear but as soon as my reverse lights go on, ten cars would be lined up trying to get down the street. Who needs that kinds of pressure. So we usually end up parking way up the street and walking back. I’m sure my daughter wishes I could parallel park, even if she doesn’t know the term.
Parallel parking is just one of many tasks I am woefully inadequate at. Cooking is another. I love food, I love really good food and I sometimes fantasize about adding a pinch of this and a dash of that when making dinner. I have an extensive cookbook library; I’m a sucker for all those delicious photos. I’m also one of those people who has to follow the recipe to the letter, without deviation. I like the idea of being creative with food, knowing what spices go well together, but it never works out. Sometimes even following the recipe ends in disaster.
Languages is another area I wish I had a nac for. I took French in high school and living in a bilingual city I did try to improve upon it. When I visited a friend in Germany at the end of high school, I promptly came home and enrolled in a German for Beginners class. I lasted two classes. I just wasn’t at the same level as the other beginners (and as an aside, I hate people who are obviously skilled at something but take a beginner class so they can perform well in it. Kind of sucks for the actual beginners who get lost in the class.) So needless to say I dropped that after the second class. I was finished with all the insecurities of high school, why was I paying someone to relive that feeling?
Don’t take this post the wrong way, I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I know there are many areas that I excel at and I relish those skills. But sometimes I can’t help but wish that with all the effort I put into something I would actually get a decent return. Maybe one day I’ll be a better cook, I keep trying, though I doubt I will ever master parallel parking or another language (I speak English fluently). But you know what, I’m okay with that, I think. I’m sure there’s something you wish you could do?