May 29, 2019

love taps, bumpers, and heavy duty transport

This happened a while ago, but I just came across this picture and realized I never shared the story with you, my sane, faithful readers, who have experience parking cars.  

Nothing to see here.  I could
 not wait for Becky,
 my other babysitting friend,
 to show up to
story time so I could describe
 the nuttiness to her.
I was taking the kids I sit for to the library for story time.  Whoopee!  It is a chore.  And I mean a chore to crawl in the back rows of seats in my big-ass, 12 seater, former-airport shuttle Chevy Express van to buckle the tots in their car seats.  

I am the queen of let-me-just-get-one-more-thing done, so I run late.  (me throwing my hands up with this proclamation like I am Italian, but I am not Italian).  Not to mention, I am working with eating, pooping, crying machines, so . . . they contribute to the lateness issue.

I pulled into the parking lot at the library and I pulled into a spot.  There was a car in the spot opposite my van, but the driver had chosen to drive thru the spot so that when said driver had to leave there would be no backing up involved.  Pull away to exit.  My front bumper was facing the driver's rear bumper, get it?

Let's be clear.  I drive a big ass van.  I need all the space I can get.  

I inched forward so that my ass (aka my van's ass - not my actual ass) would not dangle out of the parking spot.  I let my foot off the break.  Again.  Again.  A-g- . . . and I eventually touched, TOUCHED-so that we are clear, barely made contact with . . .  the bumper on the car in front of me.  No big deal, right?  This is why God created bumpers, or Henry Ford, or whoever.

I focused on grabbing the kids from the car and unloading the monstrosity stroller, Big Bertha, that I bought used last year- this thing makes me happy I married a physical therapist, because it is a killer.  It messes with my shoulder, my back, my patience, etc.

Before I walked to the rear of the car, the driver of the car in the spot in front of me hopped out of  her car.  She happened to be sitting in her car on this Valentine's Day when I gave her a love tap.  Swell.  

Just sitting.  I do sometimes get jealous of people who just sit.  She gave me a look.  Then she stood between the two cars and stared.  She looked too old for story time, but hey - so do I.  She had no kids with her.  She wasn't rushing like I was.

I KNEW that there was absolutely no damage done to either car.  I barely touched her, and bumpers function this way.  They touch.  No problem.  Right?

I hopped down from my big rig and said, 'Sorry about that.  I was just inching forward.  I barely touched you.'  I proceeded to unload Big Bertha- the stroller that serves a purpose but secretly hates me.  

'Hi.  I'll behave now,' said my people-mover,
cow of a stroller Big Bettha.
Notice a plethera of straps.
Just no strap to keep it closed.
This was the exact moment that Big Bertha decided NOT to unfold.  Understand, this stroller does not have a little latch that you snap so that it stays compact when folded.  The first several dozen times I used it I just assumed I was missing something.  Nope.  There is no strap or lever or latch that holds the damn thing closed, so usually when I unload it, Big B just opens.  Since she weighs about 175 pounds, it is a slight challenge to unload her and manage her unfolding into ginormous status in a crashing, back-breaking flash.  

Today one of the straps was stuck on another part of the stroller and I could NOT open the thing.  I knew I was being waited on to discuss possible but improbable damage, so I was just pleased as punch to be wrestling with Bertha who insisted on staying closed up and bitchy.  Eventually I discovered the strap with the snafu, untangled it, and she popped open while secretly laughing at me. 

Woman-who-likes-to-sit-in-cars was still standing there when I came around the passenger side (dripping in sweat in a Chicago winter) to unload the booger makers.  

Sitter was exasperated.  I humored her, but I made sure she knew I was not happy about wasting my time.  I bent down and got close to her car.  There was not even a bit of displaced salt on her fricking bumper.  

I should thank Big Betha for putting me in a don't-mess-with-me mood.  I just looked at her.  'That's what bumpers are for.  There is not even a mark on your car.'  

Then I pulled my own personal germ-fest out of their seats and marched into story time all drippy and pumped up and ready to do more than love-tap something.  


Kari said...

I once had a neighbor who ran a home day care; she had to be in her 60's back then (this was in the late 90s) and she had this flatbed that they use at retail stores to move freight around. She glued school chairs onto the flatbed and had little seat belts on the chairs. She would push that flatbed down up and down the street. This was before I had kids and we would sit in our home and laugh.

Now, I get it. God bless her.

Ernie said...

Ha! God bless her is right! I only have a few days left of sitting for this school year. I CANNOT see myself doing this when I am in my 60's. Plus some of the moms I sit for get a little goofy about stuff= I imagine they would call unsafe if I attempted to wheel their kids around on a glued on chair contraption. I have a couple of very great moms that I sit for too, who are totally go-with-the-flow and appreciative. In the meantime Big Bertha is a blessing that I often despise. I can't transport these little guys without her, but she is a BEAST! Hard to steer, impossible to collapse, and draws much more attention than I am interested in.