Fear of Reverse
I hate going backwards. Period! In life. In love. In careers.
Here’s how it manifests in the most aggravating way in real time.
I had a stretch of time a few years back, maybe 7-8 years ago, where I was incapable of backing up my car without hitting something. Seriously.
Small poles and such at first, and then the Pièce de résistance (thank you French husband), I backed my SUV up and ONTO the hood of a brand new Audi S6, with my trailer hitch acting as a can opener, as up his hood I went!
All this at the holidays, in a crowded Post Office parking lot that is literally the size of a postage stamp…(aren’t they all)? Hence the reason I couldn’t hear that guy’s frantic honking over all the usual holiday, postage stamp parking lot honking.
*Side note: I’ve always thought car horns should have different sounds to express different emotions, (I feel the same way about ringtones on phones). One could be a pissed off sounding HEY! for all the Prius drivers; another sounds like clearing your throat, to just get someone’s attention, you know, after the light has turned green and they’re texting. Another is so high pitched that only animals can hear it, for all those cats and errant squirrels that play chicken with my car.
But the one I needed to hear that day was the frantic horn.
Hey!!!! Beeeeeeepppp!!!!! Hey!!!!! Laaaaaddyyyyyy!!!!
Cool idea huh? You can steal it, just give me credit.
And send big checks.
Here’s the best part. I did it in front of my husband, who was in another car, eyes wide, mouth agape in disbelief, trying to look anonymous even though he had just kissed me goodbye for all the world to see.
He was also laying on HIS horn too! See?!! Too much honking!
Geez! How’s a girl to think?
So I carry with me to this day, a fear of going in reverse.
I will do anything to avoid backing up. I will drive around the block for hours, to find a parallel parking space.
I get jittery and leave the Trader Joes parking lot if it’s too crowded, and the spaces look dicey. I will NEVER back out of a driveway onto a busy street.
I would just as soon leave my car there and buy a new one.
I’m just so afraid I will maneuver my can opener, I mean car, up onto another unsuspecting victim.
Because I’m so nervous, EVERYTHING is drawn to behind my car! Isn’t that just the way it goes?! The second my backup lights come on, all manner of cars,trucks,scooters, ancient grandmas and grandpas, dogs, cats, children in strollers, ladies in rollers, kids on skateboards, twenty-something girls on their cell phones, and expensive sports cars, magically and instantly appear, (and closer than they really are) in my rear view mirror!
Because of this fear I have become a magnet for the slow and unaware among us.
If I honk to alert them to my presence, they flip me off. Grandmas give me stink eye.
I watch other people with great envy that can just put it in “R” and zip carefree
backwards and out, into traffic.
Remember my list of the things I’m not good at? I’m adding this, somewhere up near the top.
Quit your snickering, you’re all so smug…you can join my husband.