Put It In Park And Step Into My Office

We all know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but can you judge a driver based on the way he or she is parked?  I think that in some cases the answer is yes.  What do we think of the person who parks their car smack in the middle of two parking spots?  Selfish?  Check.  A false sense of self-importance?  Check.  Based on my own anecdotal evidence, it seems that the vehicles most frequently parked in this manner are Hummers or some other crazy ass suburban assault vehicles.  Then there is the driver who parks diagonally across two spaces.  Same as above, but even more arrogant.

A car that is sticking well out into the aisle even though the driver had plenty of room to pull in further?  I’m going to say that is typically a man, who has overestimated the size of his, umm, car.  A car parked right up against the line of another space may just be the victim of another car that was also parked over the line so they had no choice.  But someone started it, right?  To me that reads passive-aggressive.  A car that is perfectly parked, equidistant from the front, back and sides of the space is either an engineer or someone fairly neurotic, or both.  How about the car that is diagonal but still only taking up one space? Harried, lack of depth perception, or both.

There are parkers who can parallel park in a space that is perhaps 1” longer than their car; confident over-achievers?  Drivers who have attempted to parallel park but are still sticking way out from the curb are surely people who think their cars have side-wheel drive and can do some kind of crab maneuver to fit in the space properly.  Delusional about their power, or just unclear about the way wheels work?  The person parked in a no parking zone when there are lots of other spaces available?  Busier and more important than mere mortals.  On the other hand, drivers parked in a no parking zone because there is nowhere else to park could be considered pragmatic.

And as I learned the hard way, a parker who pulls up to a valet line just for a minute may be a parker with no car.  This happened when I was with my gay husband (NOT Dan) in Hawaii.  We pulled up to the front of the hotel to get something from the front desk, and when we turned back 30 seconds later the car was gone.  Vamoose.  Apparently the valet attendant was very efficient.  We laughed at ourselves while we waited for him to bring the car back.  We jumped in the car and parked it (in a super normal fashion) and reached in the back for our packages to find that it was not our rental car at all.  Just another rental in the exact make/model/color.  So we unparked (it’s not technically a word, but it has potential) and went up for a second round.  By then I had become BFFs with the valet and took a picture.  Mahalo.

If someone is interested in offering me a research grant, I would happily conduct long-term research into the correlation between the way a driver is parked and his or her particular personality traits.  In the meanwhile, it’s a lot of fun to guess.

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2 Responses to Put It In Park And Step Into My Office

  1. Betsey says:

    Your observations appear to be accurate. I have no spatial reasoning skills to speak of, and I tend to end up on a diagonal when parking the minivan. I do better when I’m driving a sedan though.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      So I have an official confirmation from an educator! I have no spatial relations skills either…maybe that’s a sign of high intelligence?

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