My husband is spatially gifted. He can visualize a pile of crap neatly ordered and snug in a box, ready to store in the attic. When I want to change the look of a room, instead of allowing me to just move furniture and see what works, he’s the one who gets out graph paper, a measuring tape and a mechanical pencil, measures the dimensions of the room and furniture pieces, and then creates scale drawings to see if my ideas will work.
He is Mensa smart and can speak intelligently about almost any subject. He seems to have had almost every job in the world at least once and can speak just as easily about how sewage treatment plants work as he can about all facets of architecture, making pottery, emerging technologies, medieval English poetry, and environmentally friendly alternative fuels.
He packs the trunk of a car for a trip like it is a puzzle, with every corner snug, every little space taken up by the perfect fitting smaller object. It’s a work of art, really, and sometimes I don’t want to unpack the trunk before we take a picture for the grandkids.
Why oh why, then, does parking straight, centered in a parking space, elude him? Even worse, why is leaving the car crooked in the parking space, too close to one line or the other, acceptable to this Type A man?
Sometimes when he pulls into a parking space and comes to a stop, my body actually leans because the car is crooked. Instead of straightening up the car before turning off the ignition, he’s out of the car and ready to shop while I’m still forcing myself to sit up straight so I can unbuckle my seatbelt.
He’s not too bad when it comes to turning left into a parking space. I’ve tried to tell him it’s because he has more space in which to make the turn into the sweet spot of the parallel lines. Getting him to apply that science to turning right into a space has been heretofore nearly impossible and he cuts the corner every time.
This is not parking on the diagonal, I remind him.
He’s between the lines, he tells me.
But too close to the right line, I warn him. And if the car parked to the right is banged and dinged, the driver certainly won’t care if he hits our vehicle on his way out of the space.
Not our problem, the hubs tells me.
It is if he cracks our tail light and doesn’t leave his name and phone number and offer to pay for the damage, I tell him.
The secret to parking in a space on the right side of the parking lot aisle is quite simple, really. You drive your vehicle towards the left hand side of the aisle and make a wider turn into the parking spot, coming into it straight, rather than from an angle.
Apparently I speak Greek when I tell him this because he looks at me with a blank face.
Maybe it would be different if someone besides his wife gave him this information. So far, however, no such luck. And his crooked parking nearly always triggers an argument, even when I speak nicely about it, which is almost always.
I have a new theory now. My husband doesn’t like to address the problem because it is one of the only things he doesn’t do well, and he is enough of a competitor that it makes him angry to be reminded about it. By his wife. Who should drive and park worse than he does. But doesn’t.