When I bought my house, one of the prices I paid was the lack of parking. My house has no drive, but I fell in love, and it's perfectly located for just about everything: schools, shops, friends. It's not terrible, and I gave myself a stiff talking to before I signed on the dotted line that I was not allowed to get hung up and that I would never be one of those people who moved their car if a space became available outside their house. Yeah, well if only I listened to myself when we have these stiff talks I might be a better person. I have never moved my car just to get outside the house (well ok, once, but I wanted to wash it and made overbright noises to the DDs so I didn't seem petty "Yes, darlings, we'll wash this tomorrow" in a loud voice) but that doesn't stop me wanting to even if I'm just across the road. And I consider it a personal failure if on returning home from work on a Friday night and finding a prime spot, I need to drive again before Monday morning. It is beyond petty and I hate myself for it. But the other day I did something which demonstrates just how far I've come from the care-free girl of my youth.
First of all, a bit of justification if you will. In addition to the residents parking there is a car dealership nearby who insists on parking spare cars in our road, and the re-development of a large building to contend with. Every morning without fail at least six white van men descend on us, attempting to squeeze their beasts into the limited parking we have, along with Mr Car Salesman dumping unwanted Escorts for days at a time. (My road is actually lovely, though I realise I'm not painting a marvellous picture of it.)
So on my first day of self-employment, working at home, I decided to go shopping. Yeah, I know, but if I didn't get the DDs Easter eggs this week then it's school holidays and DD2 says she still believes in the Easter bunny... The car was required even though it had been right outside my house for the last three days. How much I must love my kids. I psyched myself up for my return, clicking my ruby slippers, "There's no place like a parking space at home", and I put my shopping bags on the back seat. As I slid into the driver's seat, I noticed an inordinate number of vans in the road and not a single space anywhere. Then one of the van drivers who had been hovering over a drive opposite - oh, how I envy the drive-owning chosen few - saw me about to leave and started his engine. He was going to nick my precious space!
Well, I panicked and did what any sensible grown-up would do. I turned my engine off and went back in the house. So he's looking confused, I'm standing indoors arms crossed, looking like Les Dawson's mother-in-law, thinking "You silly cow, now what?".
Well, the moral of this story is this: I gave it ten minutes and skulked off to the shops feeling very silly. By the time I returned with the chocolate booty, every single van was gone and there were plenty of spaces to choose from. Except the one outside my house. Mr Car Salesman had stuck one of his bloody bangers in it and it's still there three days later.