Bailey and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

7:30 AM

You might have heard the story of me ending up near tears in the Country Store parking lot due to some driving malfunction. That earned me Skittles from a sympathetic mother. Most definitely you recall the tale of me holding up half the traffic of Clintonville because I was too scared to turn left while a white semi trundled towards me. That got me a shake.

If so, you will know the outcome of this next incident: a Hardee's chocolate shake - with whipped cream. It was that horrible an experience.

It all came about because I decided that trying to parallel park in the dead of night down creepy dark roads with the chance of being arrested for suspicious activity was not my cup of tea. (That's another story.) Truthfully, it's the DOD's fault for making parallel parking an essential tenet of good driving. Who parallel parks when they could easily pull up behind the car or drive around Main Street five times until a spot opens up? If people would consult my opinion more, these sorts of tragedies would not happen.


In any case, I had to learn to parallel park and I had to learn it fast before my driving instructor got tired of nagging me. Since I haven't made a very good impression on her, that was the least I could do. How handy, then, that I had my brother home from Marine boot camp. It had made him fearless enough that he only thought twice before climbing into the back of the Taurus with me at the helm.

First of all, I nearly turned down a one way street, the opposite way. Then, parked at the Country Store again, I witnessed verbal abuse of a driver who did what I was lucky enough not to do. That is to say, a tough Wisconsin old lady cursed and yelled, "What are you driving the wrong way for?!" at the unfortunate person barrelling down the one way street. Needless to say, tolerance is not practiced much in driving.

I was terrified.

The first attempt at parallel parking did not ease my terror. A grumpy old guy in a beat up truck couldn't understand why I was trying to parallel park behind a car I could easily pull up behind. He drove into his driveway. So much for him. But when I was still trying to parallel park at the same car and he came out again, he mouthed something rather nasty to poor, sweet me. What it was, I couldn't tell. There are benefits to being a sheltered homeschooler.

Were you interested in how my parking went? I ended up squeezed against the curb. Second time? I think that was the one parked two feet from the curb. Third time? I parked crooked. Fourth time? I got stuck on the curb and couldn't get out without ending up on the sidewalk.

That might have been before or after I almost t-boned the vehicle in the intersection. I had the yield sign.

I was almost crying.

"You want to practice straight line backing?" my brother asked, collected behind his sunglasses. I hypothesize that if I get some bug-eyed aviator glasses, I might be cool and calm too. Just a guess.


So we drove through town to get to his favorite straight line backing spot. Before that, however, we stopped at a stop sign at one of the worst intersections in town. After barely settling myself in for a long wait, a big something-or-other pulled up behind us, music cranked to WARNING level. Folks, we sat there ten minutes watching cars pass and suffering from brain concussions every half-second. And the guy had the gall to honk at me because I wasn't moving.

During that time, the people playing volleyball across the street lost their ball. It bounced into the road, got traumatized and caused a bunch of cool looking guys (with sunglasses) to panic.

We finally got across to our destination. Straight line backing was the one thing I did right that day.

"Where do you want to go to next?" my mother asked.


And so we did, until our Marine wanted to drive.

"Just turn down any side road and you can switch."

"You're running out of side roads."

"You're running out of side roads."

And the driveway I turned into had this sign staked in the grass: PRIVATE DRIVE. DO NOT USE FOR TURNAROUND. CUSTOMERS ONLY.

Yep. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

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11 impressions

  1. Bailey, I am laughing so hard, tears are rolling down my cheeks. Where DO you get these photos? And I hope you meant it when you said that my laughing (WITH you, mind you, not AT you) helps you keep things in perspective.

    Folks, I can attest to Bailey's driving day. I was there. There is nothing quite so satisfying as Adventures in Parallel Parking With Your Teenage Daughter. Unless you count reading about said Teenage Daughter's account of it on her blog.

    Hang in there, Bailey! You will conquer the driving challenge and pass your road test with flying colors! Just watch out for cranky old ladies yelling.

  2. Oh my goodness...would I have done anything to be there with you. ;)



  3. ahh but the pressure! :) Evidently a LOT of people run out of the side roads - otherwise those people would NOT have needed a sign! :) (if that's any consolation - you are NOT alone! :)
    The goal of learning to park that way is to pass the driving test and then attempt to NEVER EVER park that way again :)

  4. Bailey, oh I sure hope that when I drive I do that good. I really think I could do a whole lot worse than that. So, don't feel too bad!

  5. Oh, I wish I could've been there, too. Bailey, will you be mad at me if I tell you I had a grin on my face the whole time I was reading? I'm sorry. It was hilarious. Sorry. I don't know what you mean when you say you're doing so bad with your straight-line backing and parllel parking. (Well, I don't practice it 'cause I think I do just fine when I'm with my instructor). So I practice that stuff once a month. My mistakes were going through a yellow light. " You could have stopped." Yeah, but why? I don't gotta worry. I drive a big passenger van. (Except for when I'm with my instructor). If I get into an accident, it ain't gonna be me to get smooshed.
    Ok, maybe I should take it a little easier, since I'd like to get my license in October. I've been old enough to have a license for a year and a half. I don't feel like making it two. I've been sorely insulted by a girl asking me, "Are you old enough to drive?"
    Growl. No, I've got my Mom's license. She's got dark hair, I've got blonde. She's in her thirties, I'm a seventeen year old (who one lady guessed me to be fourteen. How insulting is THAT!), but do you think I could fool a police officer when I get pulled over for going through a yellow light?

    Sorry, I didn't mean to post a post on the comment thingey. But Bailey, you're not the only on with driving frustrations. I'll have to tell you sometime...just not on your blog so the world can see.

  6. :D LOL Bayleaf, sounds like you have had quite an adventure!

  7. Ha Ha! The good ol' days of learning how to parallel park... glad I don't have to anymore. The first time I paralled parked, my instructor made me do it behind a police squad car. Thankfully... I didn't hit it...eek!
    You describing your real life stories is so funny! I think you should give yourself more credit for your driving skills. You are too hard on yourself. LOL!
    Sometime I will have to ride along observing your "wonderful" driving experiences.
    Love ya and DRIVE SAFE! ~Stacy

    P.S. Wow...It's been a while since commenting.

  8. P.S. Just some random comments.

    1. I love your new profile picture you have for your blog. You look so pretty!!!!

    2. I'm glad you had a good time catching up with your bro! He's half way done, and then you'll get to have him again for awhile. I know how much big brothers can mean!

    3. I'm so happy for you that you are getting more and more followers. Remember when you only started out with like under 10! Keep it up! Everyone loves your blog! You're so good at it!

    Love, Stacy

  9. Mama -- since I must get out my frustration somehow and since crying does no good, I must needs laugh. It's as plain as that. I'll consider the possibility of me passing my test rather well.

    Oh, no, Floppeth, I'm quite certain I would not have liked you to be there. ((hugs))

    Michelle G -- LOL To get me off the hook, I didn't use the driveway for a turnaround. I stopped at the beginning of the drive, flew out to the back seat (with the bag of potatoes we got at the Country Store), and my brother violated the sign. It didn't bother him a bit. :o)

    Maria -- you're so sweet, but really, I don't think it'd be too hard to surpass my driving skills. Maybe if I learned not to cry at every mistake I make....

    KT! Laugh all you want. The last line always cracks me up...even though I wrote it. How's that for humility?

    Well, I'm the total opposite with yellow lights. I'll slam on the brakes the minute it turns yellow, whether I'm two inches from the intersection or ten feet. Whiplash, y'all - just whiplash.

    Email me about your driving and age woes, sister. At least you're not mistaken for being older than you are. *embarrassed I'm-never-going-to-tell-anyone-what-I-mean blush*

    Kara -- now that is Understatement of the Year!

    Yes, Stacy, I ought to cut myself some slack. It's just that there's this thing called perfection and I want it so badly. Chase didn't even have to parallel park. Why? "If they see you're confident, they're not going to ask you to do that stuff."

    I'm doomed.

    And whoa - behind a police car?? You know, next time we go out together, I'll try to convince you to parallel park...we can start our own adventure right then. :o)

    Thanks for all your sweet comments! Love ya so much! ((big hugs))

  10. Hee, hee Bayleaf!

    Didn't the volleyball get popped by a car??
    Luv you!!

    P.s. When you first came home, and you told us of your adventures, you never told me that there was a sign that said Do not use for turnaround. Customers only. (HA, you must've felt awful...well it was a terrible, no-good very bad day.)!!!!!

    :) LOL

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