Been there, done that. Known around my house as ‘BTDT’.
And this week I saw a situation play out that I had experienced more times than I wish to recall.
A couple (I would call them elderly, but they were probably younger than I am) was attempting to use their communication skills to park and unpark their car from a rather tight parallel parking space.
The woman was driving; the man was standing at the back bumper giving hand signals that obviously didn’t mean a thing to her. She probably couldn’t even see him in the rearview mirror. In fact, she may not have been looking.
She would back up, turn her wheels, go forward, turn her wheels again, back up, turn her wheels, go forward, and turn her wheels.
Meanwhile, the agitated direction-giver was motioning and yelling, in his most demanding voice. After several attempts, he marched up to the car window, knocking on it, attempting to get her attention. But she was busy turning wheels and going forward and backward and didn’t notice his banging.
The more he knocked, the more she turned the steering wheel, and the more he yelled.
When I first noticed this commotion the poor lady was trying to park her car, and he was trying to direct her, again from the back of the car. An hour later I noticed they were back at it as she was doing her best to extract the vehicle away from the curb and get back into the stream of traffic.
I was fearful for both of them and the car. She was embarrassed that she wasn’t doing a stellar job of parking. He was furious that she didn’t understand sign language about which way to turn the wheels, and the car was confused with conflicting twists and turns. I wanted to suggest he get out from behind the car because I wasn’t certain what she might do in her frustration. There was a chance she would goose the car, trap him between the two vehicles and then drive off and leave him.
He solved the problem. He once again began banging on the passenger side window, and she rolled it down…slightly. Probably just enough to hear part of what he was saying, but not low enough to allow him to grab her and choke her to death!
I took pity on them, because I do recall the times when my husband attempted to direct me to back a trailer up. He understood the notion that you turn the wheels a certain way and the trailer would go in the opposite direction. I never got that message clearly in my mind. It just didn’t make sense…much to his growing irritation.
I left the couple still working on their interpersonal communication skills and was really glad I wasn’t their therapist or their pastor!
All I can say is: BTDT.