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Parallel Lives

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Nothing in life is stagnant and there is no greater testament of this than when I return to my childhood home. My parent’s backyard oasis is always lusher, their house more cluttered with “treasures,” and our home, once on the outskirts of town, is practically the inner-city. Well, minus the gangs (unless you count my band of brothers’ occasional visit).

There is only one thing I can count on: my mother’s driving ability. Or rather, the lack thereof.

Mother is a nightmare behind the wheel. Picture the worst driver in the world, throw in a few blinders and you’ve got dear ol’ Christine. I have not let her drive me for years and I strongly protested when she recently offered to take my daughter Haddie to the “treat store.” When she demanded an explanation, all I had to say was “Parallel Parking” and the bomb was diffused.

One day she was out with my sister-in-law, Jane. Mother (who loves to shop) saw a “cute” store in the middle of a shopping district that she just had to visit.

She spotted an open parking space, put on her blinker and proceeded to parallel park. This attempt in itself was very ambitious considering her abysmal driving record. As a bonus, the traffic light up ahead was red so Mom did not have to worry about cars careening past her.

And so she parked. Or at least tried to. She backed in and out, readjusting herself every few seconds as surrounding cars started blazing their horns. She, of course, ignored them. Horns and fingers are very common things that surface when she drives.

My sister-in-law was not paying attention up until this point. She finally looked ahead to the traffic light that had turned green and then back at my mom’s parking job.

She then realized the terrible truth: my mother had been mistakenly trying to parallel park between two moving vehicles that were merely stopped at the red light.

And thus begs the question: would you let this woman drive your children?

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  • comment avatar chris October 8, 2007



    Umm. NO.

    I would NOT allow her to drive my children!

  • comment avatar diana/sunshine October 8, 2007

    oh, that is too funny. i didn’t expect that. i thought it was just going to be a bad parking job. no, i’m not sure i would let her drive my kids.

    hope you’re having a good time up there.

  • comment avatar Tanya October 8, 2007

    How is that possible???

    I fully support your decision not to let her take your kids in a vehicle driven by her 🙂

  • comment avatar Lisa October 8, 2007

    Oh No! That is terrible! And scary, and no…no child driving.

  • comment avatar Tea and Bon Bons October 8, 2007

    I visited my cousin’s house yesterday … always a bit of a mess with 3 teenagers. But I noticed to my surprise that their oldest’s was actually somewhat clean! He’d just gotten out of the Navy, and he admitted that they did teach him to clean better.

    So I figure that’s the answer — send your kids to the Navy, and they’ll never forget how to clean a room. 😉 In lieu of that, “military school” is always an option.

  • comment avatar Josi October 8, 2007

    LOL–that is awful! Gave me a panic attack just reading about it.!

  • comment avatar Gretchen aka mopsy October 8, 2007

    That is hilarious!

    If you had a petition asking your mom not to drive, I’d sign it.

  • comment avatar FFG October 8, 2007

    Good thing she is your mom, because it is easier to say no. I’d hate to be the daughter-in-law & have to mention something. 🙂

  • comment avatar Gretchen aka mopsy October 8, 2007

    For some reason, my comments won’t go through?

    Anyway, I thought this story was hilarious—one of those famiily gems I am sure you will talk about for years.

  • comment avatar elasticwaistbandlady October 8, 2007

    My mom has my 10 year old son with her right now…, no I’m not laughing because I’m all clenched with worry. My mom tweezes her chin hairs, talks on the phone, and changes lanes like a maniac all while driving 70 on the freeway.

    Who among you are agile enough to freakin pluck chin hairs while driving?!!!?? Forget the cell phone laws, they should target women like my mother.

  • comment avatar yvonne October 8, 2007

    That is too funny.

    In answer to your question: I would not let her drive my chilldren.

  • comment avatar loralee October 8, 2007


    I was torn between being horribly frightened and laughing my ass off.

  • comment avatar jen October 8, 2007

    I have personality felt for a long time that once people reach a certain age they shouldnt be allowed to drive

  • comment avatar dana October 8, 2007

    Oh my goodness. If that wasn’t so totally hilarious, it would be remarkably sad! No, I would not let her drive my child!!! oh my gosh!!!I cannot believe someone would do this? Does she need glasses?

  • comment avatar Lisa L. October 8, 2007

    My step dad has not let my mom drive in seven years. She is a total wreck on the road. Maybe you should suggest this to your dad.

  • comment avatar di October 8, 2007


  • comment avatar Soeur F. October 8, 2007

    Your dear mother has Chutzpah. Blasting horns and Tallman fingers appear, eh?! ….well, it sounds like “there’s no place like home.” With certain family members I’m learning to close my eyes and breathe deeply (to avoid tearing their heads off & screaming) when I have the ‘privilege’ of riding with them.

  • comment avatar Amber October 9, 2007

    Wow, such validation. 🙂

  • comment avatar Angella October 9, 2007

    Finally, someone with a worst driving record than myself.

  • comment avatar Angella October 9, 2007

    P.S. She was ambitious to even attempt the parallel park. 🙂

  • comment avatar Guinevere Meadow October 9, 2007


    I wouldn’t let her drive my child anywhere, either…

  • comment avatar Suzanne October 9, 2007

    LOL! Now that is a story to pass on through the generations! 😀

  • comment avatar Lizzy October 9, 2007

    Bwahahaha. This makes a great ‘blonde” joke and will keep me laughing for awhile.

  • comment avatar Lori October 11, 2007

    Amber D.
    So… tell me how does good ol’ Christine feel about you spilling her driving short comings for all to see? LOL. Miss ya.

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