I went out last night (no, really) to celebrate a co-worker’s husband’s 30th birthday at…wait for it…a BAR. I KNOW, RIGHT? Me actually being social, it’s a miracle. Or so some of the locals I follow on Twitter tell me. (Seriously kids, would a weekend ‘Tweet-up’ kill you guys? I get tired during the week.)
Anyway, the bar where the party was being held is located in downtown Easton, which if you’ve never been there is a mish mash of one-way streets and traffic circles and on-street parking. I’ve been down there quite a few times so I at first I wasn’t concerned so much with finding a place to park, but navigating the traffic circle and surrounding area at night proved to be
a fucking nightmare a tad challenging.
I pull up the street to the flashing red light to enter the cirlce, where flashing red lights mean…go, apparently. I wait for oncoming traffic to pass, then pull out into the circle, and of course am promptly met with a solid red light, which means stop. There’s no one around me, so I edge to the right lane as a quick glance around the circle has determined there’s no available parking directly on the circle (of COURSE it’s not that easy). I pull down one of the side streets and the second block down has empty spots, so I edge over, only to see that the whole block is a bus stop, and the people standing there were indeed waiting for the bus. I got nervous that folks standing there would think I was slowing down and pulling over to offer someone a ride or purchase illicit substances, so I quickly pull back into traffic and continue down the street. Nothing on the next block, or the one after that. And now we’re four or five blocks away from the circle and the bar and screw that noise because I bought new shoes for the occasion and while they’re not totally uncomfortable I don’t relish walking extended distances in them. I hang a U-ey in a gas station parking lot and head back towards the circle.
Solid red light. I take the time to scan the immediate area for any openings (nothing) and orient myself as to the location of myself and my intended destination, and steel myself for another trip around the circle andheywhatthefuckOMGI’msorryJESUSCHRISTI’MDRIVINGHERE! That went well. Back down another side street, to no avail. I turn right, then right again to head back and HOLY SHIT I’M GOING THE WRONG WAY DOWN A ONE-WAY STREET! ABORT ABORT ABORT! I quickly pull into an alleyway that leads into some creepy-looking private underground parking but probably costs 10 grand a year to park there, just barely am able to turn around in the alley, turn out onto the street the correct way, and head back to the circle yet again. Still cannot avoid pulling out in front of someone. Still no available parking. I try another side street, and nothing. No almost incidents, but no parking either. Lather, rinse, repeat, and I’m back down another side street, which looks an awful lot like one I’ve already been down but HOLY CRAP THERE’S A SPOT! And it’s only a block from the circle! TURN AROUND, QUICK! Which I do. ON A ONE-WAY STREET. THE WRONG WAY.
I pull into the parking spot, which is the easiest part of the drive for me because back when I was learning to drive parallel parking was the one thing my father made me do over and over again even though anyone who took their driver’s test at the DMV in Mt. Pocono, PA knows they made you do a three-point turn instead, so when I took the test and they made me do a three-point turn I failed because I hadn’t practiced even though I was taking the test in my grandma’s tiny red Ford Festiva. Thanks, Dad. *eyeroll* Anyway, I throw the car in park and get out, approximately fifteen minutes after I started looking for a spot, and a good ten minutes after I passed up the spot that was four blocks away. The spot that, had I taken, would have ensured an earlier arrival at the party, much less swearing and anxiety, and much less opportunity for traffic violations. If you think I’ve ‘learned my lesson’ or something you’d be wrong. I’ll probably do the same damn thing next time.