How well do you handle life’s embarrassing moments? When you do something embarrassing, are you one who can quickly shake it off? Or are you the kind of person who makes a faux pas and wishes the earth would swallow you down so you can avoid facing those who witnessed it? Regardless of how well you may tolerate these situations, there’s no way to get around the fact that embarrassing moments happen to everyone. When it comes to driving, the are many things that cause embarrassment. Here are ten. Can you relate?
1. Parallel Parking
There is a reason while parallel parking is considered the epitome of driving technique. The dynamics change with every new opportunity to practice the skill. Even a well-experienced driver who has successfully parallel parked many times before can find themselves struggling to force an open spot on street-side parking to accommodate their vehicle. At this point, the driver will often feel the need to justify their fumbles to those watching, “It’s not me, it’s the spot!”
2. Where Are My Keys?
Have you ever been returning to your car, looking for your keys, and have your heart drop as you begin to realize that you’ve probably locked yourself out? In most scenarios, this unfortunate event happens when you are away from home, leaving you temporarily stranded. In this scenario, all you can do is get useful information regarding the local locksmiths and pray they can fit you into their schedule sooner rather than later.
3. Accidental Alarm
Unfortunately, a blaring car alarm does not render any overly concerned response from bystanders. But it does still get you some curious looks. And when you accidentally set off your car alarm, you don’t want anyone to be looking in your direction. You’re forced to meet their questioning looks with some awkward gesturing, which conveys the idea that it is your car.
4. This Feels Different
Speaking of ownership, what if it’s not your car? There is a finite number of makes and models, made in a small variety of color options. It is not uncommon to drive down the road and cross paths with many other drivers who chose the same as you did. That’s not the embarrassing part. The awkward part is when you attempt to get into the car that looks precisely like yours, but it’s not yours. You might stand there making several attempts to use the clicker or the key to gain entry without fail. Or worse, if the clicker works or the car is left unlocked, you may find yourself sitting in the wrong vehicle. It’s embarrassing that it can take a few minutes to work out why the items in the console are not familiar.
5. Three (Or More) Point Turn
Sometimes getting into or out of a tight space is unavoidable. And sometimes, you may genuinely deserve those judgmental looks from passers-by. Either way, it can be pretty mortifying to have to keep switching between drive and reverse to make your path clear of a jam. The only thing worse than a three, four, or ten-point turn is when it’s being made worse due to over caution. This makes for one huge selling point for those rear cameras and front bumper warning tones.
6. Who Is That?
It can be hard to see and accurately identify other drivers as you pass each other in opposite directions. They’re too far away to see; they get closer and begin to come into focus; you wave vigorously to someone you know, only to realize too late that you don’t know them. As the gap narrows, a closer inspection makes it evident that they are not who you thought they were. Of course, they’re confused and either wracking their brains to figure out who it is and wondering why a stranger would be behaving so maniacally and waving like they’re crazy.
7. Where’s My Coffee?
Have you ever had to juggle multiple items in your hands as you reach your car? If only you had someplace to set something down. Wait a minute, you do! The roof will make a lovely temporary table while you get everything else situated. It’s a convenient option, but it comes with risks. Many a driver has told themselves the lie that they will not forget to retrieve their coffee, purse, or other possession from the roof of the car only to do just that. If you’re lucky, it’ll be something you notice immediately and can stop the car and recover. If it’s a milkshake or other such drink, you’ll likely drive around with your embarrassment on full display until you can get your car washed.
8. Wrong-Way On A One-Way
One-way streets are located everywhere. Many downtown areas feature traffic that moves in a directionally restricted pattern. But many divided highways also limit the flow of vehicles to cross the multiple lanes. It’s not uncommon to be driving at night, stop along the interstate at some random, unfamiliar gas station on a poorly lit roadway and lose your sense of which lanes were open for turning onto. What makes this even more embarrassing is that other drivers will also start pounding on their horns to alert you of your mistake. Of course, it is a perilous mistake to make, which increases how horrifyingly stupid you will feel once you get yourself out of harm’s way.
9. What Curb?
Those curbs are a threat of social blunder in two ways. The first is when you’re pulling into a parking space and are carefully attempting to pull into the spot as close as you can, and then your front bumper grinds into the curb.
Naturally, everyone is going to turn and look to see what that crunching sound was. The other way those pesky slabs of concrete get you is when you are about to pull away from a parking spot and failed to remember that there was a slab of a curb in front of you. This will really get others’ attention as you will likely suffer through the jostling of both your front and rear tires traversing the curb.
10. Blue Lights
Being pulled over is quite possibly the absolute worst. Every other driver that passes will eyeball you and either pity or ridicule you. The entire experience takes at least a half-hour, and for the duration, you have no choice but to sit there in shame.
Unless you’re a brand-new driver, you’ve probably already had many, if not all, of these experiences. If you’re a new driver, just know that they’re going to happen. We must all experience these as learning opportunities and rise, like the phoenix, in the aftermath of our folly.