As I have grown older, I start to concentrate more on what I can’t, or don’t, do more that what I can do.  For instance, I don’t wear my baseball cap backwards and I don’t back into parking spots.  The two only have the fact that I don’t do them in common.  The reasons I don’t do them are completely different. 

The hat thing is a personal limitation.  I just can’t pull it off.   My boys can.  Parker spent most of his teen years in a backward baseball cap.  Charlie looks great and Eli . . . well . . . he just kind of glows.  My wife takes one of the caps from her closet and places it on her head backward and immediately looks cuter, more vibrant and more attractive.  I put a cap on backwords and my body fat content goes up by 4 percent, my perceived IQ drops by 15 points and I lose my ability to breath through my nose.

This summer Charlie, my  wife and I went to an Orioles game while on vacation in Baltimore.  While at Camden Yards we all got souvenirs.  I got a fitted Baltimore Orioles baseball cap.  This is a little remarkable because not many places carry my size.  You know how some people have body parts that are out of preportion to the rest of their body?  Yeah, my head was supposed to be on a person standing about 9 feet tall and weighing 650 pounds.  Anyway, as we walked out of the stadium I took my new hat out of the bag.  On a whim, I placed the baseball cap on my head backwards.

The affect was almost immediate.  Charile’s eyes widened in silent horror.  I don’t mean stark, abject, bone-numbing horror . . . it was more like the horror you experience when somebody is embarrassing you in front of hundreds of people.  “Dad, Dad, Dad” he said anxiously.  “Dad, your hat!”  His hands were clasped in front of him and his feet were moving up and down in a classic Homer Simpson ‘I’m Missing The Chili Dance”.  “Dad.  Take the hat off your head.”

“What?” I asked, “why?”

“Honey,” my wife whispered and moved very close to me.  “Give me the hat, sweetie.”  She used the same tone she would use to talk somebody of the edge of a roof.  “Give me the hat.”

I took the hat off slowly . . . “Why?” 

“Because that’s not a great look for you honey.”

I looked around.  People were staring, one lady even covered her childs eyes.  As soon as the hat came off, the tension disappeared.  Things quickly went back to normal.

We left the stadium and walked to the car.  My wife held my hat just out of my reach.  “Can I have my hat?” I asked. 

She looked at me.  She placed it gently on my head with the bill forward.  “There, that’s better.”

“Wow,” I said.  “Was it that bad?”

Her eyes said it all.

A few months later Parker was home.  We were getting ready to leave the house.  I picked up my ball cap as we left.  I decided to see what Parker’s reaction would be.  We were having a conversation and I put the hat on my head backwards. 

Parker looked at me and cocked his head slightly.  Continuing the conversation, he walked up to me, removed the hat and placed it back on my head bill forward.  He gently patted my cheek and said softly, “No, no, no.” 

So the hat backward thing is simply a personal limitation for me.  I accept it, I live with it.  Not backing into parking spots is a personal choice.

I don’t know . . . I guess I think backing into a parking spot is just obnoxious.  I don’t expect people to stop doing it just because I have come out of the don’t-like-backing-into-parking-spots closet.  It’s just a personal choice and I have a blog so I get to talk about it.

I really don’t see the point.  I have been told, on the odd occasions that I have had to discuss this that backing into a spot makes it easier to pull out of a spot in a crowded parking lot.  I would argue two points:

1.  If you are so parking advanced that you can whip your vehicle into a parking spot while travelling int reverse, then backing out of a spot should be a piece of cake . . . right?

2.  If the spot is tight then backing out and having the wheels that steer to the rear of the car relative to the direction travelled gives you more positive control of the trailing end of the vehicle, making the probability that you clip another car much lower. 

Maybe I have thought this too much.

Let’s address the elephant in the room.  You don’t see many people in Subarus or Ford Taurus backing into spot.  You see it a lot among the giant lifted truck set.  It could be me, but it seems like you see a lot of backed-in vehicles in front of Sportsmans Warehouse. 

Generally, my feelings about backing to a parking spot is simply an amusing way to observe the people around me.  Sometimes, however it becomes an issue.

There is a grocery store chain here in Fairbanks with two locations.  The location on the west side of town has a parking lot that is made up almost entirely of one way lanes with diagonal parking spaces.  Sometimes people will go the wrong way down a parking lace and pull into the diagonal spot backward.  This becomes an issue when they decide to leave.  The pull out and are going the wrong way in a one-way lane.  Yeah . . . maybe I am thinking about this too much.

I guess I am saying all this just to say that I am realizing that I have limitations.  Some are natural and some are chosen.  As I get closer to 50 I assume that I will be dealing with more limitations.  Actually I know I will.  Just this week my wife and I were looking at swimwear in a catalog.  I pointed out a smart-looking set of silver Speedos  . . .

Thanks for reading.  I’ll see you soon on This Side of the Diaper.







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