The other day I had a little incident (ok, ok, ACCident) with an ape. Ape means bee in Italian. It's also the name of this vehicle:
It happened on the road to our house. I’ve mentioned the road before. It’s a mountain road so it’s rather curvy. It’s also a bit narrow. Two cars can’t pass side by side. So when you meet another, one of you has to go in reverse until there is a driveway or a wider spot to pull into. There is an elaborate set of variables that goes into this decision of who backs up– where the nearest pull off is, who’s going up vs. going down, the size and power of the vehicles involved, and, of course the drivers’ genders (don’t read that as a complaint! The fact that I’m a woman means 9 times out of 10 I don’t have to go backwards.)
So, I was going down the hill and the ape was coming up. We met, looked around and decided that I had to do the deed. As I was reversing the ape came forward and pulled off into a tiny spot on the side of the road. Here we were, the ape on my left squeezed up against a wall halfway off the road and a cliff on my right.
Ape driver: “Vai! Vai! Vai!” (“go! Go! Go!”)
Well, now I’m looking at this space that I’m supposed to squeeze my car through and I can clearly see that it’s not big enough. I inch forward, keeping my eye on the cliff on the right side. The ape driver is on the left shouting go so I figured he was watching the space between our vehicles. I inched forward…I inched forward…scccccrrrreeeeeeeccccchhhhhhh and I make it through the space I knew I wouldn’t fit through, with this: running down the side of the car.
You may be wondering why I decided to go!go!go! if I could see I wouldn’t fit.
Well, you see, I don’t have such a great eye for these spatial, what-fits-where kind of things. I don’t know why it is exactly that I am challenged in this area. Is it a depth perception problem? Did I miss the lesson on conservation in kindergarten? Or maybe my being physically petite and flexible in character has led me to fit almost anywhere and so I assume it true of everything else? (In addition to driving, my does-this-fit-there-handicap gets me into trouble when I make soup. Choosing the correct sized Tupperware to put the extra soup in is a terrible problem for me. There have been more than a handful of post dinner clean ups that involved mopping onion soup up off the floor.)
So, I have learned to have little confidence in my own judgment in this area. I know this about myself and I accept it and consequently defer to old ape drivers who are shouting vai!vai!vai!.
Sometimes I get stung.