BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

Keep It Between The Lines

We’re taught at a young age to color within the lines.

Then, at some point, the message changes, and we’re told that life is best lived outside the box.

I believe there’s merit to both teachings. But I’m worried this ambiguity is causing confusion.

And that confusion is never more apparent than in, of all places, parking lots.

Yes, parking lots.

Why can’t people park between the lines? How hard is that to do?

There are many situations in life, from romantic relationships to restaurant recommendations, where the path forward is undefined. It’s unclear where you should go or what you should do.

But that’s not the case when you’re parking. The task at hand is outlined — literally — in white or yellow.

Yet people still decide to make up their own rules.

This is one of my pet peeves, not only because it’s a waste of (a) space and can cost me extra circling time, but because of how inconsiderate it is — both of other people and the unspoken agreement between us that allows us to coexist.

Are we not living in a society here?

I’ll be the first to admit — I’m a terrible parker. I once accidentally scraped a bumper while pulling into a spot, and I’ve been gun-shy ever since.

So the first thing I do when I get out of my car is check if I’m between the lines. And if I’m not, I get back in and straighten out. Until I’m actually straight.

I don’t want to be that guy.

And I beg of you, please don’t be that guy, either.

(I will now take a deep, cleansing breath.)

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