Really, though, the one thing I most wanted to develop (on my "practical" list, though others might allocate it elsewhere) was prodigious parallel parking skill. I thought nothing could be more impressive than a woman who could zip right into a cramped spot without her date having to back her up or (worse) trade her places and park the car himself. To accomplish this goal, I avoided buying parking passes where possible at BYU and did most of my parking on the streets. I gave myself double points for parallel parking in snow; triple points if I had to park on uneven piles of hardened snow and ice (gas it...a little more gas...burst of speed--SLAM ON THE BRAKES as you clear that ice mound so you don't hit the car behind you). Yes, I was pretty hard core. And, if I do say so myself, I got pretty good at it. Especially considering that during my first year of attempts I had to pull in and out of a parallel spot at least ten times before I got in at the right angle.
So why am I writing about this? In the year I've lived in Texas, I haven't had much opportunity to park along curbs (which I really am grateful for), and I'm sad to say my parallel parking skills are not what they used to be. Who can tell whether that's from lack of practice or simply because now that I've landed my man (who was floored by my skills, by the way) I don't really need them anymore? At any rate, today at school I executed a perfect parallel parking job in a relatively tight space (maybe two feet of wiggle room? It's tighter than it sounds!) in a matter of ten seconds or less. I was so pumped. I even took pictures of it with my phone.
If my parents ever read this, particularly my dad, they will not be impressed (though Mom will be charitably happy for me, as is her style), for they are parallel parking demons. I kid you not. I think it's a result of living in San Francisco for four years where congestion was awful and parking was worse--so give 'em two centimeters of "wiggle room" and they were in that spot. On hills that were 91 degrees steep. In a manual car. Demons.
In conclusion, for those of you looking for something impressive to add to your resume to help you attract that special someone, give parallel parking a try.