We're the ones your mother warned your about...No, seriously. We are.

Yah. I can drive.

Okay, I'm just going to preface this whole thing with one statement :

I have issues.

No, true story.

Anyway, one of the issues I have is that I hate driving with other people in the car, and I hate driving other people's cars, and I hate going places where I don't know where I'm going, because I have a tendency to get lost. Actually, that's three issues, so it would appear that I now also have an issue with counting. Let's add that to The List and move on, shall we?

So yes. Back to the driving. I was taught to drive by a father that was raised in NY, and raced amateur in his youth. The first thing I learned when I got my car was an e-brake turn. (Then I was told that if my mother asked, that never happened. *snerk*) Upon getting my license, I was then loosed to drive around northern NH and much of Massachusetts, including the Boston area. I actually spent about nine months of my life doing a daily 140 mile round trip crossing the state of MA via 93 and 95. for those of you that just winced because you've driven that area, thank you for feeling my pain. Then I moved to LA, and wow. I thought Boston drivers were wacked.

Basically, I've been exposed to the worst drivers that this fine nation has to offer and I've survived. Left to my own devices, I am perfectly capable of changing lanes, taking a sip of water (complete with screw top bottle!) and talking on my cell phone all at the same time. Not. A. Problem.

Put someone in the car with me, however, and I'm all shot to shit. Make me drive someone else's car - I'm a mess. Make me drive somewhere that I don't know where I'm going…I'm gonna get lost. (Okay, the Boston Bronzers can stop nodding now. No, seriously, stop. You're going to hurt yourselves.)

With all of these factors, there was really only one job that I could possibly take after finally being unable to handle retail anymore - itinerant valet for incredibly rich people's parties.

Genius, Claris! There's no way that can go wrong!

I answered an ad off craigslist two weeks before 4th of July calling for female valets - but you had to be able to drive a stick. Well my first car was a slightly beat up standard Geo Storm...I qualified. After going to the company's site to make sure that this was for real and not like, porn, I called up and was hired sign unseen. Was my lisence valid? Yes. Could I work all of 4th of July weekend? Sure, I have no life. Did I want to do my training Friday night? Sure!

I show up on Friday night at a restaurant in LA thinking, "How complicated can this be?" I mean, sure, I'm driving a car that's not mine, but I'm not going to have anyone else in the car with me, and I'll know exactly where I'm going - I can conquer one out of three fears, right? Totally. Besides, I'll just be driving like, Civics or something. Not. A. Problem. It's all good.


Turns out that the restaurant I'm training at (which I shall call MB) is, well, rather swank. Not like suh-WANK, but we ain't talkin' a six dollar burger here. I meet K, the girl that's training me, get a quick low-down on the process, and off we go.

Now, because of the fact that parking is a commodity in and of itself in Los Angeles, most lots have slant parking to make the most of the space available. MB was no exception. However, in order to facilitate a faster retrieval, when we park the cars, we do it head out. That's right kids, I'm going to be doing reverse slant parking.

With a BMW.

And then the Lexus.

Followed by a Mercedes.

Oh, and don't forget the Jag.

After about two hours of parking cars worth more than I make in a year, I figure I'm okay. I've got the hang of this. Besides, the majority of these are automatics, which while yes, is a waste of a perfectly good engine according to everything I was always taught, also means that there's way less pressure. I can do this job. It's cool, it's all good.

Then gold Porsche Carrera Turbo five-speed pulled up.


But I did it. I survived the night, I parked that damn Porche, and I pulled down...a verra nice chunk of cash. Cash, people. That means "we don't have to report this and let Dubya have my money ‘cause it's cash".

I think I'm gonna love this job, I really do.