Musings

Here’s a Spot

Parking and Shopping

 

I don’t like to park close. You can have the spot by the door. I don’t want it.

When I pull into a busy parking lot, I know I’m entering a scrum for space and the herd opinion is to park closest to the destination. I head the other way. Trying to find the “best” space, circling, circling again, then being fooled into thinking I’ve found a spot when instead I’ve found a compact car or a cart corral is stress I can easily remove from my life.

I’ve been behind cars in parking lots with their turn signal on, marking their territory of the car that is about to back out of a “good” spot. That signal tells all the other cars vying to park to back off, and tells the person already in the spot to hurry up and get out. It’s kind of an aggressive act, but all the power sits with person who is getting ready to leave. They can speed it up or slow it down. Or, awesomely, just drop off a package and walk away leaving their car. Then the waiting driver has to turn off the signal and circle again. Cue the sad trombone.

If two cars thinks this singular precious real estate is rightfully theirs, tempers will flare. No one can actually hear what the other is saying, miscellaneous cuss words, for sure, but “Mine” is the ultimate meaning. As if there is a sovereign right for territorial acquisition of this sacred spot. The whole operation seems unnecessarily tense. As if there aren’t other parking spaces.

Well, there are almost always other spaces. Either out toward the perimeter or around back or somewhere not right by the front door. Retailers want to have enough places for all of us to park, because they aren’t going to prevent our spending because we couldn’t get into their store. The spaces are pretty nice, by the way. They’re the same size as all the others. Sometimes they even come with a better view, and, of course, they are less busy.

I would rather park my car and spend a few minutes walking some extra steps then spend my time circling around the lot looking for the best spot, least amount of walking-included,spot. If you have health conditions, or your passengers are little kids, or old people, I get what you’re doing and I want you to have a closer spot. I want to get out of your way.

I like the extra bit of walking. I like being able to find my car easier. And, I like that there’s a social type who park in the far spots. There is a recognition that this other person, this other “far-parker” and me have something in common.

It’s not just getting into a spot, it’s getting out. The closest space is such a pain in the ass when it’s time to leave because someone wants me to move . I want to casually load my car, get in, get my radio and temperature ready. But I feel I have to get going, because somebody’s already got their signal on with their sights set on my spot. And it’s a person not interested in discussing all the other open spots in the parking lot.

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