I used to enjoy going out – almost anywhere – shopping, to a park, to the library, to a show. Now, I dread it. Almost always. One of the reasons I dread it is the parking – or parking lots. Stop rolling your eyes at me! It’s the little things that can change your whole outlook.
It seems like there are so many cars on the roads now. And they all appear to need to be in the same place I am at the same time. Today was no exception. I was trying to make a quick trip to the Dollar Store, but fate would have a different plan. I think I’m just not meant to leave the house.
I was able to make a left-hand turn into the parking lot from a busy street without much trouble. That left me with a false sense of peace as I entered the blacktop jungle. Out here, it’s every car for itself – it’s survival of the quickest. And when the playing field has been altered by large quantities of snow, hiding crucial real estate…..well, it changes people. I just have to drive over two isles and I’m in the right area. There are only three other moving vehicles visible at this time. If I move carefully, directly to my destination, I should be able to get to a spot. Then, fate steps in…..and LAUGHS!
Suddenly cars are everywhere, seeming to appear from thin air. The spot on the left is usurped by a black Buick. The one to the right is taken, slowly, by a crimson Nissan. I’ll just lap around this isle once more, someone is bound to leave at some point. Right? Right??! After two more laps around, and almost parking 4 isles away (believing I’d never find something better), I was able to park just two stores away from my desired destination. SCORE! But, wait! There are tail lights gleaming on the car in front of me. Could it be? Is it really? Yes! This car is leaving. I can pull straight through! JACKPOT!!
I exhale with relief, turn off my car and gather my shopping bags. Upon exiting my car I hear this faint, strange (yet familiar) sound. Ah, yes…it’s fate, laughing again. The car across from me is backing out – not skillfully. I stopped walking for fear of my life. When I was able to continue, a car from behind me turned sharply in front of me to take another recently vacated spot. A car to my left started backing out when I was directly behind the vehicle. As I was finally nearing my destination another car was attempting to back out of its space, while an impatient car waited closely behind it to quickly take the empty spot, not leaving room to back out. All of this occurred within three spaces of the end of the aisle. A FedEx truck was trying to drive into the aisle and gave up shortly after witnessing the cluster of madness happening before him. Frightened, I tried to navigate my way through the mass of cars moving in every direction, cars stopped in the middle of roads, angry truck drivers, and those sight-line blocking snow piles. In the next aisle over I heard horns honking and expletives shouted, all over a parking space. A large truck, trying to make deliveries was stopped in front of the stores. I wondered if it was actually a cover for the hidden camera show that must be capturing this nonsense on film in order to entertain people at some point.
I finished my shopping and escaped the parking lot physically unscathed. I lived to park another day. I will never understand how parking lots can evoke such hatred, anger and vileness. Maybe the never-ending parallel lines alter people’s ability to feel calm peacefulness. Maybe the yellow or white colors used in most lots is somehow offensive. Maybe we should restripe the lots with pink and pale green and see if things change.
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