Perils of the Parking Lot

I have distinct handicaps that make parking lots challenging for me. First of all, I am directionally dyslexic.  I never know for sure where I am in relation to the rest of the globe.  I get lost walking around the block.

The words north, south, east and west mean nothing to me.  In my world only six directions exist:  forward, backward, left, right, up and down.  Therefore, when I park my car on a parking lot,  I establish navigational markers to help me locate the car when I am ready to return to it.

Last Tuesday afternoon I had to venture out to buy milk because the grandkids were coming over.  On this particular outing, I made a mental note that I had parked between a red Kia Soul and a small, yellow sports car with one of those “COEXIST” bumper stickers on the back.  The front of my car was pointing toward the yogurt shop, and directly behind my car was a crater-sized pothole.  Having established my landmarks, I entered the store.

When I exited the store about an hour later I found that once again, as always happens to me, some jokester had moved my car.  I looked for my navigational markers.  I saw no red Kia Soul, no yellow sports car and no “COEXIST” bumper sticker. A nail salon sat where I thought the yogurt shop should be.  What’s more, half of the cars on the lot had crater-sized potholes behind them.

I was not shopping at a large mall with 72 different exits and entrances scattered all around the building.  The store I visited was large, but it had only one entrance.  Therefore, I knew I was on the right lot.

With the help of my electronic key fob, I located my vehicle.  No wonder I couldn’t find it.  My car appeared to have been greased down and slipped into a petite space between two of those stretched-out, wide-hipped behemoths ridiculously called pick-up trucks. Carrying three filled grocery sacks, I approached my vehicle.

I stood behind my car with one foot on either side of the pothole and placed my shopping bags in the trunk.  I then inched my way through the tiny passage between my car and the black monster truck parked beside me.  When I reached my car’s front door, I could open it only about eight inches due to the cramped space.  With great effort I squeezed through the opening and into the driver’s seat.

This brings me to my second handicap related to parking lots.  I am what my 6-year-old granddaughter calls a bad “backer-upper.”

I fastened my seatbelt and cautiously looked to my left and right.  In each direction I saw a truck that extended at least twelve feet beyond my rear bumper.  I would literally be backing blindly.  I started my car, put it into reverse, and began the painstaking, nerve-racking process of backing it out of my space.   I knew that if some unlucky driver passed by in back of me, I would hear the crash before I saw the car.

Twenty minutes later I was out of the space and able to shift my car into drive.  My hands were sweating and I realized that I had bitten through my lower lip.   I saw that a small crowd had gathered and was standing a safe distance away in order to observe my maneuvering.  One of the women held two small children against her body, as if she thought they were in danger.

My ordeal over, I returned home, unloaded my bags and began putting away my purchases:  some grapes, a head of lettuce, cheddar cheese, brown sugar, three greeting cards, some coloring books, and a four-pack of light bulbs.

Suddenly, realization struck me and I slumped against the kitchen sink, completely defeated.  I had forgotten to buy milk.

7 thoughts on “Perils of the Parking Lot”

  1. It happens to everyone, Debbie! I asked my family to stop on their way home from sledding this afternoon to pick up eggs. They came home with a bag of items that they wanted but with no eggs for me. 😦

  2. I hate when this happens. It always happens when I have waited until the last minute to go get what I need and I don’t have time to go back and get what I forgot. I do not have a good relationship with grocery stores. If I never had to go to a grocery store again, I would be perfectly happy.

  3. Just one of those days. You need one of those new fangled cars that has a back up camera and does everything but drive for you.

  4. Debbie, I thought of a couple more things…first, when you get into these parking predicaments, aren’t you glad you have power steering? I remember the days in my early childhood that my mother was driving our 1953 Chevy with no power steering and it was a stick shift of course. I can still picture her backing out of parking spaces ever so carefully and nearly huffing and puffing for breaths with all of the arm muscles required for backing that car out with no power steering. These were the days with the very large thin steering wheels. I just know that had to be so tough! Secondly, since you and Dan are retired, you could consider re-locating to Colorado Springs with us, and your directionality will improve overnight SIGNIFICANTLY!! This would be due to the mountain range which is ALWAYS west. So…living out here, I never have problems with directions–I just look at those beautiful mountains, gaze at snow-capped Pikes Peak, and I know I’m looking west–then I know all of the other directions. Why don’t you talk to Dan real soon about considering this possible move out west with your old friends! 🙂

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