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Footnotes To Life

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Christmas Parking Lot

A Christmas shopping parking lot, courtesy of Flickr user Mrs. Gemstone

I was working from home today, so at lunch time I visited the store to pick up a few things and, as usual, spent twice as long getting into and out of the parking lot as I needed to. There’s no one person to blame for this parking dysfunction. Pedestrians and drivers seem completely incapable of coexisting without complete confusion. At this time of year it’s even worse, particularly at the mall, because everyone is rushing to get something or stressing about the time they don’t have left before the holidays. To do my part to ease the stress of the holiday season, I’ve come up with five tips to help pedestrians and drivers coexist peacefully inside America’s parking lots.

Don’t Park In Front Of The Store

For heaven’s sake, how important do you think you are? What gives you the right to block traffic, obscure pedestrians and make the front of the store a traffic nightmare for everyone else while you’re shopping? Every person driving by is cursing your selfish parking for causing a traffic jam.

Oh, and don’t think putting on your hazard flashers excuses things. The fact that you’ve run out of half and half and can’t be bothered to walk is not an emergency. It’s really not that far from the parking lot to the door, so instead of being a stuck-up ass, join the rabble and and take ten seconds to park in a proper space.

I’ll let you in on a secret too, the more expensive the car you leave sitting in front of the store, the more we hate you. Frankly, if you can afford an $80,000 Mercedes SUV, you’re smart enough to know that parking in a fire lane is illegal, selfish and rude. I hope your car gets hit by a teenager.

Don’t Walk Diagonally Across The Road

Another annoying and selfish habit is walking diagonally across the road. I’m sure you have some heavy shopping bags, but you’re crossing a road and you should be treat it with a little respect. Walk quickly across the road instead of strolling like some king surveying his lands and holding up all the traffic, and don’t walk in front of my car. My car does, in fact, travel at more than strolling speed so, if you would be so kind, move the ef over.

I’m serious, you’re putting yourself at risk. All it takes is some lady in her huge SUV talking on her cell phone while disciplining her kids in the back seat and your ass will be flatter than Kansas. If you’re prepared to risk that for the sake of saving two seconds on the walk to your car, you presumably also enjoy such pursuits as running through traffic and handling rabid animals.

Don’t Jam It Where It Don’t Fit

It’s a parking lot, not a sardine can. I know you’re in a hurry, but everyone gets in and out more quickly if we all take turns. Instead of trying to dive around everyone as if getting to the store quickly is more vital than finding the emergency room after a heart attack, try being patient and not creating gridlock.

When I see you dancing around behind me trying to get past, I’m automatically trying to make things as slow for you as possible. Am I being an ass? Probably, but you were an ass first, and that gives me the right to be one back.

Don’t Stalk People. It’s Rude and Illegal

Instead of stalking people from the store door to their car, just go and park at the back of the damn lot. The walk is longer, but you’ll probably get into the store more quickly than you will by sitting and waiting for a spot to open up right in front.

When you’re sitting in front of the store, we’re all cursing you, and when you do decide to creep after some poor person by tailgaiting them as they walk to their car, you move so damn slowly you back up traffic. Oh, and when their parking space isn’t close enough, don’t aggressively take off past and go back to stalking the front of the store for some other poor soul to creep out. It’s not their fault they parked too far away and your legs are too weak to carry you from their space to the front door.

Parking lots are not complicated places unless some idiot makes them so. As a citizen of the world, please do your part to combat idiocy by blocking in jackasses who park right in front of the store, running over people who walk diagonally across the road, and doing whatever you can to block people who make their progress around the parking lot at the expense of everyone else.

Happy Holidays!

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