Tuesday, March 24, 2009

parking lot etiquette 101

I wouldn't think we would need a manual on this subject, but experience today has proved me wrong. Parking lot etiquette is evidently not always a built in commodity, meaning that what strikes me as common sense doesn't ring true universally. Let me break down my experience in the Target parking lot to give you a visual on what I'm talking about.

Today I walked out of Target into a beautiful, 70 degree Memphis day. The parking lot was neither full nor crowded, and I had a decent parking spot about 6 or 7 aisles back. As I was walking out, two small girls and many shopping bags in tow, a minivan began following closely behind me. I think, "This person is probably just going very slowly to give me plenty of time to get my cart load of kids and purchases safely out of harms way." Umm, not quite. I reached my car and pushed the cart safely out of lane and began the process of transferring everything from cart to car, when it suddenly became clear this minivan was actually going to wait for my spot.

This took a second to process. I stole a quick glance at the rest of the parking lot to confirm that there were indeed parking spots EVERYWHERE, but there the van stayed, clearly seeing that I hadn't even begun to unload my considerable cargo, yet still making the choice not only to wait, but to block traffic in both directions in the process. It didn't take long to realize, right or wrong, the only choice I had was to launch into immediate action.

I grabbed Adrienne and locked her car seat into place, before lifting Marianna and her blue icee into the car with instructions to do her best to buckle the top car seat buckle, all the while using my peripheral vision to spot the backup extending out into the front of the store. I then rushed to the back and began throwing my bags in as quickly as I could grab them, slammed the back door shut, and ran (and I'm not using that as a figure of speech) to the nearest cart parking spot and back again, weaving in between the cars that were being forced to wait from the other direction. I jumped in the front seat only to discover that Marianna was unable to get herself and her icee situated successfully, forcing me to turn around and do the whole buckle in process from the driver's seat. I sat down, buckled my seat belt, wiped away a drop of sweat, and maneuvered my car out of my spot and into the now extensive parking lot jam. The minivan pulled calmly into my spot as I drove away, counting the empty spots as I passed them.

Was this malicious? I seriously doubt it. All I can think is that it was a serious breach of the unspoken parking lot rule that says never, under any circumstances, wait for the parking spot of someone who is single handedly loading up a full cart and two children into her car unless it is the day after Thanksgiving or the week before Christmas. There are no other exceptions =).

18 comments:

Laurin said...

Hilarious! Remember when a man pulled into the parking space marked "For Expectant or New Mothers" at the grocery store just as I, a very 8-months pregnant woman at the time, was a/b to pull in! Some ppl!

It's Just Katie! said...

Don't you hate it when that happens. I sometimes want to just turn around and walk back into the store just to see what looks I'd get. Funny entry. Take care,
Katie

Randall @ Happy For This Moment said...

Ugh, some people! :)

I certainly wouldn't be frustrated with you if I was another driver, just the crazy minivan waiting for your spot. Park and walk people, park and walk!

Anonymous said...

I can't stand people like that either. I usually take my sweet time unloading my cart and getting my kid buckled.Obviously, they are not in a hurry or else they wouldn't wait on me.

Cathy

Jami said...

Like one of the other commenters, if someone is waiting on me like that, I usually slow down and take my time more so then I normally would. That is definitely a pet peeve of mine, people who will wait for forever on you. Thanks for the great laugh today!!!

Carrie said...

Oh Angie, your sweet heart is what made you rush like that....I think I would have moved slower....does that make my heart ummmm, not so sweet?!

Jennifer said...

Okay this may not be very nice, but let me tell you what my husband and I *love* to do. We don't do it so much anymore as we don't have the time to waste or the energy ....

but if we got wind that someone was following us, we would go to a "car" and then keep on walking to the other aisle.

Sometimes we would intentionally start off on the wrong aisle knowing we would be cutting across.

Laurie in Ca. said...

Angie Girl,

Take your time sweetie, that is downright crazy for someone to do. Especially when you have two little ones to secure in the car. What drives me crazy is when two seperate cars coming in opposite directions want MY SPOT. They inch up so close I can't even get a shot at backing out, so I just sit and wait. Whoever backs up to give me room, I aim my car out so they get the spot. At the holidays, I think of selling my spot as I walk to my car with cars following:) I have been in too many parking lots I guess. Have a wonderful evening girl.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

asplashofsunshine said...

AMEN!

Have you ever been honked at while buckling your precious child cargo, and putting away the $200 of who-knows-what in the back of your vehicle? Common sense and common courtesy is just not too common anymore.

katherine said...

Oh my. I can't believe it!!! Makes me wonder what was going through that driver's mind.

Years ago when I went to university, we would have car stalkers...meaning people that would follow you in thier car for blocks as you walked to your car, just to find a spot. There actually was limited parking on site in this instance.

Loved the "chocolate" story too! So great!

sarahdodson said...

I'm with you on this. That is SO frustrating when people KNOW you have so much to unload and they just wait and wait for you. I couldn't have said it better... :)

Laura said...

Hi there. Hilarious. However I think I would have done the opposite as you. I would have taking my time. slowing getting the girls and things inside the van. I think it's rude to expect you to rush to give them that spot if there are lots of place to park.
Hope your next visit to Target is better!

Enjoy your week
Laura

Tonia said...

Oh my goodness!!! Sometimes I would love to chat with the people that do things like that and just ask "why?" Of course you never know who your going to be chatting with so have decided for the safety of myself and my family to never confront them. I had a crazy person that I was trying to pass on a 4 lane road and as soon as I started going by them they sped up!!! I should have just slowed down and let it go but I chose to keep going and by the time I got around them I was going 80mph!! That was dumb. Then the next thing I know they are right on my tail. So close in fact that my heart started beating fast and I was praying to God to please not let them bump into me. That is how close they were to me. I had all 3 kids in the van. And I wondered WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? What is wrong with someone going around you? I wasn't driving defense either. So they followed me for a while and then turned off. Whew. I just don't understand people sometimes. Thanks for sharing your parking lot etiquette 101!!

Brandi said...

Ha! That's a good one. Or a bad one, rather.

Just'N Angel said...

And the people said, "Amen." I probably would have waved at them and then taken my sweet time. But then, in our sweet Memphis town, I might have gotten shot or something. LOL

Lauren in TX said...

AMEN! LOVED your post.

MandieGirl said...

I know this frustration very well!!!

Anonymous said...

The thing to do here is make it clear that you aren't moving until they drive on and quit blocking up the lane. That is what I do when this happens, because their behavior is flat out unacceptable, and should not be rewarded. I'll either pull my phone out and lean against the back bumper looking through the menus, or call someone up, or whatever. Just refuse to move until they grow a brain and drive to another spot.