Shopping, Travel

Dear Santa…I just want a parking spot

December 21, 2008

With the holiday season upon us, shopping malls and centers around the country will be packed from the minute they open their doors to the minute they close. Not only does this mean long lines to pay and hours and hours of finding the ‘right’ gift, but it also means crowded parking lots.

I enjoy the holiday season like most, but find that the worst part of this season is not so much the time it takes to get the gifts, but the time and stress involved in getting a parking spot at the mall or shopping center. Just watching what takes place in the parking garage at the local mall is like watching lions stalking their prey. Only this time, the prey is a parking spot.

Just the other day, I spent 30 minutes looking for a parking spot at the mall and it was only 11 AM in the morning. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like during the busy hours of 3PM – 6PM. One of the most obvious signs that it is the holiday season is also evident by the decrease, or should I say lack of “driving etiquette.” Cutting off cars that are waiting for a parking spot, blocking whole lanes so that no one can get a spot except you, and yelling obscenities at people who take too long to park are considered ‘normal’ during this time of year.

It may be unrealistic to say that we should all be ‘nice and patient’ since in all honesty no one is perfect. Still, it is possible that we can all do better.

Here’s a start:

1. The F bomb never helps a situation.

Whether we choose to believe it or not, the “F bomb” usually doesn’t help a situation. Especially one that involves stressed out people in cars.

2. Those white lines mean you have to park between them, not on them.

No, those white lines don’t mean “park here on top of me.” It is hard enough to find a spot and even harder when you find one and you can’t fit because someone is taking up two spots.

3. Signal left or right

While it would be great if we could all read minds, unfortunately we can’t. Therefore, please use your signal when you are waiting for a spot or driving around the parking lot, otherwise we don’t know where you are going. Not doing so can lead to accidents and discussions that start off with “Didn’t you know I was turning left..”

The last tip I have for all you potential shoppers is that the worst time to go shopping is of course, the day before Christmas and after. If you can, shop early in the morning to beat the rush or don’t go at all if you don’t have too. Better yet, shop online!

Happy holidays!

Photo by Latitudes

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