we get started with the situations that got me thinking about
parking my car, I need you to read an article. It was the article
that got me turning a head-scratcher at the store into an essay.
Here it is…
parking spaces for Chinese women drivers”
great aunt Doris was a legendary parallel parker.
could… in a parallel parking maneuver that didn’t involve changing
directions once the car was in reverse to begin the swoop… get
a car into a space that was smaller than the car she was driving.
only slightly exaggerating.
was with her on more than one occasion when she pulled her car
into places that created gatherings of people admiring her efforts.
I saw applause and heads shaking in disbelief. It would not surprise
me to learn people tell tales of her exploits to this day, decades
parallel parking efforts were so incredible that it inspired me
to stay on top of my skills… and I’m proud to say parallel parking
is one of my strongest driving abilities.
back to these larger parking spaces because women need them article…
I’m not buying the concept that women drivers need more space
in order to be able to park a car.
it just goes to show some of the stupid, frankly bordering on
unbelievable, concepts that get presented around the world.
anyone… that has tried to insure a teenage driver knows
that a boy will find higher rates than a girl. A portion of this
comes from the statistics that teenage boys are more likely to
get into an accident or be cited for something like speeding.
And, of course, there are always other factors that may need to
there it is… the insurance companies don’t seem to think women
need larger parking spaces. Nope… the insurance companies see
girls as safer drivers than boys.
has this great theory. (Actually she has several, and if you know
my mother you know I’m not embellishing any part of such a claim.
The great theory here involves parking a car.) At the very foundation
of her theory is this… if you have to edge closer to one car than
another as you pull into a space that is between two others occupied
by cars, and you have the ability to do so, pull closer to the
passenger’s door of one car and further from the driver’s door
of the other.
you know both cars likely had a driver.
That’s the secret. You know a car in a parking lot likely had
a driver bring it there, so the driver’s door is probably going
to be opened when that person returns. What you don’t know is
whether or not the car had a passenger. There’s at least a chance
the passenger’s door won’t need to be opened.
Brilliant motherly observation.
lower insurance… observations from the women like how to park
your car to prevent damage… and leading examples in my life weighing
heavily in favor of the abilities of women drivers. (At least,
in instances I have from before my sisters began driving. That’s
a different subject entirely though, and not a set of histories
that support the theme of this essay. We move on…)
thing is… I didn’t come here to write about parking spaces and
the impossible to defend idea about women parking their cars.
Instead… I was inspired to write this article by a different set
of circumstances that are kind of running right alongside this
women parking topic.
anyone else noticed a problem with parking lots lately?
the past couple of years I’ve seen spaces reserved for senior
patrons… for drivers with children… pharmacy pickups only… compact
cars… delivery of curbside takeout… and the list goes on.
I like a spot right next to the entrance as much as anyone. I’m
not opposed to walking in a busy place though. And I certainly
understand that if you make some spaces smaller -- for whatever
reason… from lot and curb design to actual thought and planning
-- there’s a difference when it comes to stopping for some milk
on the way home from work when you have to park a compact car
or a dump truck.
but the list goes on…
for the employee of the month… that’s a good one. A business near
me is open at least twelve hours each day over all seven days
of the week. They currently have ninety-three hours of reserved
parking status for an employee that likely works forty. (And I
won’t make any jokes here about how most business are only hiring
part-time. That’s just not funny.) In short, you’re more likely
to see that space empty than filled.
for the employee of the month… quite likely occupied for less
than half of the operating hours of the business each week. I
think this one might actually border on the inexplicable level
of larger parking spaces for women drivers. While not as outlandish…
or even remotely as insensitive or flat-out stupid… it does cause
a head-shaking of indescribable disbelief.
reads (yes it does): “Reserved parking for our Employee of the
Month only” -- Sign says (my words): “Hi. This space… the one
closest to our doors… closer even than several handicap parking
spaces… is going to be unoccupied for more than half of the hours
we are open for business this week. Don’t park here.” -- Go ahead,
tell me that makes sense.)
though… it’s not just the parking spaces. Lots have become obstacle
courses of dead end rows, one-way traffic, angled spaces, carriage
returns and all sorts of other fun. Commit just one row early
and you won’t be able to exit the lot without turning around and
heading back the other way. (And if you think parallel parking
is fun, just try a three-point turn in these mazes.)
not asking for significant change.
fully understand how having spaces for curbside takeout can increase
business for a restaurant and be beneficial for the staff. (And
beneficial in several ways.)
fully understand that customers that may be there with young children
appreciate this. (And, often, literally, have their hands full
before even stepping inside the store.)
just wonder what people are thinking from time to time when they
come up with these ideas… because all indications are, they aren’t.