Paved Paradise

Part II: Lessons from the Barking Lot

Pillow Talk. I was tired of carrying my loveseat pillow around the resale store. Turns out, the comforter I was considering as a match had already been sold. So, the pillow and I headed back out to the parking lot. "Where's my car?" Fatal error. I hadn't paid attention. My car was nowhere to be found.

Parking Lot Fail. There have been times when I have wandered around parking lots looking for my car like a lost child in a mall. I end up searching aimlessly while thinking about people who have althzeimers or amnesia. One time my friend Darla pulled up next to me at Wal-Mart. She saw me wandering. I told her I'd be fine. She was doubtful, but left me to find my way. A minute after she left, I found my car and realized another car had been following me; a friendly older man and his wife. The complete stranger rolled down his window, "Did you find your car?" I wondered to myself, "Dang. Do I look so obviously LOST?" I thanked him, waved goodbye, and sheepishly unloaded my bags into the trunk.

Dog Vertigo. On this particular parking lot day, the pillow and I didn't have concerned bystanders -- just dogs. For some reason, there were a lot of dogs in backseats and behind steering wheels that day. Barking dogs. I got a visual lock on my red Vibe and headed toward it. The barking got louder -- high pitched little-dog yips were coming from the same general vicinity as my car. The closer I got, the louder they got. Upon arrival, I discovered a schnauzer and a white poodle jumping wildly in my front seat, barking at me like I was a burglar. I stood, staring blankly, like Laura Ingalls Wilder in an Air and Space museum. Nothing was recognizable.
"What am I looking at?" I asked the pillow, "Where did these dogs come from?"

3 ... 2 ... 1.
Fog lifted.
"Oohhhh. Wait. This isn't my car."

People with greater parking lot competency would have picked up on that little dog nuance much sooner ... maybe even from a distance. Not me. Not that day.

Please tell me you know what I'm talking about.


Anonymous said...

I SO hate losing my car. My brain always goes to the poor little old man who accosted me in a Seattle parking the rain....and asked ME where HIS car was!! Oh my word!! Am I going to end up that way?

Kimleonard said...

I walk confidently, head held high when my car is missing (this is not an infrequent occurance). Up one aisle, down another, with purpose. All the while pressing the Lock button on my remote. When I get close enough, my car calls me to it. :)

sibbi said...

I have so much more trouble finding my car in parking lots now. When we had the 15 passenger van I could find us with no problems. Now with a gray explorer, there are SO MAAAAAANY gray cars that size. I have debated putting something on the antenna...if we have one...or something on the lisence plate holder since I can't always remember my plate is most unnerving and believe me the alzheimers warnings are closer for me than you! :) prayer in the parking lot are on the top of my "little details of life prayers"!

Barb said...

The panic button on the remote has come in handy sooo many times when the car is lost. If I ever lose that remote, I'm done!

Sue the Sister-in-law said...

One freezing Minnesota January day, I was bumping my cart full of groceries over the ice-rutted rows of the parking lot, hoping my lettuce and bananas wouldn't freeze before I found my car. Just as I turned the final corner and spotted my car, my kids's school secretary pulled up beside me and rolled down her window. "Are you taking your groceries out for a stroll to get some air?" she asked with a smile. Very funny--if you are sitting in a warm car at the time.