Monday, August 17, 2009

Parking Spots and Life Lessons

About two weeks ago, I took my kids to our local community rec center to swim. I got there about 2:00 in the afternoon and there was NOWHERE to park. I circled and circled and then made the executive decision to park here:


My kids had a lot of questions about what Senior Citizen meant and why we were parking there. They didn't understand why we had to hurry out of the car and then at the end of the day, why we had to hurry back into the car and get the heck out of there.

Fast forward to this morning. I pulled into the mall and found myself in this spot:


This time I had no excuse. I just drove too far and didn't want to turn my car around to go back to a regular spot. The questions started almost immedietly. Luke and Sammie wanted to know what "expectant mother" meant. I explained and then of course, they didn't understand why we were parking there. I had to shamefully tell them we were just doing it even though I don't have a baby in my tummy.

Luke kept looking at me and raising his eyebrows up and down with a big smile on his face saying "expected mother" like it was an inside joke.

The kicker was when Sammie said "Mom, don't worry, when we get inside the mall, nobody will know whose car is whose in the parking lot." Nice. Is she mini-me or what.

Do you park in expectant mother parking? Do you park in senior parking or worse, disabled parking? I draw the line there--I do have some morals. Am I a horrible person. Don't answer that if you are going to say yes.

29 comments:

Em said...

I've been known to park in handicapped spots at the church. So...I can't judge. (I should clarify that I've never parked there on Sunday during meeting times.)

Ashley said...

If a senior cit was in a bad way, he'd be in handicapped parking. Besides, senior cits don't go to the pool--hence the open spot. I have been an expectant mother before and I maintain that close spots are much more important when you are hauling already born kids than when you have them easily stowed in your belly. I knew one boyfriend was not right for me when he refused to park in expectant mother parking in an otherwise full mall parking garage on the first evening of the Nordstrom sale.

Amy M. said...

They need a "Mothers with Small Children" parking spot. Seriously. I hate lugging my kids through parking lots when we have to park far away.

Jill said...

I the thought of these conversations with your kids, that's just too funny.

shelby said...

hahaha I am always way too nervous, and my kids would rat me out to anyone who would listen!!!

Linda said...

As someone who is nearing the senior citizen category, I say "park away!" I will have to be a LOT older and lost ALL pride to park in one of those spots. . .have at it!!

Laura B. said...

Listen, we've paid our dues since we've birthed children. I feel like we're entitled to those spots for life.
Senior citizens...fair game.
Handicap...leave that to the walking wounded.
I have been known to park in the Employee of the Month spot before. I feel I deserve it because I'm probably the "customer of the month".
Don't tell my husband. He would die if he knew that I didn't follow the rules.

brooke said...

Laura--that was the best comment ever on my blog.

Liz said...

If you took that expectant mother spot from me the other day at the mall, I'm going to be ticked! That's the trouble with Utah. All the expectant mother spots are filled. I get so annoyed by the Sr. citizen spots at Wal-mart. They take up the entire lot! Can't wait to see Sammie tomorrow!

sheryl said...

Brooke the thing I love about you is that you tell it like it is. I love how much laughter you bring to my life!

Tonight we went to Artic Circle and there was a handicap spot in the SHADE. (Think St, George) I told stan to park there even though there was a spot closer to the door. He opted to park in the sun and said he wouldn't take that handicap spot even though nobody else would come use it the whole time we were there. I knew I was wrong but...I guess my line is a little wider than yours. ...then again, so is my shadow!

Jill Tew said...

I agree with Amy...they do need a "mothers with small children" spot. Kudos to Ikea and my dr. office for having them.

And I agree with you on the handicap parking...we shouldn't park there. It may be inconvenient to haul lots of little feet across the parking lot, but it would be more inconvenient to be handicapped.

Expectant mothers...aren't we all expecting something...? :)

Melissa Walker said...

You know--if you find that spot open in Utah, go for it! They are never filled out here in Illinois, so I use them because there are very few families here with 4 small kids! (They in fact say for expectant mothers or mothers with small children. They group us together since we're a minority!) I do like to leave handicapped spots open, but that's because I don't want the bad karma to follow me if I use that space!

Sam said...

I find the whole thing discriminatory. I am often out with all three kids, and I have never seen a "Fathers with Small Children" parking spot.

Where's the love?

As for handicap spots, I think this quote from Kramer sums it up best, "I got news for you: handicapped people, they don't even want to park there! They wanna be treated just like anybody else! That's why, those spaces are always empty."

Linda said...

I wasn't going to say this on the blog, but after Sam's insightful comment, I will offer Grandpa's handicap placard to you when you need it. . .you're supposed to have Grandpa in the car with you, but every now and then. . .

Heather said...

I once had to drive my grandmother to the genealogy library downtown and even though I dropped her right in front, she made me park the car in the handicapped parking. I was mortified...even though no one was around. Also, I have to wonder about handicapped stalls at the gym. Seriously? You can't walk an extra 20 feet, but you are at the gym? Seriously?

Marni said...

Totally...but more right after I have the baby. I think when I am busting out a gigantic carseat loaded with a heavy baby, a stuffed diaper bag, a stroller and a recovering body squeezed into my best "mall worthy outfit" that I for sure deserve the expectant mother spot. At that point I feel so sorry for myself for having to lift so much just so I can run and do a "return" that I don't even care what people think or if they stare.

The Mostess said...

You have expectant mother signs at the mall??? We have, like, 3 in the whole state, and all of them are at Babies R Us. I nabbed one once, and just pushed my gut out.

No.Questions.Asked.

Christie said...

I considered parking in the expectant mother parking spot once in the dead of winter when it was freezing cold. I didn't, but after my mile-long trek inside the mall in the ice-cold air, I saw some MAN taking that spot and it really ticked me off.

I can't do it. I have enough bad karma as it is.

Travelin'Oma said...

I always parked in handicapped spots when I had little kids. I figured I was as handicapped as anybody, and besides, they had a wheelchair. Then I had a handicapped friend who loaded me down with a lot of guilt. (Does guilt count as a handicap?)

Linde said...

I can't do it, thought I've been tempted...just afarid of it coming back to "bite" me. :)

Corinne said...

thanks for the website i am going to get camree the brown one for sure they are too cute!

my big camera is a sony cybershot dsc-f828 and i also have a sony cybershot point and shoot dsc-w150. they both take pretty good pictures. i just downloaded picasa editing software from the internet for free. it isn't much but it does take care of the basics.

Alexandra said...

I think that those expectant mother spots should be used by very pregnant women (at the end of my pregnancies I am really in a bad way) and mothers with small kids. Elderly spots . . . it depends on how many such spots are empty. there is a park near our house that has literally 50 handicapped spots (the park was designed to meet the needs of all children). I have never seen more than a couple of cars using them at a time. If I wouldn't get towed, I would help myself without any guilt.

Hey, at least you kept your integrity by being honest with your kids about what you were doing. I say, if you don't feel like you have to lie about it, how bad can it be?

Pandy said...

When Kelly was pregnant I saw her almost take off some lady's head for parking in the Expectant Mother's spot. Seeing her waddle around at 8 or 9 months was enough to make me swear not to take one of those spots. And I don't.

I've never heard of Senior Citizen parking. Do I qualify?

I NEVER park in a handicap spot. I can give you a dozen reasons to do it and only one not to - I would never risk taking a place that was genuinely needed by someone who REALLY needed it.

I told you I was a Polyanna!!!!

Jenn J. said...

I am 100% with Ashley on the Expectant Mother parking thing. I say I need a parking spot with my three kids in tow more than Ms. No-Children-Sporting-A-Belly does. So, I park there. I paid my dues. Although, I don't park there in my small little town because I inevitably always see someone I know at the grocery store and end up making laps around the parking lot so they won't see me hop into my car and start rumors.
The handicap parking thing is definitely a no for sure. But for some reason, I feel absolutely fine taking advantage of the handicap restroom stall and dressing room. Hypocrisy?

Jen F. said...

Good point about the gym Heather! And Sam, I'm with you on the parking spot for fathers. I was definitely pleased when they put changing tables in the mens' bathrooms. I hate it when people discriminate against fathers like that!

Em said...

These comments are so hilarious I just have to comment on how hilarious they are.

UT parking is brutal. I don't envy you. Imagine how we non-senior, non-handicapped, non-expectant mother, and non-mother (or father) with small children feel. That's right. Like crap.

I think senior citizen parking is unfair. Everyone knows that senior citizens use the handicapped spots more than actual handicapped people, so really they're getting double the pleasure.

My grandma died years ago and I'm pretty sure my parents still use her placard. I say you take up your mom's little gem of an offer.

Lorzzz said...

Marnie has this right...I seriously hate the "Expectant Mother's" parking spot! What expectant mother needs that spot more that a mom with a bunch of kids, carrying a baby seat to boot! Way to go on messing with the system!

Anonymous said...

the precious information u presented do help the research for my company, appreaciate that.

- Lucas

Stephanie said...

Wow, I can't believe how much action this post has generated! :) Who knew there was so much controversy about parking spots? I guess I am just too guilty of a person to use any of those. The last place I would want to park is in an Expectant Mother spot--I wouldn't want to give people any more of a reason to speculate if I'm pregnant! Also, I sure don't want to tempt Karma in that area of my life. I have enough kids. ;) I wish those parking places would have been around when I was at the end of my pregnancies--when I could hardly walk and I had major cankles that made it difficult to wear shoes! Ha! I would have loved to have a special parking spot like that at the Manti Temple Pageant--if you had to watch me waddle to the temple grounds you would agree that I was handicapped. :D

By the way, I went to try on a pair of shoes today and, out of guilt, asked if there were any little sockies around--I was bugged with myself when the lady had to go into the back to get some! I would say that if those stupid nylon thingys aren't around than you are not expected to use them but still I had guilt. Ugh!

I am the person signs are meant for. If I see a sign that tells me to do something, I will usually do it...unless, a friend pressures me to go against my better judgement. Which has been known to happen. In Kauai, our good friends coaxed Steve and I into hot-tubbing at a place where we were't staying at. (We would have NEVER considered doing that on our own) I thought we were going to die! Ha! There was a sign in front of one hot tub that said, "For Guests Only"...so I persuaded everyone to go to one that didn't have a sign near it! That's how I try to cheat my conscience. :D So, whose crazy now? Oh, and then, to make it worse, we were laughing and probably ruining the romantic atmosphere for this elderly couple that was in the hot tub with us--no doubt they were paying guests. I felt terrible for them, until the elderly woman loudly "tooted" as she was getting out. So, I guess we had that coming. ;) haha. jk.

"Living on the edge" has an entirely different meaning to me!