When the kids were little, there was a new store opening in town called HQ. It was like Home Depot, but more designery. The Big Daddy offered it up for the team and agreed to take the kids and I there for a fun family outing. On opening weekend. With thousands of other people. We circled the lot forever and finally found someone who was leaving. The BD turned his blinker on and we patiently waited for them to pull out. As they did, another driver whipped around the corner and beat us to the spot. "SON OF A BITCH", The Big Daddy yelled. "DID YOU SEE WHAT THAT BASTARD JUST DID?" Oh my God, he stole his space. With his blinker on. He totally ignored Blinker Etiquette. The Big Daddy was crazy, and I had his back. This was Parking Space War and we waited patiently for the thief to get out of his car so we could lay down some ef bombs.
With three young children in the backseat.
After a few minutes and off in the distance, we could hear sirens. And The Little Boy Child said, "That's the police. They're coming to get that guy and they're going to poke both his eyes out until they bleed and put him in jail for taking our space." I'd like to thank the Academy on behalf of The Big Daddy and I for naming us Parents of the Year. Again.
A few years later, again with all the kids in the car, I was meeting a friend at a festive holiday shopping center for lunch. We were running late, the parking lot was jammed and I was circling and circling until I finally found a space near the door. I got the kids out and an older couple stopped and said, "Didn't you see the sign? It says compact cars only." Well, no, I didn't see the sign and there was my minivan and geez, it wasn't even a tight fit. Kids, I said, we're just gonna leave it there. The Teacher Girl was in a Mother Theresa phase and said, "No, Mom, you can't. We'll get in trouble for not following the rules." Oh, for God's sake. I put all the kids back in the car and looked for a regular space. A minivan space. Which is how I scraped the entire driver's side when I pulled in too close to a concrete pole.
We got into the shopping center and I was so rattled and stressed and pissed that I needed a drink or three. Instead I sat with my friend and six kids with a paper engineer hat on my head waiting for my burger and fries to be delivered by a choo choo train. That I thought about punching. I told her about my mishap with the pole and my encounter with the Parking Lot PoPo. This is the kind of stuff I can't let go. Gotta let it fester. Build up.
When we were leaving, I happened to spot Deputy Fife and The Mrs. and stopped them for "a moment of their time." That's when I told them that when I moved my car the entire side was hit and maybe they should mind their own beeswax when it comes to people parking their car. I did leave out the fact that it was me pulling in too close to a pole that caused this crime against my car because I like to blame other people when I mess up. "Oh my, oh dear," the Mrs. said, "Are the children o.k.?"
What are you talking about lady??? What children??? Oh, ya mean those three watching Mom get her crazy on.
As we enter the hap-happiest time of the year, it's all about parking, parking lots, parking etiquette. For The Big Daddy and I, it means working hard to suppress that Chicago thing that's in our DNA. Oh, but our hearts sure would be glowing with holiday greetings if only we could bring our lawn chairs and 2 x 4s to those gay happy meetings at the mall.