Friday, October 31, 2008

Reserved Parking – Where Is My Space?

I was running into CVS the other day. Like most people, despite the fact that I run regularly and do yoga (the sweaty kind) a couple days a week on top of that, I always try to get the closest possible spot to the door.

For some reason, I am overcome with a colossal lack of energy when it comes to parking lots.

So there I was, elated as I spied a space at the last minute right next to the blue handicap spot. I did a quick look behind me to make sure no one was on my tail as I hit the brakes and whipped into the spot. Then I saw it.

Parking Reserved for Expectant Mothers.

At first I thought it was one of those spaces reserved for the Employee of the Month.

Now maybe I do not get out enough but I’d never seen this before.

I felt sheepish as I backed out and took a spot not 20 feet away. I probably burned more gas than energy moving the car and walking the extra distance.

But it got me thinking:

How expectant does a mother have to be to use the spot? Would anyone know if I was not expectant? (Not that I’d use the spot.) How many other people (clearly a man could not get away with this) take the spot figuring no one will know, or more cynically: Who cares?

I think they should adapt the sign to women in their final months. I mean, even women nine months pregnant seem to get around pretty well. Plenty of expectant moms jog with their baby bump in view. Why can’t they walk the parking lot?

Besides the usual Visitor and Resident parking signs, along with Handicap, I am now seeing signs for Hybrid Vehicles and Priests Only.

I think they should have more categories, clearly as reasonable as those for pregnant moms:

Reserved for the Obese (who wants a heart attack victim in their parking lot)

Reserved for People with Hangovers (that’d get them to your CVS for some Excedrin)

Reserved for People with Bad Hair Days (the quicker to get in and out and have no one see you)

Reserved for Organ Donors (this would help me out)

Reserved for Beautiful People (helps with store image and would be fascinating to see who thinks they are hot)

Reserved for People Who Are Sore (weekend warriors would appreciate this)

Reserved for People Too Lazy To Walk (again, that’s me!)

Reserved for People Who Think they are Important (this could work as a shaming mechanism so could backfire, but would also provide an interesting social experiment)

Reserved for Women Who Insist on Wearing High Heels Even Though They Kill Their Feet (but they look good so help the store image)

Reserved for People Who are Nice (how would anyone know unless the person visibly stiffed the poor Salvation Army collector by the door?)

What do you suggest?


Stacey said...

I like Reserved for Parents of Screaming Toddlers. And it could come with that Cone of Silence from Get Smart.

Cindy L said...

Wow, I haven't noticed that sign before ... I'd like to see "Reserved for hip replacement patients whose handicapped permit has expired."

Claire Charlton said...

Reminds me of when I was first pregnant with my oldest, standing on several buses a day to and from work in Chicago's slooow moving traffic. No one knew I was pregnant, so no one offered me a seat, even though I felt truly awful and nearly vomited over fellow passengers' heads regularly.

Only the Half of It said...

@ Stacey: Yeah, moms of unruly kids totally deserve a space.

@ Cindy: Theoretically, seems like you could get an extension. I'm suspicious of some of those people who use the handicap spots.

@ Claire: Ha! You should have hurled on them to teach them a lesson!

The Write Referee said...

I enjoyed this post -- amazing how we in metro Detroit obsess about the parking spot at the front door at Walgreens, whereas in NYC, if the subway can get you within three blocks of the corner Duane Reed to pick up your perscription, any New Yorker would be happy.

I've often thought about parking in the handicapped spot when I'm wearing my referee garb because of the impaired vision problem all the fans tell me of at the game, but better judgment always prevails.