by Chrysa Smith

When I think about parking, the first thought that comes to mind is fellow-blogger, MaryFran’s trusty prayer: St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around. Something is lost (a parking place) and needs to be found. No smoke and mirrors, but let me tell you, the few times we’ve been together in a parallel parking situation, her Italian patron has smiled down on her, opening up a nice slot for the car in record time. I can’t vouch for it to be fail-proof, but it may just work for you as well. And if you don’t find an immediate parking place, you might receive a dose of increased patience till you find one or a nice blessing for the day.

Now as a city girl, I’m accustomed to difficult city parking situations. What I find annoying, disturbing and a little bit funny, is what has happened to the once open-range of parking places available in any retail parking lot. It’s good for the thighs that one has to walk the length of a track and field event, but on these bitter winter days, I do like to park just a bit closer to the warmth of indoors.

Now before you get any false ideas, I’m all for helping those in need. I hold doors open for young mothers attached to strollers, car seats and a line of little ones in tow. I have helped little, old ladies (older than me) across streets and with groceries. And of course, anyone who is struggling on crutches, casts or in wheel chairs.

On one shopping trip, I did a few Nascar laps around the grocery store lot, only to find the usual, inordinate number of handicap parking spaces. Sometimes there are eight or more reserved, prime parking places. And while I’ve never seen that many wheelchair bound people in one store at any given time, I suppose it also serves those on crutches and with other mobility issues. OK. So I head about five or more spaces down the aisle, only to find parking reserved for parents with small children. I suppose that’s nice, as I remember schlepping the baby carrier from the car to those grocery carts that weren’t made for baby-transport. So, off I go, continuing down the aisle. Next open slot has to be the winner. I turn in, only to find that this one is reserved for the employee of the month. OK… Am I on Candid Camera? (oops, I mean ‘Punked’?) Do I need to drive five stores down in order to find a place that fits my life situation? So, as I tend to do when I find a situation silly or frustrating, I began throwing out my nominations for the next ‘Reserved’ parking places: Reserved for customers with bunions; Reserved for customers with bad breast implants; Reserved for customers with good credit; Reserved for customers with PMS(comes with a chocolate bar vending machine); Reserved for men with prostate trouble……..You get the idea

How about this one: Reserved for customers who hate reserved parking? FINALLY, a parking space just for me.