A couple of years ago, my roommate and I were in a hurry and needed to run into the mall to pick something up. We would literally be five minutes. This was around the time that so many prime parking spots were suddenly turning into expectant mothers parking spots.
Aside: Have you noticed that? I have an obsession with getting the closest possible parking space, so I definitely noticed. Why did this all of a sudden start happening? I don’t mean “why” like “why do expectant mothers deserve the space?”–I understand and can get behind that (though I think the pictures on the sign should be of a big, fat pregnant lady about to burst to discourage those six-weeks-in exploiters). By “why” I mean “what prompted this sudden change?” There couldn’t have been a surge in child births–aren’t people having fewer and fewer children these days? And some spaces are not just for expectant mothers, but for “drivers with small children” too. Don’t get me wrong. It’s wonderful that somebody is thinking of the children like Helen Lovejoy begged for all these years. But kids can learn to pay attention and be smart while walking through parking lots–we all somehow survived! Also, aren’t kids technically considered “children” up to age 12? Who is policing this system?
Oh, I’ll tell you who.
So since my roommate and I were just running in and out, I pulled into an expectant mothers parking spot instead of driving around looking for a proper one for the lowly general population. For the record, I had never done this before. As I finished parking and turned off the engine, a middle-aged woman walking with a ten-year-old stopped dead in her tracks in front of us and glared at me through the windshield. My roommate and I hesitated, sitting in the car waiting for the stand-off to pass. She wasn’t budging.
“Should we move?” my roommate asked. I thought for a moment. “No. For all she knows, we have a baby in the trunk.”
Ok, I didn’t actually say that. I just thought of it now. Gold.
I actually said, “No. For all she knows, I have a sprained ankle and there’s no special space for that.” This should be the part of the story where I use this logic and walk with an elaborate limp, but again, I’m not as clever in the moment. Instead, I just got out of the car and challengingly said, “Yes?” (Ooooooooo I know, I’m BADASS!!)
The woman snapped. It was comical. She went on and on, even as we walked away into the mall stifling our giggles, about how we are miscreant youth who think we can do anything in this world and that there are no consequences and don’t worry because one day we will get what’s coming to us. We ignored her, because nothing is worse than lunatic strangers who don’t mind their business, and kept walking. I overheard the child who was with her ask, “Aunt–insert stupid old person name here–, why are you yelling at these girls?” She said, “Because they are teenagers with no respect.” I was 24 at the time.
Another aside: Aren’t strangers the worst? Whenever they randomly start talking to me I just want to do this:
But instead, I just smile politely and encourage them like a moron. There has to be something about me that screams, “Hey strange, weirdo, psychopaths of society, come talk to me while I shop for groceries.” It happens too often. What scares me is that a logical reason is because they think they can talk to me–like they feel some sort of camaraderie with their own kind. I really hope it’s just because they’re all trying to rob me.
Ok, so this situation did scar me for life–I haven’t parked in an expectant mother’s parking space since for fear of being shamed by a random. I’m proud to say my rebel days are behind me. But just so you know, I keep a lot of shopping bags in my trunk and if the need ever arises, I could easily fasten a fake belly. Or, I could just be patient and enjoy the spoils when/if/when/if/when/if my magical time comes. Hey, I just figured it out! The sudden surge in baby-friendly parking spots is an elaborate government conspiracy to encourage procreation and save the economy: Have babies, spend money, get good parking! Ok!