Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Dude, Where's My Car?"

I have a pretty good memory. Actually, I have a very good memory. I remember simple things such as feeding the dogs to the more complicated things like weird news articles and all the countries and capitals of South America. The only problem is my brain categorizes things of “importance” to remember and things that fall under the category of “not so important.”

“This isn’t a big deal”, you say. “It happens to everyone.” Well the issue is it's my subconscious brain that applies these labels. One specific situation that always seems to land the title of “not so important” is parking.

Okay, so it isn’t the parking that I have problems with – although some might beg to differ. The REMEMBERING of where I parked is more my problem. It is almost like my brain presses the ‘stop’ button as soon as my body turns off the car and waits until I reach my destination to begin recording again. I would be okay if my memory only failed me a few times. Unfortunately, this happens every .. single.. time.

Usually this situation is not too problematic. Many stores have very simple parking lot layouts, and if I am not shopping on a weekend or evening then the lots aren’t too full. Therefore, I can wander down the main isle - scan left, scan right and usually I can spot my little car.

If you see me in a store parking lot, I will appear as if I know where my car is. That is because even if I am not completely sure where my car is currently located, I will walk full speed towards a car that looks like mine, the speculation of where my car is, or even pure intuition. Anything that gives the aire of “No, I am not lost.”

Many times I am only wandering for three to five minutes… and maybe the occasional ten. If it’s a beautiful day outside, I truly enjoy the walk. If it is cold or rainy… or I have groceries – I am a little more sour about it. There are three specific situations, however, that I do run into some trouble.

#1 – Not Remembering What Entrance I came through at the Mall (Let’s hope that I have remembered the store I walked in through…)

#2 – Forgetting Which Car I Brought (Never do this when shopping at Publix where they like to help you to your car. It is embarrassing when you have forgotten that you brought your husband’s car, when you didn’t even remember where you parked in the first place. It is MORTIFYING when you have someone traipsing behind you with a cart full of groceries, weaving in and out of rows of cars.)

#3 – Parking Garages ( I will try not to park in these at all costs )

Yes, this little habit of forgetfulness is a slight inconvenience… perhaps a little embarrassing… unless I find myself in one of the three previously mentioned categories like I did last night.

Always … always … try to remember where you parked in the parking garage at Newport on the Levee. That is one place you don’t want to lose your car.

My sister’s wedding was yesterday afternoon. I would use the excuse that I was worried about getting to the aquarium on time for more pictures and that is why I didn’t remember where we parked, but I would be lying. I could say that I was really hungry and couldn’t wait to get to the snacks offered, but I didn’t even know they would be offering snacks to the bridal party.

I remembered only two things. We parked next to a column and that when we were in the elevator more people entered from the floor above us, but we skipped one or two more floors before we hit the levee plaza entrance. So we were parked next to a column on one of two floors. Perfect! At least I had it narrowed down, right? (Little did I know that each floor had like 1,367 columns and had about an equal number of parking spots.)

Did I notice the floors were colored? Yes. Did I notice the rows were numbered? Yes. Did I see the pamphlets labeled “Floor Parking Reminder” right in front of the elevators? Yes. Then why on earth could I not find the car? Because I noticed these things WHILE we were looking for the car.

Oh and did I mention that my husband also shares my little habit of forgetfulness? Aren’t we perfect together?

I am going to mention this again… always … always … try to remember where you parked in the parking garage at Newport on the Levee. That is one place you don’t want to lose your car.

We go down to the red floor… because we had ruled it down to either red or yellow, and Justin said he didn’t think he remembered yellow… and started walking. This parking garage is not straight forward and every floor isn’t on a flat plane. You might have a few lanes weaving you back and forth, but then you have some lanes going up, some going down, all appearing almost identical. We began becoming confused with places we had gone to places we had not yet been. There were moments we were separated… good thing I had my cell phone with me!

Oh wait.. no cell reception in the depths of this underground.. PRISON!

I began to panic. What if we never found the car? What if I didn’t find Justin again? What if a creepy man started to walk toward me? What if I would miss Saturday Night Live? I always kept the elevator/stairs within view and began to realize the seriousness of this forgetfulness.

Finally, I want to state this for the last time. Always … always … try to remember where you parked in the parking garage at Newport on the Levee. That is one place you don’t want to lose your car.

An hour later… with the help of the bride and groom themselves with their wonderful best man and his wife (who found us separately wandering on different floors) … we were driven around every nook and cranny that we might have parked ourselves in. We found the car a little after midnight.

Last night when we got home I added a little piece of paper and pen to my purse. Hopefully this will help my brain if it still decides not to pick up the slack and remember VERY important things. I will try not to forget where I park my car, ever.. ever.. again. (Let’s start counting tomorrow though… In my defense, the parking lot at Walmart was unusually crowded!)

I am hoping these automatic parking garages happen sooner rather then later...

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