My heart leapt! There was one parking space near the front of the grocery store, and I already knew that it wasn’t reserved for 1) handicapped drivers, 2) parents of small children, 3) customers in need of a motorized cart or 4) new or expectant moms.
Yes, I know this parking lot like the back of my whatever that thing at the end of my arm is called.
I’m here at least three days a week, so I know not to pull into the space that has a cutesy drawing of a stork carrying a baby in its beak.
(Note to grocery store executives: Y’all do know that babies aren’t really delivered by cartoonishly large birds, right? That said, it’s better than a realistic birth scene, so good call.)
I’m a slow learner. It took more than a few turns into the magically empty but delightfully close-up space before I looked up, saw the grinning stork, growled at my forgetfulness and backed out. Of course, the person who gets the space never looks pregnant, but it’s not like I can ask to see her pee stick with the little plus sign showing. I mean, I don’t think I can.
Sometimes, it’s so hard to find a parking spot that I have actually considered strapping a plastic doll baby into a Baby Bjorn and using the new mom’s space. But, and I mean this in all seriousness, I would only do that if it was raining.
Bottom line: I felt like I had all the off-limits spaces memorized. Oh, how wrong I was.
Last week, when I saw the open spot, I thought it was my lucky day. I did a quick checklist in my head. This spot had never been designated for anyone. I wheeled in and there it was, a smallish sign, newly installed: “This space reserved for veterans.”
Okie dokie. Now before y’all start pouring the hater-ade, let me assure you that I have nothing against veterans. I happen to think they should get a lot more than a crummy parking space close to the grocery store entrance. A lot more.
But, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, how far do we want to go with this?
At this rate, I fully expect the grocery store parking lot sign to declare: This space is reserved for: “You know, that rich lady who always wears cheetah prints and buys way too much wine and one small wheel of artisanal cheese every week.”
Or: This space is reserved for “full-blown menopausal moms only because they sorta scare us and it’s either give them this parking space or feed them free prime rib every Thursday, we’re just sayin’.”
Or what about: This space is reserved “for the husband who only goes to this store on Thanksgiving Eve and has no idea we sell anything besides canned cranberry sauce. We’re serious. No idea.”
Or: “This space is reserved for overly dramatic teenage girls because they ‘just can’t.’ ”