I wish I could say this was the first time I ever did this: riding in a golf cart with a nice young man named Jeff as we try to find my parked car. First time in this particular garage, however.
“What kind of car is it?” Jeff asks.
“A Volkswagen Passat wagon,” I answer. “Dark brown but everyone thinks it’s black.”
“They’re nice cars,” he says. “My mom used to have one. Not the wagon, though, the sedan.”
“Yes,” I say. “We’ve had quite a few of both. But they’re not going to make them anymore.”
“I guess you’re right,” he says. “Are you sure you parked on the fourth floor?”
“Pretty sure. And when I pushed the lock button on the clicker thing here, I could hear my car beep.”
So we ride up and down the aisles pushing the clicker and listening for the beep. At one point a colleague of Jeff’s stops to lend advice.
“No,” he says, “don’t push the lock button. Push the panic button. Hold the thing up high and hold down the panic button.”
We can hear my car’s distress…somewhere. And suddenly, many car alarms go into panic mode together. Pandemonium reigns throughout the garage for a few moments.
Jeff decides the car might be one floor below or one floor above, so we try those places, and finally on the FIFTH floor, we see my car. I’d already told him about the stickers on the back window that read “Yes, I voted Obama” and the new one, “Proud Democrat.”
“I just put that one up this morning,” I say. “I thought maybe people should know I voted for Obama and I’m glad I did.”
“My Mom’s a Democratic legislator,” he says and he tells me which state.
“Well, tell her hello from me and say you rescued a ditsy old lady Democrat today in the parking garage.”
“I will,” he says. “Glad I could help.”
By this time the free parking ticket is no longer valid. I have to pay $3 to get out of the place.
I try not to be embarrassed as I stop to write on the ticket, “5th – right 3rd row – far back”. But in my mind, folks are thinking, “Look at that silly old man.”
You could put it on your smart phone and people will think you’re just so busy you have to keep working even walking through the parking garage. Or you could continue doing what you’re doing and not worry about what people think. I have to work on that.