Carol writes at Never…Ever…Give Up Hope. You can find her there sharing laughter, inspiration and interesting stories like this one.
Memory loss in the parking lot. It’s a real thing. Why can’t I remember where I parked my car? It seems that whenever I park in a parking lot, I have no trouble getting to my intended destination but I almost always have trouble finding my way back.
I consider myself to be somewhat intelligent so making a mental note of where I parked isn’t rocket science. Sometimes the parking lots are thoughtful enough to put numbers and letters on pillars to make it easier for people to remember where they parked. As long as you remember the letter and/or the number you are home free. You think?
I can have a huge list of tasks on my agenda and get through them all with ease of remembrance but where the heck did I park? I start to retrace my steps trying to remember which door I entered the complex. Was it the North or East entrance? Sometimes I am extremely proud of myself when I get that correct but then which level did I park on – P1, P2? Up and down the stairs I travel to no avail. Did someone steal my car?
I travel by ferry often and it is embarrassing when the cars are already driving off the ferry as I am still in search of my vehicle. Wandering around and looking like a complete idiot, I am excited when I see my car only to discover it is driving away — sure looked like mine.
My husband told me years ago that if he ever needed to dispose of me he would just take me into the woods and ask me to find my way back. I considered breadcrumbs but with my luck, the birds would eat them before I found my way home.
What is wrong with me?
I was in an extremely large outdoor complex of retail outlet stores last month that I had never been to before. I parked close to the entrance, made a mental note and even looked at the large map posted there. A piece of cake. Right? I was specifically looking for two stores. I had no trouble finding the stores, but then one of the vendors suggested I try a different store to find what I was looking for. They gave me directions. This complex is about ten miles long. Not really, but it certainly feels that way. In reality, it is probably closer to a mile long. But when you are lost that feels like TEN MILES.
I got to my destination, was excited to find what I was looking for and left. Now, which way did I come from? Was it the right or the left? I think it was the left but now nothing was looking familiar. With heavy parcels in hand, my feet hurting and my body not feeling 100%, I proceeded. My surroundings were looking less familiar. I asked some teenagers where the main parking lot was and they responded with, “Which one?”
What do you mean WHICH ONE? There’s more than one?
I proceeded in the direction I assumed was the right way. Still, nothing looked familiar. I started hitting the panic button on my key fob, but heard no response. After 45 minutes of wandering around aimlessly, I started looking for a security vehicle. There were several but they were empty. Where were the security guys – at lunch? My plan was to shed some tears and have them drive me around until I found my car.
I considered sitting on the curb and crying but thought that might create more problems. Thoughts were running rampant through my brain; “I will never get back home,” “I will have to spend the night here until no cars are left in the parking lot, but WHICH parking lot?”
One foot in front of the other, ignoring the pain in my back, neck, arms, legs, feet, and head I continued walking. Then I heard it. The panic button paid off. My horn was beeping. Yes! There it is! Just where I parked it.
I was traveling and I had now wasted over an hour which meant I would arrive at my destination after dark, but at least I would be able to arrive… by car.
So what lesson did I learn? I’m not sure there is one. I’m still trying to figure out what the best way is to ensure that I not get lost in a parking lot? Maybe I should hire a driver?
How about you? How do you find your car?