Do you know what’s the worst? It’s the worst when you drive past the parking spot approximately five blocks from your apartment and decide, OK, I am not going to be selfish tonight (even though it’s 20 degrees out) I will take you, spot. Because it’s winter in Philadelphia, and the pickens SURE ARE SLIM. But then, on your walk home with freezing ankles because your sweater only looked good with booties and your jeans rolled up today (even though it’s 20 degrees out), you spot not one, not two, but three parking spots closer and better and warmer. And you slam your fist down in anger and curse under your breath as you hurry home.
As long as I’ve lived in Philadelphia, I’ve worked not in Philadelphia, and situations like the above are some of my daily struggles. Whenever I tell people where I live, truly, one of their first responses is – oh, parking must be tough there. Well folks, it sure is. When my commute was ~an hour, some evenings, upon returning to this little city, I would look for over an hour for a parking spot. This includes metered parking and permit parking, and some nights, I cried. Yep. I said it. Tears. You could always go to one of the parking lot paving companies and get someone to make some parking at your home if you can, but that isn’t an option for everyone sadly.
You know I like to keep this blog positive, but I’ve just about had it, and I need to let this out. Stay with me, now, and learn a little bit about the world of a reverse commuter.
1. If you’re in a spot (and this is usually a spot right across from my apartment or somewhere extremely convenient), and you’re say, waiting for a friend, turn. your. freaking. lights. off! You must not know the feeling of relief – the aha! moment when you’ve been circling the block for 25 minutes and you finally are the first car to spot a vehicle about to pull out of a spot – only to have it crushed when you realize that person will not be moving for ~33 minutes or so. Just warming up the car.
2. Listen, I see you have a stroller and seven babies and I’m guessing you’ve had a long day. Believe me, I’m not rushing you. But I would rather sit here with my blinker on, staking my claim, then drive around the block while I’m waiting, only to discover someone else has now stolen my spot and/or is now playing the same waiting game. I’m actually grateful that you’re moving. Take your time. Let me stay. We all win here.
3. If you’re one of those, ‘let me go stand in an empty parking spot until my friend pulls around the block,’ first, no, and second, don’t ignore me while I try to ask what the freaking deal is. People really do this. Don’t be those people.
4. If someone is mid parallel park and you pull up behind them, please, just let them park. If there is a red light and a person is trying to pull in to a spot and you pull up in the right lane just to be an annoying human being, please rethink some of your life decisions.
And this, the thing that truly brings me the most agony of any of these parking problems:
5. If you are the first or last car by the sign pole and you do not move your car up or back within inches of that pole, I think I might hate you. I understand if you’re not super close to the other cars in front or back of you when you’re parked in the middle of the block (because obviously, other cars may have moved), but if you’re the first car and the car behind you moves, now you’re taking up two spots, and now I’m mad.
Annnnddd I feel so much better now. Feel free to share this post with any friends/family/neighbors that need to learn some rules of the road, and if I see you out there – stay clear! 😉