Antique Crazy, Mildly Amusing

Parking Gods vs Shopping Gods

Let it be known to all, the parking gods love me.

If you’re going to the mall, you want me to go with you. I don’t even have to be driving to get a primo parking space. I can go to the Dallas Galleria on the day after Thanksgiving and get a front row parking spot in front of Macy’s. I can go to the State Fair of Texas and get a front row parking spot in the shade. I can even get a front row parking spot by the cart return any day of the week at Wal-Mart. I know. I don’t deserve it. I’ve not lived a life without blemish. It rains on the just and unjust alike, but it rains parking spaces on me!

Unfortunately, the shopping gods are not that crazy about me. Once we get to the store, you’ll want to get as far away from me as possible.

This past week I had on my shopping list the following items: thermometer covers, Welch’s Grape Juice, hydrogen peroxide and Wheaties. Wal-Mart was completely out of each of the four items. What are the odds? Does that not seem like some sort of divine conspiracy? Not wanting to waste a perfectly good child-free trip to the store I bought nail polish, cilantro, a Snickers bar and a new spatula instead. With my four essential impulse purchases in hand, I headed for the checkout lines.

I sometimes think that as an act of benevolence to the unsuspecting shopping public, that I should wear a sign on my back that warns people not to get in line behind me if they have ice cream or other perishables or haven’t had a recent bathroom break.

As I approached the checkout lines, I felt the ire of the shopping gods bear down upon me. Two lanes were open and I had to choose one. Which one would get me out of the store before either I or my cilantro died a pungent soggy green death? I already knew it didn’t matter. Whichever line I chose, it would be the wrong one.

My two options were as follows: a) The line with the legally-blind, elderly couple in walkers trying to pay for their prescriptions and Metamucil with their phone card or b) The line with the non-English speaking Asian lady trying to use coupons clipped from a Chinese newspaper and disputing the price of every item in her cart by means of pantomime. It was a toss up with 100% losing odds.

I chose the elderly couple’s line for no reason whatsoever. After I read People, In Style, Glamour, The Enquirer, Newsweek, Teen People and War and Peace, I set my soggy cilantro down and left the store with nothing.

If you see me in Wal-Mart, for your own good, go the other way. I’ll understand.

23 thoughts on “Parking Gods vs Shopping Gods

  1. See–I’d say we’re related, but if so, you got all the parking spot blessings. I definitely am right there with you when it comes to the whole shopping thing. I’ve actually had an experience where I was in line for a LONG time, and just as I finally got to the counter and finish unloading my cart, the cashier turns off her “lane light”, looks at me and says “I’m going on break. This lane is closed.”


  2. I always seem to attract the screaming children in Walmart…plus, they always build at least 25 checkout lanes, but will only open about 10!!!

  3. I’m sitting her laughing my head off. I feel the same way about the lines, no matter which one I pick, it’s always the wrong one. Thanks for making me laugh so early in the day!

  4. I am trying to catch up on everyone’s blogs! Of course I found you through Shalee. Nice to know there is a fellow Dallasite [ok I am in Plano but you know what I mean] AND that you also became a mom after 40. Which is why my blog is What? Me a mom at my age? And it hasn’t been updated in 3 weeks!

    The Plano WalMart by my house never has more than 3 lanes open, even at 10:30 at night, when I stop by after Bible Study. Self Check Out? NEVER! The managers are always helping the brave souls who get stuck and I just do not have the patience with a 3 year old Chinese acrobat flipping in and out of the cart.

    Happy Monday!

  5. Thanks for the laugh—loved it!
    After speculating on your true personality by the impulse buys, I laughed out loud at the older couple trying to make a purchase with a phone card and all the reading you got done!

  6. For your enjoyment, I give you this true story from last evening:
    Target—school supply shopping for four children—teenager and ADHD child in tow—$248.54 worth of stuff—I get in line behind the girl who chose clothing with NO TAGS and the mom who decides to cash in the RAIN CHECK that she now has NO IDEA what it was!!!!!!!!!—the checkout boy (he appeared to be 12) who scanned, checked the price screen, scanned again, deleted item….

    The parking lot gods and the checkout-line gods are at war with each other, just like the ancient gods of Rome and Greece.

    I’ll look for you in the checkout lane; we could have quite a conversation! :-)C

  7. Cmommy – Another chapter from the Tales of Checkout Lane Hell: Last Christmas I got in line behind a women in Target who wanted to pay for her two carts of crud with a credit card. The problem was she didn’t have her credit card, just the number. No ID either. And she wasn’t going to budge. The manager showed up just as a lynch mob was forming.

  8. My favorite at our Target is 9 a.m., I counted _12_ people in line in front of me (the only one open), look to my right and see _16_ red-shirted Target employees on break in the snack bar. I was not amused.

    Yes, AM, I will avoid you if I see you in Wal-Mart, but I will wait outside for your parking spot!

  9. LOL I never mind inside the stores but I do love a great parking place first and foremost. So what are you doing oh say about Dec 1st??? lol we live in the same area and I could use the great parking places!!!
    Have a great day!

  10. Yes, what is with Walmart and Target building twenty-six registers and having only four open at a time?? Weird stuff.

    At least you have parking gods on your side. Both parking and shopping gods seem to be against me.

  11. I have learned to try for the longer lines in grocery stores. It gives me time to get everything on the belt and be able to watch them get scanned to doublecheck the price. Saved me a few bucks on more than one occasion.

    Of course, that means you probably would be behind me.

  12. We call the fortuitous parking spots “Doris Day Parking.” Why, you might ask? Do you ever watch the old Doris Day movies and notice she ALWAYS smoothly cruises into the spot right in front of the store/salon/whatever in beautiful weather with her convertible top down? Living on the very rainy Oregon Coast, we can do with out the convertible top but we’ll sure take the parking spot!

  13. I always choose the wrong lane too, however trying to read a magazine (and getting interested in any article) usually speeds things up — I never do finish, (but I never buy the magazine either).

  14. I think we may be living in parallel universes. I had this very same experience last Thursday. The same elderly couple and the same Asian woman were here in Kansas City, at my Wal-Mart.

    I wonder if, perhaps, Wal-Mart is a portal to the next dimension and we’ve all been conditioned to believe that it’s simply a large chain of discount stores.

  15. Mmm. Cilantro.

    Reminds me of a line from The Money Pit. Yes, I have nothing pithy to say of my own, so I’ll quote obscure 80’s movies. “You go to Motor Vehicles to get your license renewed, and you get on this line that reaches to Spain, and right next to it is this little short line with only two guys on it, but you don’t get on that line, ’cause you think something must be “wrong” with it – otherwise everyone else would be on it – so you waste three hours!” I always choose the wrong line.

  16. I have similar experiences at paint counter at Home Depot. After waiting for 30 minutes to get some paint mixed (board out of my mind eves dropping on a Mother’s conversation with her 3 pre-teen daughters – please discuss something I am interested in if I can hear your every word). My turn with the paint tech stalled when he asked me which one of the 6 types of finishes I wanted for my Cranapple red. I hurried over to the 2 inch square samples of the 6 finishes which had been scratched beyond recognition. The paint tech gave me one of those “Oh great. Another person who doesn’t have a clue” looks. Of course, that was just the FIRST trip to Home Depot that weekend. The total number of trips to the paint department at 3 Home Depot stores (over a 48 hour period) came to 6 before the painting of a 10 X 11 room was completed. And I have 4 more rooms on my list!

  17. I love your blog and this entry is great! I just started in the bloging world! I read your bio and it’s exciting to see how God works in everyone’s life – His plans are always the best for us!

  18. I walked out of a Best Buy last night when I ran in to pick up a CD. There were only 2 lines open and 8 customers waiting in one line and 6 in the other. I took the CD to the manager who was standing nearby just watching and said, “I’d have bought this Cd if you were interested in taking my money. But obviously you are not.” He just stood there with his mouth hanging open. Never even offered an apology.

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