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 through 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 which I had never been to before. I parked close to the entrance, made a mental note and even looked at the large map posted at the entrance. Piece of cake. I was looking specifically for two stores. No trouble finding the stores. BUT....then one of the vendors suggested I try a different store to find what I was looking for and gave me directions. This complex is about ten miles long. Not really, but it feels that way. In reality it is close to a mile long. When you are lost, that feels like TEN MILES.
I got to my destination, got excited to find what I was looking for and then I left. Now, which way did I come from - 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 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. Nothing looked familiar. I started hitting the panic button on my key fob, 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 rampart 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.
Later that week, I was in Southern Washington and on my way back home had a 'near death' experience which is a total mystery as to how I survived. You can read that intriguing story here - A Brush With Death.
So, what is the lesson here? Can anyone shed some light? I need your help.
Photos courtesy of decoist,com, hdwallpapersfactory.com, dreamstime.com, worldwideweirdnews.com, flickr.com