Maybe it's something in the air, maybe the alleged beginning to the recession's recovery is making people feverish to go out and spend money. Whatever it is, they are hella anxious to grab a parking space. Over the past week, I have seen three—count them, three—serious set-tos in parking lots. Person A is waiting for someone to pull out, person B thinks had the same idea—or worse, knew person A was waiting and figured "tough. What is she going to do, shoot me?"
Actually, it could happen. As the holidays approach, as shoppers shop closer to home to save gas and as advertised sale days draw larger and larger crowds to get the biggest bang for their shrunken buck, mall parking lots are becoming more and more full. (And it's not even November!) Don't be one of those people we see on the six o'clock news. You know them: the moms who got into a fistfight because the Lexus edged out the Escalade. (Apparently the sense of entitlement is more prevalent among luxury car drivers—nobody in dented Toyotas were slugging it out….)
Yes, you drove around for 15 minutes trying to find an empty parking space, and yes, some rude person decided he/she was going to take it. Don't blow up. Take a deep breath. Maybe utter a cathartic epithet. Pass the now-filled space. Assume the karmic universe will take care of the piggy parker, and let it go. There's always another space, and it's not worth the potential violence that could occur if you stop to argue.
Because if what I saw last week is any indication, things will only get worse the closer we get to the holidays.
is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News and co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of The New Basic Black: Home Training For Modern Times (Doubleday).