New Me, New You


New Me, New You

January 2024


A new year is a lovely thing. A fresh calendar makes me feel like anything could happen. I can eat more veggies; I can perfect my French; I can be a better partner, mother, daughter, sister. There have been times in my life when I found New Years a bit depressing. It’s easy to get weighed down by the urge to evaluate last year’s successes and failures.


So, I’m going to look ahead instead of back and make just one resolution this year: Let it Go. I don’t go around saying “Let it Go” because it was already an annoying phrase when Disney beat it to death in a famous movie about two sisters, an evil prince, a ventriloquist shepherd, a moose, and a talking snowman. However, it says what I need it to say. My mom always told me that when you turn 50 you stop caring what other people think of you. I see it differently. I care what I think of me. I am responsible for myself. I follow my conscience, hoping that I will always be inspired to do my best and be a decent person. But I feel it is time to let go of old expectations of myself and of others and take life as it comes. I’m not in control.


I was thinking about what resolutions the parking industry might set for this year, so I have considered my parking activities closely during the last month. It’s easy to tell the Parking Industry what to do, but not easy for them to do it. These are the resolutions I would suggest if my opinion had any weight.


EV Parking


By all means, let’s keep trying to reduce the pollution we unload on our planet. I can’t say what happens next with EV parking. The cars, the batteries, the charging stations and network are part of a vast system of technology and infrastructure that is still unfolding. I’d like to have an electric vehicle someday. What I’d like to suggest, for now, as a regular old parker driving a regular old ICE vehicle, that maybe future EV-specific parking spots could take up less of the prime parking real estate in the parking lots of almost all my destinations. 


When I’m out shopping, or doing whatever, I pass the many, many, unused parking spots dedicated to EVs and feel a tiny amount of antipathy toward the EV makers, EV owners and, the unknown entity responsible for the parking location. It’s not that these spots have premier placement, it’s that no one is using them. I’m sure they will one day, but until then, the rest of us have to park, too.


Reverse Diagonal Parking


Reverse diagonal parking happened to me for the first time recently. It felt like I had fallen down a well or into the looking glass or any other idiom that means “confused and disoriented.” I was looking for a parking spot and they were all turned the wrong direction, passing by me like jagged teeth. When I noticed the headlights of all the other cars in the row, I understood this was a big moment. 


The drivers behind me must have been similarly confused. This got worse when I stopped, signaled and put my car in reverse. The car directly behind me took the opportunity to pass me on the left. Fortunately, the next one waited politely while I, as awkwardly as possible, backed into the diagonal space. My car was crooked and off-center, but I did it. Hoping to see more of these spots around in the future.


The Parking Pricks of the Midwest


Forgive my French – although the French have better words for someone who’s a selfish jerk. I stumbled upon a Facebook group called The Parking Pricks of the Midwest (PPotM). Members of this online group really hate anyone who parks across two stalls – a move called “straddling.” They rage about drivers who infringe on handicapped parking, rightly so. They like to use their favorite catch phrases: “The lines are there for a reason,” and “Good job, boomer, you almost had it.” 


It might sound like a quirky little group of angry misfits, but there are more than 50,000 members of PPotM. I had a good laugh at the people who park so badly, as well as the people who take such time and care to photograph, post, and comment about PPotMs. Making fun of terrible parkers can be very entertaining. I’d like the parking industry to keep up the good work of making parking smart and seamless, but if it can’t, then please make it funny. 


I’m going to continue my quest for acceptance and impartiality this year, even though calling it a “quest” makes me sound self-important. Maybe I’ll call it a “journey.” Whatever it is, I think this is a resolution I can hang on to – unless I decide to let it go. Hmmmm.

Article contributed by:
Melissa Bean Sterzick, Amateur Parker
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