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Midday Matinee – The Parking Lot Fairy

January 14, 2013

Midday Matinee

Midday Matinee – The Parking Lot Fairy

For the most part, I live a reality based existence. I do however believe in the Parking Lot Fairy. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Long after my dad had confirmed ‘the truth’ about the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, he introduced me to the Parking Lot Fairy. I had a driver’s permit. We were circling a mall looking for a parking space. My dad was riding in the passenger’s seat and offering driving hints. After one loop I suggested that we park in an open space farther from the doors. My dad would have none of that.

“We need to call on the Parking Lot Fairy,” he said. “You need to expect a space just opening up right by the doors.”

My father was a most reasonable man. He ran dinner table discussions about current events and was always expecting that we would be informed and able to defend our opinions. He loved a good debate. The parking Lot Fairy seemed a radical departure from his normal way of thinking. My mom always said that he was very lucky at finding good parking spaces. Since my mom was in the early stages of Multiple Sclerosis, his luck made life easier for her.

Yesterday I dropped a friend off for a doctor’s visit. All the parking spaces were filled and since she had forgotten her cell phone, she was wondering how we would find each other when she came out.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll call on the Parking Lot Fairy and be right out front.”

When my friend came out I was parked right in front of the door.

I do know this is magical thinking and reinforced by remembering the times when it works and forgetting the times that it doesn’t. But as magical thinking goes it seems relatively harmless. I wish I could say the same for some of the current magical thinking from the right wingers on a whole range of issues. The parking lot fairy doesn’t let people go hungry or unemployed. The parking lot fairy doesn’t resist gun safety laws. The parking lot fairy doesn’t start wars of choice.

All in all, maybe more people ought to embrace the Parking Lot Fairy. In a world of delusional thinking, she rocks it!

  • NCrissieB

    I often joke with Herself that “I called ahead to order a parking space,” because I so often park in the same 3-4 spaces in any lot. Were you to draw an arc of a reasonable walking distance from the entrance to a store or mall, ‘my’ spaces would be near a base of that arc. If one of ‘my’ spaces isn’t already open, one usually opens as I’m approaching.

    Like you, intellectually I know there’s no special magic involved. It’s a math problem: how many cars arrive per hour, how long each stays, and which of several parking space selection rules (like my ‘base of the arc’ rule) each driver uses. You can, and I’m sure parking lot engineers do, program that into a computer and get a very reliable model of a typical day in a given lot.

    But it feels so much nicer to say “I called ahead to order a parking space.” 😀

    • addisnana

      It is a fun way to play with mathematics and it is also fun be have my own Parking Lot Fairy. Good to know I am not the only one. 🙂

  • In one of the research institutes I worked in, one of the techs had a “magic wand.” It’d been given to her by a sales rep years ago, and she said “it works.” It was a given in the institute that if you were doing something that was tricky and expensive, and it had to work right, you … went and got the wand. But we weren’t superstitious. 😛

    • addisnana

      Great story, Norbrook! A magic wand 🙂