Level Up

When someone hits your car while it’s parked in a parking deck, messes up the bumper and doesn’t bother to leave a note, it’s beyond frustrating.

After discovering that the parking deck’s “security” cameras only provide a live feed and can’t replay any shenanigans, my solution to this six-month-old incident was to park one level higher. I also was forced to rethink my favorite (but apparently flawed) parking spot.

It’s your typical deck in that each level is identical, and on any level there are now four spots that I will ever opt for in the wake of said bumper-marring. This means I have a total of 20 options within the five-story concrete and steel madhouse.

Madhouse, you wonder? Each morning, I see people doing these damn 42-point turns just to get into the first empty [and incredibly, painfully narrow] spot that they happen upon. People even wait for these skinny spots, as though they have some hidden, redeeming quality. They don’t. It’s a mess.

Not surprisingly, I frequently witness these people returning to their cars and freaking out when they realize that their car has been damaged, too. Why can’t they be bothered to go up higher to a less crowded level? Why are they so intent on taking the first crappy space that they see? Why tempt fate?

I suspect these people are the same ones who touched the stove when mom or dad said, “Don’t touch the stove. It’s hot.” Consequences? What are those? Yeah. Good luck with that.

I want to tell them about my new favorite parking spots and how I’ve had nary an issue with them, but…nah.

This morning’s parking routine wasn’t unlike other mornings, yet today as I arrived on my level where cars were sparse and I was able to breathe, I finally realized what going up a level has provided — beyond just peace of mind. It’s also almost completely removed the risk of having a negative experience and acting badly as a result of it. Beyond just repositioning myself on a higher level, the small shift has also helped me to take the high road, in some respects.

Tonight I am thankful for realizing the benefit of leveling up and for the calm that doing so has imparted in other parts of my life. No temptation of getting angry, no acting upon the frustration of said anger. And that’s a good thing.

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