Driving around the Marina, in the downpour, looking for a parking place for the holiday party at OnPointe Pilates, I became fixated not just parking, but on how much gas I had left. Sure I drive a Prius, and the little gauge said I had 279 miles of driving left. But all of of that would be gone, it would be next Tuesday… my car would stop….the party would be over…and still no parking spot.
And then I stirred up a plan.
Wolf and Lion Pet Supplies on Lombard has a lovely spacious parking lot. In front of every single space is a stern sign that you will towed you if you are not a customer.
BUT, if I go into the shop and buy some poop bags before doing to Kaitlyn’s party, then I AM a customer.
I seem blessed–or burdened–with a conscience that always works double-time. Way back in elementary school I had years-worth of perfect attendance pins for Sunday School, not because I loved Sunday School, but because that seemed to be what a good person does. And I so much wanted to be a good person.
My financial advisor, and my ex-husband, were totally annoyed that I wouldn’t invest in cigarette companies or distilleries. More recently, after my sister died, the estate attorney told me that the most efficient way to transfer ownership of my sisters cars to her sons was to simply sign her name on the pink slip. “You mean FORGE her signature?”
Back in the rain, I pulled into the lot at Wolf and Lion, alarmed to realize that not only is there a sign in front of every parking place, there is also a guard in the lot to waylay interlopers. But I am going to buy poop bags. I am a customer. My conscience didn’t buy it. Even though Wolf and Lion was going to close in ten minutes, and I really WAS going to buy poop bags, what I was actually doing was mooching on a parking space.
I was more than aware of this as I timidly exited the car in holiday attire.
The guard across the way scanned the lot.
Then he looked in my direction.
“HEY YOU,” he yelled, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
I froze. Froze first and then melted a bit, practically shaking, leaning on the door. How could he possibly know? I’m not even really out of the car.
Maybe they have special mind-reading guards here.
I was obviously paralyzed because a minute later the guard turned directly to me. “Not you,” he said. “You’re fine. I was yelling at the guy over there who was peeing on the wall.”