Sandy Banks: A plea for parking lot etiquette at the shopping mall
What about parking lot etiquette don’t you understand?
More than the rain or the lines, or the coupons that didn’t work on anything I wanted, it was the nerve-wracking cruise through the parking lot that turned today’s mall expedition into the kind of ordeal that makes online shopping seem downright fun. For those of you who missed the memo about holiday parking lot navigation, here are a few simple requests from those of us who need parking spaces, to those of you who already have them: If you sense a car crawling down the aisle behind you, don’t presume they’re sightseeing.
THEY WANT YOUR SPACE.
And they are willing to block an entire lane to get it. If you’re just dropping off your shopping bags and heading back into the mall, GIVE US A CLUE: Shake your head vigorously, wave us around you, mouth the words “I’m not leaving” with the sort of exaggerated gestures you’d use with a child.
And if you are leaving, make eye contact please, then nod and point toward your car. Remember where you parked, and DON’T MEANDER. It’s aggravating to stalk a shopper to the end of a row, only to watch him cut across to a different aisle, pull out and let somebody else grab the spot before you can wheel around. If you’re lost, just signal.
We’ve all had those “Where’s my car?” moments.
Just don’t leave that car crawling behind you guessing while you wander around. When you get in your car, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. Don’t phone your friend to tell her how crowded it is, or sort through the receipts stuffed in your wallet. Don’t let the car warm up or fiddle with the radio dial. You can do that after you pull out -- when you join that line of idling cars waiting to leave the parking lot.
As we head down to the wire in this shopping season, Talk Back and tell us what complicated your gift-buying trips: parking lot follies, clueless clerks, that customer with a handful of expired coupons whose credit card just wouldn’t go through.
Or was that you?
-- Sandy Banks
Photo: Los Angeles Times