Do you have a favorite parking spot at your mall? For those of you who don’t – those that park nearest to where you’re actually trying to go, then you’re probably going to think that I’m off my rocker. And that’s ok with me. Because I DO have a favorite area that I like to park at the mall. And now that I think about it...I come by this honestly. It’s a madness that I inherited from my mother.
They say that we all eventually turn into our parents, right? Well, here’s one example of me doing exactly that. I grew up in a small town. Not just small, but small like 10,000 people, a regular Wal-Mart for years, no fast food places other than Dairy Queen and Burger King and no mall. So when we needed to go and do some shopping, we would drive 30 miles to the closest mall in Tyler, TX. And once we got there, my mom would park in her usual area. Over the years, this “spot” changed from time to time as the mall underwent changes and remodels and such and my mom scoped out a new, better place to park, but generally it was near the entrance that was next to the cleanest bathroom in the mall. I mean, it makes sense if you think about it – you’re fixing to get in the car and drive for half an hour to get home...you need a nice place to stop and pee on your way out the door and why not park close by that exit so that it’s not out of your way, right? Totally logical to me...which MUST be why I have developed this habit.
When I first moved to Austin, I parked in one area of the mall. It was near the main entrance and central to the heart of the mall. But over time, I’ve discovered that there’s a better place to park...and it’s become my “go to” spot for parking in the past year or two. It never fails, never lets me down – I usually find a spot within the first three or four parking spots from the door. I kid you not. Sure, it’s outside of Nordstrom’s where I CANNOT justify spending any of my hard-earned money...so I’m walking through a store that I’m not going to shop in. And yes, it’s at an end of the mall that doesn’t really hold any stores that I like. BUT...I can always park close to the door. And that’s important to me for some reason.
So back to my story. The other day I was reading my Google Reader and saw a post on a blog about Old Navy having a sale on Maternity clothes. A sucker for a sale, and a fan of Old Navy, I immediately clicked over to browse their online selection. I found a few tops that I liked and immediately added to my cart and then went to look at their maternity jeans. I read several blogs of pregnant ladies who are BIG fans of the Old Navy maternity jeans...so seeing them on 40% off was a nice plus. I found a pair that I think that I liked and added them to my cart. But then, upon closer inspection I start to read the comments. Almost every review written on the jeans ranted and raved about how much they loved the jeans, but how the sizing was off. Most of them said to buy one size smaller. Hmmm...this gave me pause. I know logically I should just trust what these girls are saying and order one size smaller than normal...but in the back of my head I worry about the hassle of buying them online and them not fitting and then having to send them back and blah blah blah. Just seems easier to try them on first...in the store.
Since I didn’t have any plans for lunch, I decided that I would head to my mall and try them during my lunch hour before making my decision. And as an extra bonus then I would have to eat at the mall for lunch since it was too far out of the way to stop there, try on jeans and go somewhere else to eat...ok, ok twist my arm. I lurve me some mall pizza...don’t ask, I don’t understand it either. Plus, there’s a cookie shop near my exit, right? What pregnant woman can’t be talked into a cookie? Not anyone that I know!
So I drive to the mall. Go around to “my spot” and just like normal score a spot on the second row. It’s cold outside, so this is extra cool to me. I make my dash inside and proceed to walk through the mall down to the Old Navy store. About halfway there, I realize that maybe I’m not that smart. Let me lay it out for you...Nordstrom’s is at one end of the mall, which is where I like to park. The Old Navy store is at the OTHER end of the mall, which isn’t small, and the Food Court is in the middle. As I’m walking through the mall in my knee-high boots that have a 3-inch heel, I realize that I could have actually planned this out better. I could have parked near the main entrance and been right at the Old Navy store, not to mention a few steps away from the Food Court.
Now, normally I could wear these boots all day long and not complain. And being pregnant, my penchant for heels has not changed a bit. I’m enough of a klutz to realize that I should probably invest in more flats...but my love for heels just doesn’t allow for that. So I wear my heels. And during my last pregnancy, this wasn’t a problem until the last few weeks when my feet swelled...as it’s still early in this pregnancy my heels are still on my feet. The problem that I ran into was that I couldn’t find socks that morning...so I had to wear an old pair of socks that were worn a little thin in spots. Which started bothering me about halfway through the mall.
And got worse the more that I walked...which was quite a bit, seeing as how I had to traverse the mall length twice – once to get to Old Navy and once to get back. Hmmm...maybe parking further out and having to walk through the parking lot MIGHT have made more sense today of all days.
Oh well, trudge along – grin and bear it, right? Right. Until this pregnany lady gets to Old Navy to find NO maternity section...so I wait patiently in line at the front of the store to ask an associate (as there were NONE to be found working the floor) and was informed that there is only ONE store in all of Austin that carries the maternity line. And it’s out in Bee Caves...too far for me to go on my lunch hour that day or any other day really and I don’t live exactly close to there so running by on my way home isn’t possible.
I did get my pizza roll...and ended up buying 6 cookies, not just one...so it wasn’t a wasted trip. I was back in my car so close to the front door...which was good since I was sort of limping. And I didn’t even make the pit stop in the fancy bathroom to make it all worthwhile...
So I guess the moral of the story would be that sometimes parking close doesn’t really pay off?
And just in case you're wondering about those SIX cookies, NO I didn't eat them all myself. I bought two of the kind that I like, two for my daughter and two for my husband. I ate MY two cookies over two evenings...so I didn't sit in the mall parking lot downing half a dozen cookies!