I pulled into the SuperCenter on one of those 98 degree days with the heat index at 109. The parking lot fairies must have been smiling because the pole position right by the front door was open. I usually get the spot a quarter of a mile away. My friend Gail always parks in that far away spot to avoid car door dings and get in a chunk of her 10,000 recommended daily steps. That’s creative multitasking, but just not when it’s gasping hot.

That sweet spot in the parking lot doesn’t come without risk. First of all there are usually at least three cars circling like foxes. Those drivers amaze me probably because I don’t have the time or patience. And if you dare pull in the spot they have been watching from three rows away, watch out. Hell hath no fury like a driver who feels like they’ve been robbed of a spot.

Sometimes cars parked close to the store front are all right on the line or a few inches over it. Most likely the spot was eyed coming from the wrong direction and the driver has whipped a parking lot U turn. That’s legal as far as I know, but for heaven’s sake back up and straighten it up from the first attempt.

I try to avoid those tight spots especially if it’s next to a white car or truck. My little black car picks up a new white scuff every time I go against my best judgement. Soccer mom vans are usually safe to park next to because they have sliding doors. However, you never know when an eight year old will fling open the front door while the mom is loading groceries or strapping a baby in a car seat.

As I was slowly rolling toward the much sought after parking place considering all of these things, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a car that looked like it didn’t have a driver. On second glance I saw a little old man, most likely in his 80’s, barely peering over the steering wheel. I knew he was hoping I would keep on driving past the coveted sweet spot. I did. I decided I didn’t need anymore door dings, knew I could always use the exercise, and hoped when I’m in my 80’s someone will pass along a spot to me.

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