Are you courteous?

How many times have you been in a huge parking lot trying to find parking when all spots seem to be taken? All spots except for the ones that are five miles away AND the spots reserved for the disabled, expectant moms and parents with babies and small children. We all have lazy days when we want to park right next to the entrance to limit our outdoor walking – but if you’re perfectly healthy, not pregnant and without small children do you park in these courtesy spots anyway?

When I do get a spot close to an entrance I feel like I’ve won the lottery, and somehow always make reference to the ‘parking horseshoe’ that I must have lodged somewhere. I love finding parking and I love me a parking challenge, especially since I’m driving this.

I have to confess that I do sometimes look longingly at these courtesy spots. I do sometimes think that I could park in the expectant moms spot and just pretend that I’m pregnant while I walk the 10 steps into the mall. After all, sometimes people do think I’m pregnant. Maybe I can get away with parking there – just this once.

Sometimes I have a lapse in my good judgement and I think that I should just do it. But to be honest, I never do. I am grateful that I have my two healthy legs to walk on, and believe me I’m so supremely grateful I’m NOT PREGNANT that I almost want to get T shirts made. I’m also happy that when I’m with my kids they too can walk from wherever I have parked to wherever we need to go.

These courtesy spots are to help someone in need. I understand that the disabled spots are actually patrolled and enforced by law but the courtesy spots are there because of a thoughtful person and they trust that people will be respectful.

When I was pregnant with my first, at about six months I had symphysis pubis dysfunction and it was excruciating, I could barely walk. I was still going out, trying to function normally and I have to say that I would have loved it if these courtesy spots were available to me. It was such a huge effort for me to go anywhere, and parking far away from my destination felt like a slow and painful death.

Do we need to talk about family washrooms? They are for families. If you’ve ever had to pee when you’re out with a baby and a two year old, or if your two year old has to pee and your six month old has a poo up her back – you’re going to thank the heavens if the place that you’re at has a family washroom. Do you use these when you’re on your own because it’s more convenient for you?

If you don’t have a family with you – and I mean family that you are willing to pee in front of or family that needs your help to use the toilet – don’t use the family washroom. Full stop. You can line up with the rest of the women and thank your lucky stars that once you get in one of the stalls you don’t have a toddler trying to crawl underneath and or trying to drink the toilet water in the stall next to you. (FYI this has not happened to me.) You can take your sweet ass time, do what you need to do and then reapply your lipstick in the women’s washroom.

Save the family washroom for the woman who has had four hours of interrupted sleep, is carrying around two different sizes of diapers in her mistaken-for-luggage diaper bag, and who is grateful for the fact that she can pee in peace without her oldest child opening the door while she’s wiping. (This has also never happened to me.)

If you are not pregnant please park in a regular parking spot. If you’re a little overweight – and for a moment you think that people will think that you’re pregnant. Don’t do it. Maybe the extra walking will do you good. Just saying. Don’t be selfish. Be thankful for your working legs, and that you are not struggling with a giant fetus pressing up against your lungs and dancing on your cervix. Chances are that the pregnant women who use those spots are just making a pit stop to use the toilets.

Be courteous, be thoughtful, don’t be lazy and you’ll be a better person for it.

I recently had the pleasure of having this conversation with a woman who parks in courtesy spots, bitches about waiting in line and uses family washrooms solo – all in the same evening. I can’t believe that people will do these things unashamed. And that when confronted about them, they argue their point and think they’re entitled. One day they may be entitled to them – I personally hope to never have to use them. What about you?

  • Maria

    well put..and on those very tired days i will think about you and your rant and park farther away to get my butt into shape!!!

  • Helen

    I have shouted at people (and I am not a really shouty person) who have parked in the parent and child parking with no kids in the car. You dont qualify to park there just because you have car seats in the back!!!

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