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February 29, 2008

Fraught With Parking Garage Drama

"Goddamn it!"

I knew exactly what pocket of my fabulous new purse I had placed the parking garage ticket in and now it was gone. Completely vanished. I swept my hand around the interior of my entire bag with no luck. My purse was even clean, having just transferred a limited number of items from my old handbag to the new one. It had to be there.

But it wasn't. I turned all the lights on inside my car in order to better search the front passenger seat better. Still nothing. I didn't have any pockets, so it wasn't hidden anywhere on my body. I hadn't moved it or touched it during my meeting at a Seattle restaurant. I had hardly done anything with my purse the entire time.

You know the parking garage rule if you lose your ticket, right? You pay the maximum amount. And this garage's maximum was $40. Not a lot by most garage standards, but more than the $12 or $16 I was expecting. And hey, I live in a one-income household now. I have to save that money for extravagant purchasing of unnecessary goods. Oh, and bills. After a good 15 minutes of searching I gave up a faced the inevitable and drove the plank.

"Hi," I started as I rolled down my window and extended my credit card, my mouth babbling frantically, "I lost my parking ticket. I know...I'm so sorry. I know it means I have to pay the maximum. I just, I don't know what happened to it. I put it in my purse and it just disappeared. I just had it! I don't know where it went! Here's my card." At that point I realized I had been talking at the attendant while he just stared at me so I shut the hell up.

I received a big sigh in return and, "What time did you get here?"

"I had a meeting at 11 so I was here at 10:45."

"OK. Write down your name and phone number on this new ticket and I'll swipe it. It will act like your ticket." He handed me a blank parking stub.

"OK?" I wasn't going to argue. I would have given him my social security number and the promise of my first born as at this point as it appeared I was going to get away with the downtown parking equivalent of murder. Or if not murder, at least a felony hit and run (I know, I know crime isn't a joke, you don't need to remind me). I passed back my contact information and he gave me a receipt for $16.

As I started the dance of thanking him profusely, he leaned over and grasped a stack of receipts and pulled one free.

"See here? This is the last person today who lost their parking ticket." A very clearly $40 charge printed dead center stared back at me. My profuse thanks went up a notch. I wondered if I should get out and hug him. Thank God a car pulled up behind me, forcing me to pull forward, leaving the parking garage and the attendant behind.

I'm not exactly sure what it was that prompted the parking garage attendant to give me the cheaper parking rate. It's true, I was having an excellent hair day yesterday as well as wearing a fabulous new outfit. But he could only see so much from behind the car door. And maybe he thought he was hitting on me? Although I was clearly wearing my wedding ring. Are things going to be awkward now? Does this mean I have park someplace else now even though this is the best parking garage in Seattle?

Sigh - weep - sob! /drama

Posted by Ensie at February 29, 2008 04:13 PM

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Posted by: jcbetty at February 29, 2008 06:48 PM

Uh, yes?

Posted by: ensie at March 1, 2008 11:26 PM

Take what you can get, I say! I have a history of looking frazzled and pathetic enough to generally get away with such a thing. Plus, one glance inside my car would definitely back up my whole "I lost it" story.

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