Clash of the Titans LXXXV: Where to Park?

July 1, 2008, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Connie, Debate, MC-B  | No Comments

In this corner, parking close by, is Connie!

And in this corner, parking far away, is MC-B!

I’m writing the no-brainer side of this Clash — parking near. I have no idea why someone would choose to park far away ON PURPOSE, but defend my choice I must, so here we go:

Time: My time is at a premium and I must protect it at all cost. I simply cannot afford to park rows away when a spot is available closer. Plus, with the time I\’ve saved, I will be more prepared for my appointment. I will be seated sooner, remembering points or questions I plan to raise or cover. And I will not be sweaty, or worse: late, from walking long distances across foreign parking wastelands.

I might also spend my extra time planning something like, perhaps, dinner, thereby avoiding mistakes like serving pine nuts to someone with an allergy who may be eating with us that night. Haste causes many problems.

Efficiency: Having my vehicle nearby lets me keep my eye on it, in case of Tomfoolery. One never knows when one might be the subject of a prank, or worse yet, a felony! But being close by and ever diligent, I can either prevent the damage, or at least give a good description of the miscreant(s) involved.

Or, if I\’ve forgotten something in my vehicle, a few quick steps back to retrieve a photo or lab test won\’t hold up my friend/doctor. Oh, let\’s just face it, most of my doctors are my friends! And they all want to see pictures of Tom!

Attitude: When I find a spot near to where I need to be, I feel blessed (some others would say lucky, but I know better). This gives me a calm, happy, peaceful spirit as I enter my appointment or errand. This might lend itself to a more positive interaction later in my appointment. Never underestimate that.

I pray before I go somewhere, and (almost) always God provides a spot for me. In return, I try not to waste the wonderful time He has given me here. Someone asked if we should waste His time asking for parking spots, and I say if He gives them, how is it wasteful? He blesses our time when we give it to Him.

First of all, I\’m not going to suggest that I would surrender a close spot to look for one farther away from a store; instead, I argue only that hunting for spots close to a store is not a very good use of time or other resources. Of course, whether or not a person prefers to park close to their destination is generally dependent on their station in life and how they experience shopping and other errands. As a youngish man, I simply cannot see a reason to drive around the parking lot looking for a good space and wasting time when I could park at a moderate, or even far distance, and get there almost as quickly.

Additionally, there are a number of benefits to parking far. Exercise is probably the most obvious; while a small minority of people need to park close to ensure that they can transport their purchases back to their vehicle, it is undeniable that Americans as a whole could use more exercise, and that the vast majority could benefit from fitting small exercises into their day — taking the stairs, riding a bike, or parking a little farther from their destinations and carrying what they buy a little bit longer.

Fuel savings are another small benefit of parking farther away, due less to the small extra distance that one drives to the storefront than to the incessant circling that often results from trying to find that one good spot. Admittedly, this is a very small savings, but they do add up over time.

Parking far away, as long as there are still a few other cars near yours, is also a good way to avoid the hazards more often found at the front of the parking lot close to the store: most notably shopping carts, but also small children and other circling cars. As a result, it often allows you to leave more readily when you want to go.

Finally, someone else may need a closer spot far more than I do. Again, as a young man, it\’s not particularly important for me to get a close spot, but someone older or injured may need it. I’m sure it rarely works out this way, but certainly more often than it would if I actively sought out better spaces. For all of these reasons, going out of one’s way to park close to a storefront generally isn\’t worth the effort.

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