My dad always wanted me, his “spotter,” along on deer hunts because in the woods I’m the one who sees the deer first. Also, if we park our vehicle and walk awhile I’m the one who knows which ridgeline we hunted and even what tree we parked beside.
But I cannot find my car, even if it’s a big Suburban, in a city parking lot. My excuse is there aren’t any trees, unusual rocks or anything else interesting in that huge ocean of antennas and hoods.
Have you ever noticed when you do something really stupid those closest to you — who are most likely to tease you forever — always find out about it or, worse, watch it happen?
One time my kids and I lost our car at the state fair, of all places. We walked, looked, cried, and finally went to the State Police office and declared our Suburban stolen. As it happened, the policeman on duty was a friend of my husband’s. He dutifully called my husband (no cell phones in those days) and explained the situation.
After about an hour my husband showed up — driving the lost vehicle. He’d found it, exactly where I’d parked it. He and his policeman friend had a great laugh at my mortified expense.
Airport parking lots are the scenes of my worst embarrassments. Once, I had a meeting in the east, my husband had one in the west. I dropped him off at the airport, and the next day I left — as usual almost late even though it was just sunup when I wheeled into the long-term parking lot and caught the little shuttle to the terminal. I got checked in and everything was cool.
A couple of days later when I returned, I realized I hadn’t paid attention to where I’d parked. It was nighttime, and the lot was full of all kinds of vehicles. After the other passengers got off the shuttle, I admitted to the driver that I had no idea where my car might be. I described it to him, and we drove up and down each row of parked vehicles (a lot of rows) until I finally saw it. I was grateful he was gracious, and didn’t even yell at me. I sure wasn’t going to tell anyone about it.
Two days after that, I needed to meet my husband in San Diego. That time I actually wrote down my parking space number. I was so proud. The next night we returned together. It was really dark, again, but I found my little number.
We gathered our luggage and got on the shuttle. I didn’t particularly notice the driver until he said, “Do you have any idea where your car is this time, ma’am?”
That driver and my husband had a wonderful laugh all the way to the parking lot. I, however, sat quietly — wishing I were in the woods, hunting.
Glenda Price has been a contributing editor to New Mexico Stockman magazine since 1982. Contact her at: