Running Free

Running Free

Thursday, February 5, 2009 a Parking Garage

“I'm all lost in the supermarket

I can no longer shop happily

I came in here for that special offer

A guaranteed personality”

It is this refrain by The Clash running through my brain as I wander aimlessly through this huge parking structure trying to remember which C2 it is exactly where I left my car.

I am in the Irvine Spectrum. It is 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday. I decided to park someplace different from where I normally park. Why you might ask?

I am asking myself that very same question as I plod with heavy plastic bags from Target, the world’s friendliest department store to someplace half a world away it would seem. Of course Target would happen to be at the exact opposite end of this sprawling complex of rectangles and squares and hexagonal buildings all in shades of mocha, slate and riveting white foam.

And I have no idea which structure exactly it is in which I have parked my car. Lucky for me it is early morning and I don’t have to be back to pick up my son from school for several hours. By that time I should have managed to find said vehicle. Or if not, at least a security person to chauffer me around.

I didn’t pay attention really to much more than the big blue C and the number 2 indicating the level on which I had parked my car. I had a sneaking thought deep in my mind though that what happens if there is more than one Level C2. The Irvine Spectrum is a massive place and frankly a place I usually avoid.

But I was in need of efficiency since I knew I had to get to work in the afternoon and thus was limited in the amount of time I had to acquire Valentine’s Day gifts, throat lozenges for an ailing husband pining away at home (I am taking poetic license here since it sounds better than saying my husband was home from work with a head cold) and a wedding shower gift of which I was at wit’s end on what to get and decided that I would go into Anthropologie and not come out empty handed one way or the other.

Thus, in my quest to take care of the household item I parked and made my way to Target hoping to get those errands done and then at least try and enjoy the process of what to pick out for the bride to be amongst the layers of lovely fiddley bits and gizmos at Anthropologie.

And it was in this state of mind that I found myself when I realized that my car was not in the C2 level in which I found myself. So back down the stairs I went and walked to the next structure which seemed to be at least a quarter mile away- but when one is buried under five heavy plastic bags five steps can often seem like miles.

Up the stairs I went. Luckily the structures were mostly empty so determining if my car was there or not was an easy matter. It wasn’t.

Down the stairs I went and around the backside to yet another dimension of this endless parking maze. Ups the stairs again (at least I had the brains to park on the second level and not the sixth!) and voila, there was my car- in a spot that I have no idea how it got there.

I will pay more attention next time to words like West and East. Or better yet, maybe I will park in my usual spot for those rare trips to this unwelcoming mall.

But after dropping off said packages I still wasn’t done and had to venture forth to acquire wedding shower gift. I paid close attention to where I parked and which entrance I came in and which store I was closest to.

So, after an hour in Anthropologie (Did I mention that the store is known as “a sensory shopping experience for connoisseurs of unique beauty” and I concur.) So many choices! I came out with what I hope the bride to be will enjoy – a motley collection of things – since I just couldn’t make up my mind…soaps, and perfumes and candles and cups and saucers and lingerie bags and notebooks and the list goes on and on…

The good news- I found the car!

Now I just have to find my keys….

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