I know what you’re doing. I’ve done it myself… repeatedly. The thing is — I’m much better at it than you are. If I were currently stalking someone for their Costco parking spot, I would not choose the mother with two small children pushing a cart overflowing with groceries. I would choose the man in the track outfit carrying the single case of rocket-propelled fitness water on his left bicep.
The mother with two small children pushing a cart of overflowing groceries will need to drive the cart very slowly over every single little yellow speed bump so her children’s brains will rattle around with glee. She will swerve from side to side across the parking lot so as to catch every rain puddle with her cart wheels. At some point her male child will casually toss one or more asphalt-colored shoes overboard onto the asphalt. She will then need to backtrack and look for it. When she finally makes it to her van, she will need to unload both kids from the cart where their knees will have become semi-permanently lodged. She will yank and pull from several different angles to free them.
Then she will load them into the car, buckle all 5 points of their harnesses, check the buckles, load all 50 boxes of groceries into the back of the car and then return her cart to the cart return because she’s a good citizen like that.
In this time, you would have been able to steal track guy’s parking spot, eat a chicken bake and a very berry sundae, do all of your shopping, try every free sample in the store and read half of Oprah’s latest book club selection in line. As it is, you chose to drive slowly behind the mother of 2 until she reached her parking spot and then sit with your blinker on for 10 minutes. I would have gone with track guy.
Alli ~Mrs. Fussypants says
Hee, hee, hee.
When I get the parking lot stalkers, I wonder why anyone would choose the large pregnant woman with 3 kids and a baby with TWO carts of food.
Hello? Did you not see the baby throw my tub of beloved fat free cool whip under the subaru parked next to me? Dude, i gotta go get that!
Hah. Sometimes I feel bad for that track suit guy that only has himself to haul around places. He will never know the joy of a two hour grocery shopping trip. He will never know the joy of parking lot meltdowns. He will never know the joy of three carseats in the back of a compact car. That poor guy can probably do all of his errands in one afternoon. Oh my!
It’s the same at the movie theater too… just in case you were wondering. But without the cart.
And I never get why the other driver is so mad about waiting. Waiting on their part doesn’t constitute hurry-up mode on mine.
Tell me, have you ever walked around the parking lot pretending that you can’t find your car just to see how long someone will follow you? Ummm, no? Well, I can see why not. You are, after all, a renowned good citizen whereas I am a smartypants sometimes. (I only do it to the ones that look impatiently at me. Don’t feel too sorry for them.)
Darnit, i wish I lived closer to a Cosco.
Yes, why is that?
I actually had someone honk at me once, as we got ourselves situated in the van. Made me want to take my time!
Rachel H says
I don’t even know which post to put this on- but like your last five posts have me smiling and laughing so much I just have to say THANK YOU! What an outlet of fun you are to all us readers- as well as proabably being theraputic to yourself- eh? Great Stuff!
You are super-fantastico and I love you.
Especially on days like today when I come back to read again and again just so I can laugh out loud.
Kimberly (sassy piggy) says
When we are “stalked” the hubby deliberately takes his time: fiddles with the stereo, enjoys a snack, he even primps! By the way, a huge pet peeve of mine: people that leave their shopping cars flung haphazardly throughout the parking lot…I’m a cart-returner for sure! Love you for it! The world would be a better place if everyone returned their carts!
Parking space stalking is a lost art.
Well, at least it’s lost on me.
We, the experts, we call it “vulturing.” We have perfected this skill in the parking lots at BYU, and we NEVER choose the lady with the kids over the guy in the track suit. You were obviously dealing with an amateur.
When my beloved and I were up in Vancouver at Christmas, we left the baby at his parents’ place and ran to the mall. And when we got done shopping, we walked up to the car, opened the doors and got in and drove away. And that was it! We’d forgotten how easy it was to drive around pre-baby.
I’ve been known to move even slower when I know someone is sitting with their blinker on waiting for me to load three kids into the car.
Haha! I have totally had this happen to me while wrestling my kids and packages into the car. It does not make me want to go any faster!
Oh those people drive me crazy. They could have parked at the open spot further away and WALKED in half the time. 😉
I agree with you whole-heartedly. I just “don’t get” people who don’t return their carts to the cart returns. The things are located like every 20 feet or something. And as for the guy at Wal-mart this morning, who not only didn’t return the cart, but left it DIRECTLY behind my car…..GGRRRHHH!
I’m so jealous of track suit guy.
grammyelin, I’m with you. I HATE it when people leave their cart directly behind my car! It’s so rude!
I actually raced a lady once from the exit of Costco to see if I could get my cart full of groceries and my three small boys loaded into the car before she did. It was a tie, but dang, I’m gooood.
Sarah @ Ordinary Days says
Tell me you then sat with your engine on for an extra five minutes before backing out of the space just to teach them a lesson!
My favorite stalking was in the airport parking lot–a huge pile of luggage, three overtired kids, and three loaner (because the airport lost ours) carseats that had to be buckled in and then all the straps adjusted. And they dared to honk at us! Hah!
Very infuriating! At a mall not too long ago, the ‘gentleman’ waiting impatiently for us to exit the parking space that was so obviously his, SPIT at us as we pulled out and gave us the bird! I have to give him credit, though, that loogie sure did fly!
This happens to me all the time! Except I have four children, and the tracker leaves me very bad looks. What did she expect? I was “this” close to going over there and saying “If you want this spot so badly, would you kindly get out of the car and help me?”
My favorite is when they stalk me, and then I realize I have to nurse the baby.
I’m not sure whether some of those folks are horrified or fascinated when they figure out what I’m doing in there.
I would go with track suit guy, too.
I hope you took the opportunity to stock up on wishies while you were there.
Good for you for not hurrying just because you were being stalked like that. Instead, it sounds like you took the time to truly mother your children and to take joy in the everyday.
Baby Dumpling's Poppa says
I’ve only noticed being parking lot stalked a few times and I took so long they gave up. I feel as long as my car is in that space I own it and won’t leave until I’m darn good and ready. I’ve even been known to go the cart return area that’s farther away.
Deb (Missives From Suburbia) says
YES! Always go with track guy. Don’t stalk me, because my kid is still rear-facing, and it’s a PAIN to get him into that carseat now that he’s over 30 inches tall.
lol! i hate it when i’m stalked by someone when i have the kids. don’t they know that it takes forever to get out of there? i vacillate between stressed that they’re waiting and intentionally even slower to spite them for their foolishness. see what kind of good citizen i am?
Some people’s idiocy makes me wonder…Why would anyone parking spot stalk a mother of two?
I really REALLY hate that. Grrr.. this always happens to me. To top it off, I am the mom who can’t seem to get her trunk open and it takes several jiggles and cursing before the darn thing will pop up. A baby screaming, a five year old whining, and a lady with their blinker on for my spot….lock me in the mental institution 🙂
Oh, this hits a nerve! I once had an old fellow sit in his car with the blinker on while my older son and I (hugely pregnant at the time) tried to get a 40-pound sack of dog kibble out of the bottom of the cart and into the back of my van. The bag was caught on something and no amount of tugging made it budge. Finally the man’s elderly wife got out and offered to help — after they had sat there blocking traffic and watching me struggle for five minutes. Clueless!
In defense of those who leave their carts (although NEVER behind someone’s car). We have had a rash, over the last year or so, of car jackers taking the cars of folks who were just dropping a cart or a DVD at Blockbuster, etc. with children inside (to the nightmarish horror of the parents) and then a friend’s friend was at Costco in broad daylight and put her baby in the car and attempted to load the groceries and the car jacker attempted to take her unsexy minivan with her standing right there screaming, but thankfully she had her keys in her hand (he did get her purse though). So, because I am neurotic and fear this would happen to me, but I do want to be a good citizen, I promise quietly to myself while leaving the cart between cars that when I don’t have children with me, I will always return the cart to its rightful place, but until then my civic duty is keeping my babies safe. And as for the stall stalkers, I am always waving people on, “I’m not leaving GO AWAY!” Because there’s no way with my five kids (one nursing) and attendant stuff that we will ever pull out of that stall–and I agree with Baby Dumpling’s Poppa, until I pull out, that stall is MINE.
I HATE when people wait for me like that because I’m always going to put the cart back and then I feel like they’re all mad at me and I get all insecure and hurry like a dork. But yes, putting the cart back is an essential part of good citizenry. I also have kidnapping concerns, so I try to park next to a cart terminal, but at places like Costco that is usually impossible. There needs to be some international sign for, “you can have my spot, and I’m doing all this as fast as I can, so you’re just going to have to wait!”
Whenever I have been spot stalked, I have turned right around and headed back to the store entrance. And I waved at my stalker as I passed by them. I’m a pain like that. And the only time I return the carts is when I either don’t have the kids with me or if the kids are with me, my husband is there too, because I don’t leave the kids unattended in the car. Ever. When I abandon my cart though, I make sure that it is not blocking or touching anybody else’s car. So, I guess I am a considerate pain.
I will admit to waiting for a space with my blinker on, but I’m not grumpy about it. And I don’t do it if there are open spaces — I don’t mind walking — just if the lot is so full you pretty much have to claim one and wait. So I think you stalker-haters should ask for help. I would get out and help you if I thought it wouldn’t freak you out. Unless I was alone with the kids in my car. Because of the car-jacking thing.