I was born in the mid-1980s, my mother was born in the early 1960s and there are many things I realised about how different both our generations are.
The first one is how we park. I was talking about it with my friends (all in their late 20s, early 30s) and we pretty much all do the same things: we enter a car park and park at the first space we find. End of. We don’t care how long we have to walk or anything. The less of hassle is parking the bloody car, the happier we are.
Whereas my mother and generally people between 50 and 60 enter a car park, drive all the way to the entrance of the place they are going to (cinema, supermarket, leisure centre…) and then from here, they start looking for a parking space because the point is not to park, it is to park the closest to the entrance possible, the closest to the trolleys, the closest to the point where you have the least effort to do.
When I mentioned it to my friends, we all had childhood stories of being at the back of the car with ranting parents driving us in circles for up to 15 minutes in the clocked-up couple of lanes right in front of the entrance waiting for someone to finally leave so they could avoid walking more than 20 steps. We would point at some spaces a bit further but for some reasons “Yeah but we’d have to walk” seems to be a good explanation as to why we spent so long getting aggravated in the car even before we actually did what we came to do.
I eventually asked my mother about it and she said “Having to go to the supermarket is painful enough so the least I have to walk after, the better”. It doesn’t explain why she does it when going to the cinema or the park, or why she thinks it’s okay to struggle before going shopping itself.
It seems common sense is deserting them when it comes to having to get the space in front of the door. This morning, I went out of the gym (it’s my day off) and because I go at 6am, I got one of the three spaces in the front of the door, no one is here. When I left, it was 7:45am, and I entered my car, a 50-something guy stopped in the middle of the road with his indicator and waited. Blocking the way for all cars behind and the exit of a residential car park, the lot.
Unfortunately, I was hot and sweaty so the car filled with thick mist. It’s an old car so I had to wait for up to 15 minutes for me to be able to see something outside but the guy waited. In the middle of the road. For 15 whole minutes. There were 10 empty parking spaces across the road and there is a car park for the gym leading to a back door entrance so no has to walk for more than 20 seconds. But he waited anyway. Because the space was in front of the door.
This guy came to go to the gym before work obviously but he would rather waste 15 minutes of his work-out than walk across a street or for 15 seconds. In his mind, as in the one of my mother’s generation, there is nothing more precious than the parking space right in front of the door, regardless of how long, painful and stupidly aggravating is the time to actually get it.