parking garageI hate parking garages.  They’re like dungeons, only there’s no dragons or princesses held captive, although the smell of urine in most garages suggests otherwise.  I have to park in a parking garage for work, but I park in the same spot everyday.

It’s an assigned spot that’s probably assigned to someone, although that someone isn’t me.  However, I park in the same numbered spot everyday so as to give the impression it’s my spot and I’m not to be messed with.  It’s worked for the last 3 years so please don’t rat me out now.

Although I’m familiar with my own parking garage, I can’t say the same thing about other garages.  Recently I had a meeting with clients, because I’m super fancy and important…and because someone else set it up for me.

meterI arrived at the building where the meeting was held, and realized I didn’t want to park at a meter because the meeting would be long and I didn’t want to keep feeding the meter.

Those parking meters are hungrier than I am and require constant feeding…although I’m not satisfied by rusty nickels and dimes quite the way a parking meter is.

I decided to park in the garage connected to the building so I would have an easy entry and exit.

I entered the garage with my car, took a ticket, and began spiraling down the levels looking for a spot.  I passed several hundred cars before finding a spot that was to my liking.  It was next to a pole, so I figured it would be easy to find.

After all, how many poles can one parking garage really have?

I hurried out of my car and headed toward the corner of the level I was on.  I assumed there was an elevator somewhere, but I didn’t know where it was, so I thought I would take the stairs.  I was working out and figured I could use the exercise.  I was obviously delusional from being so far underground and so far away from civilization.

I walked up approximately a million flights of stairs, all the while cursing myself for wearing heels and wondering why society can’t accept a woman for wearing flip flops with a suit.  I finally reached the top of the stairs and saw light peering out of the window of the door.

I also saw black spots, which were a reminder that I needed to do more cardio at the gym…or really…do any cardio at the gym.  I pumped my fist as a sign of victory, adjusted my Spanx, and opened the door to sweet freedom.

I expected to see the front of the office building…or the front of the garage…or the front of any building at all.  What I saw was an alley filled with dumpsters and the pungent smell of homeless people’s urine.  And yes, that smell is different than other specimens of urine.  Trust me.

As I plugged my nose and gasped for air, my cell phone rang.  I answered the call and discovered my boss on the other end, asking where I was.  I told him I was in the bowels of hell, or maybe just a scene from West Side Story.

I expected to see highly musical gangs emerge from behind the dumpsters, snapping their fingers and doing jazz boxes.

woman looking at phoneI began singing the opening ballad of West Side Story but he didn’t chime in.  How could he not?  The tune is so catchy.

He told me to get up to the meeting quickly, as they were getting ready to start.  Obviously, they couldn’t start without me, as I’m very important.  I like to think of myself as the glue that holds things together.  I’m not saying that’s an accurate assessment.  I’m just saying that’s what I like to think.

I looked around the alley and then grabbed some weapons from my purse, which happened to be some facial hydrating spray and a tube of lip gloss.  I may not have been armed to fend off violence, but dry skin was nowhere in my future with these potent weapons.

I figured I could spray an intruder with the spray and throw the tube of gloss at him as I ran down the alley.

I had a solid plan.  I then proceeded to sprint down the alley, singing “When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way…”  (I’m soooo a Jet and not a Shark.  The Sharks were so lame.)

After my meeting, I left with a few other people and took the elevator to the parking garage.  As I walked into the elevator I realized I had no idea what floor my car was on because I didn’t take the elevator up.  However, I didn’t want to look like a total idiot, although the Diet Coke stain on my lapel was doing a good job of driving that idea home.   So I randomly pressed a number on the elevator and waited for my stop.

When the elevator opened, I looked around and saw nothing familiar.  I had no idea where I was, and no idea where my car was located.  But how hard could it really be to find my car in a parking garage?

I began walking around looking for my car and the pole it was parked next too.  I soon realized there were poles approximately every 10 feet, and the only unique thing about them were the varying shades of car paint scraped on each one.  I was completely lost.

woman in suit lookingI reached in my purse and pulled out a Fiber One bar.  Don’t judge.  I needed energy to walk around the garage.

I contemplated leaving a trail of crumbs from my Fiber One bar so I could know where I’d already been , but I didn’t want to waste a perfectly good snack on something so stupid.  I noshed away and continued walking.

I pulled out my phone and decided to call for a rescue team.  I figured I could make up an excuse for why I was lost, and someone could drive around the garage looking for me.

Immediately I realized this plan wouldn’t work, not only because I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I was lost in a parking garage, but also because I had no service in the middle of this dungeon.

I realized I was doomed, and would most likely spend the rest of my days in the parking garage, scouting for loose change and discarded food.  I took off my heels as a sign of defeat, but also because they were drawing blood from my toes.  I then began wandering aimlessly.

Not long after walking barefoot on the freezing concrete, I had an epiphany.  I would start walking around the garage hitting the alarm button on my keys.  That would make my car alarm go off, which would lead me to my car.  Perfect!

I took a few moments to congratulate myself on being such a genius, and cursed my fourth grade teacher who said I wouldn’t amount to anything.  (Who’s the idiot now?)

I furiously began walking and punching the alarm on my keys.  Eventually I heard the familiar sound of my car alarm and ran towards it, cheering and congratulating myself once again on being so brilliant.

guy reading mapI drove out of the parking garage high on adrenaline from finding my car.  I looked at the clock and realized I had been lost in the parking garage for 30 minutes.  Yes, 30 minutes.

That may not sound like much, but it’s a lifetime if you’re underground in a parking garage.  Thirty minutes is an episode of a sit com, or the length of someone’s lunch break.  It’s also the amount of time it takes for me to get annoyed with my husband’s bad jokes, which is a lifetime if you’re on the other end of his “knock knock” jokes.

If he ever tries to tell you a joke about a muffin, don’t indulge him.

I knew I could never admit to anyone that I was lost in a parking garage for such a long amount of time.  I vowed never to say anything about it, and forget it ever happened…which is why I’m writing it on my blog now.

I mean, I’m sure no one reads this anyway, and those that do may be doing so on their smart phone while trapped in a parking garage somewhere.

To those people I say “Godspeed.”

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