Last week on Mommyish, I referenced a PostSecret entry that said: "I always park in spots reserved for expectant moms but I’ve never been pregnant… I just stick out my stomach & waddle into the store." This shameful, naughty disclosure got me thinking about the many mythologies that surround parent parking, despite it being a pretty new phenomenon. For one thing, parents who get enraged by the Others who take up “their” parking spaces act like these spaces have always existed — like they’ve been sanctioned off in every parking lot throughout history. Either that, or hostile parents are like, “Hey, my ancestors didn’t fight for my right to occupy this parking space just so some asshole who’s shopping alone could come through and take it!” Parking equality be damned; it’s 2014, and it’s time we showed all the parents and expectant mothers out there the parking lot respect they so richly deserve.
Granted, I’m not one of those people who thinks that parent parking (which boasts a variety of official titles including ‘Parent and Child,’ ‘Expectant Mother,’ ‘Family Parking,’ and ‘Entitled Minivans’) is that big of a deal. I don’t care either way. If I saw a space, I wouldn’t race to it, nor would I outright dismiss it. I suppose that’s because even though parents may be the Chosen People for whom the spaces are intended, the only designated parking spaces that are legally recognized are the disabled spaces. (And sanctimommies would really appreciate a vote on that parking lot ratio.) Sure, it’s nice when drivers leave the parent spaces available, but is it a crime not to? No. In fact, some people even park in them on principle, simply because they can.
It is this unmerciful loophole that absolutely infuriates parent parking crusaders and causes them to lash out both in real life and online with nary a shred of dignity to be found. Let’s check out several new examples:
1. Stoopid Bitches
Daaaaamn, Trish, way to reduce Steve to an overly aggressive-yet-exceedingly sensitive wad of twisted up underwear. He may be chock full of character flaws, but there’s no real reason for him to “need” to park in those suggested spaces, as Steven (a person with a similar name but an actual disability) so helpfully pointed out.
And yet, Steve still felt every bit as entitled to scold, shame, and “cuss out” a random stranger whom he’d apparently expected to do him a favor. This is the failed logic that angry parent parking crusaders use to justify screaming at people in parking lots in front of their kids. “You didn’t do me a favor by parking elsewhere, so now you must SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES, you ignorant bitch! FEEL THE WRATH OF MY WORDS AND THE HEATED GLANCES OF MY INNOCENT CHILDREN, you stupid childless idiot!”
2. Disabled Spaces > Parent and Child Spaces :(
Jen’s problem isn’t that Sainsbury’s doesn’t have enough parent and child parking spaces. It’s that she considers herself disabled just because she has a baby. Despite being an able-bodied mother, she genuinely doesn’t believe she should be fined for illegally parking in a disabled space, and now she’s taken to social media to get some answers!
But the truth is, the number of parent parking spaces is irrelevant. Big box retailers and grocery stores could dedicate 75% of their parking lots to those spaces, and they would still be occupied in the same way they are now — on a first come, first serve basis. Does Jen really think she was the only parent shopping at Sainbury’s that day who didn’t get a parent and child parking space? And why does her comment have 20 Likes compared to Sainsbury’s 10? This is horseshit.