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Parking Etiquette for Dummies

Today I just want to do two things.

1) Show off my mad computer graphics skills.

2) Teach the drivers of small cars how to park.

Let’s say I’m driving through a parking lot, and the lot is full. We’ve all been there. And I’m getting tired. And my butt is starting to sweat. And I don’t know how it’s possible that everyone else is finding parking spots, and nobody is coming back out to their cars to leave…

And then I see it, ahead. An empty parking spot. (I told you I had mad graphic skills.)

full-parking-lot

And I’m like…

full-parking-lot-yay

And I pull up to that empty spot, and I start to turn in, and I’m like…

full-parking-lot-reality

Because there is a car there after all. Yes, someone with a small car decided to pull all the way forward between a 29-passenger SUV and a van the size of Alabama.

It’s not cool, dudes. It makes me swear in front of my kid. It makes me slam on my breaks. It makes me start thinking of ways I can “send you a message” by hurting your car.

So, here is some parking for dummies:

If you have a small car, park it like this…

full-parking-lot-proper

See how kind and nice my thoughts are when you just pull in and leave your bumper toward the back of the stall? See how I didn’t want to Tanya Harding you when you came back out?

In fact, it was so thoughtful of you that I immediately ran home and made a plate of brownies, raced back, and left them under your windshield wipers to say thank you.

Er, something like that.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

141 comments
Bannanna
Bannanna

Your cars look like hippos.  Just sayin'

SelinaRichelleRupers
SelinaRichelleRupers

Why do your cars have heads? Are they all semi trucks with separate cabs? ;) LOL

Magoop
Magoop

I have to admit, I never thought of that.  But I have three kids and drive a minivan, so I guess I can file that info away for future use!  Anyway-- when I think I see a spot ahead, I look at the ground for a shadow-- I can usually see it even if I can't see the actual car.  Might help, and it can't hurt, right?

Kyle Richey
Kyle Richey

I think the real solution here is to have seperate parking lots. Half the lot belongs to big trucks and vans and suvs the other half to cars and motorcycles. Both designed to fit the vehicles needs.

Dave
Dave

Fantastic. I hope this is the beginning of a series. I see greatness in your future!

xoZer0
xoZer0

I drive a small car and it annoys me, too! My main issue with parking is when two cars (big or small) park on the line towards each other, even though there's still a space and not even my little car can fit in there.

Doug Warburton
Doug Warburton

Wow...who knew a small thing could get so many reactions!! Since everyone else added in... I live in Alaska. A lot of folks drive trucks/Suvs...Up here all the painted lanes pretty much disappear around October and show back up in May when they are re-painted. That being said, parking is pretty much up in the air so park where you can. Worry about the lines next summer because today there are no lines and we kinda just shoot from the hip on where the general parking should normally sort of be and just move on. Oh and if you are visiting and see a moose or bear, cool...but just pull over to the side of the road..It really is not a great idea to just stop right in the road....js!

somegirl
somegirl

OOPS!  That teaches me something about human nature...  I always get annoyed when big vehicles don't pull in as far as they possibly can for that very same reason, but never thought about parking my smallish car farther back so that it can be seen.  I think I usually about center my car in the spot.

Cara Laird
Cara Laird

People are actually getting chapped about this! 0_o PENGUIN!

Laurence Peka
Laurence Peka

I had my Bike Parked in a space and this Chappy wanted me to move hahahahaha That was so funny when I smiled at him and blew him a kiss Hahahaha hahahaha Still funny now!!!

KAmelia
KAmelia

Have you seen the commercial where the guy parks his little car in a spot that only it will fit without opening the doors? Then he climbs out the back hatch.... My husband parked like that once in a downtown Seattle parking garage! Not cool, but we were in a hurry to watch the Sounders game!

MaritimeMan
MaritimeMan

I loved your rendition of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

stephdavidson
stephdavidson

Well, yes. Except-- It drives me all kinds of bonkers when able-bodied people circle and circle and circle a parking lot to find the perfect spot so that they don't have to walk more than 20 steps.  I know that's not you -- I do -- but the obsession with convenience and NOT WALKING in this country gets to be a bit much sometimes.  Most of the time, I just want to shout, IT WOULDN'T KILL YOU TO WALK A BLOCK. That's not a comment on anyone's appearance, it's really just about the walking. Because for the next guy looking for a spot, maybe it will kill him to walk a block. Or maybe he (or she) will have a toddler in the car. Or three. Or a bum leg.  Yanno?  But yes, this is annoying too.   :)

Georga Whiting
Georga Whiting

Heelarious! Funny how the only peeps who don't think it's funny are the ones that drive small cars! That makes it even funnier :)

runningwithfire
runningwithfire

Happens when people park their motorcycles in regular parking spots, too.  

On the flip side...if you have a huge SUV, please don't part in a 'compact' parking spot.  Especially if your tail ends up hanging way out into the rest of the parking lot. 

JaniceJimenez
JaniceJimenez

i hate that.. getting to the spot and PSYCH!  makes me mad  lol

Just_Anderson
Just_Anderson

So true.  I really wish people who drive huge trucks would learn to park within the lines.  I drive a small car but it has 2 doors so I need the space to open the doors.  At Christmas I was parked perfectly within the lines and the space beside me was clear, next to that space was a wall - suitable for another reasonable size car.  When I came back to my car a huge BMW had wedged itself in that space.  I had to clamber in the passenger door and over the centre console because there is no way I could open the door even an inch.  I have absolutely no idea how the driver had managed to get out of their car.  They certainly would have had to have knocked my car with the door.

If I'd had some paper I'd have left a nice note on their car.

Lorax
Lorax

LOL.  I have to admit to being one of those people sometimes.  We have a small Nissan. We have a small Nissan that is SO small I have actually been two spaces away and not seen it, because a V.W. bug was parked beside it.  Add that to learning to drive in a station wagon, followed by a '76 valiant, followed by a couple other cars that were the approximate square footage of a studio apartment and yeah - I'm guilty.  I'll work on it, but if it still looks empty until you pass the Volkswagen and the motorcycle and THEN see it, yeah, it's me.

CarenOsrinGittleman
CarenOsrinGittleman

Ooops!! I might be guilty as charged!! Will definitely correct that!

mickeyl
mickeyl

Entertaining!  I have had this experience.   But the best thing about it is that life is going along so well that we can stress about puny, insignificant stuff like this!  Rock on!

liahonagirl
liahonagirl

laughing. so. hard! seriously though, I worry that this is us (the small car) . . . my husband pulls into a space, and it looks like we're parked just fine so people can see us, but 9 times out of 10 when we come out of the store or wherever we are, we realise no one can see us because we're hidden between a huge SUV and a minivan! LOL the joys of having a Kia Rio, I guess! :D

gignfoxysmom
gignfoxysmom

OMG - I'm dying laughing! It's SO true! Especially at the holiday's, when people are following you to your car, like the next victim in Jaws.....I drive a little car. I try to park so my backend hangs out a little....and there are times (I admit!) I've forgotten...to those folks, I apologize! 

Except to you, Mr. JerkFace today, who pulled up so close to me not only did you leave me a dent the size of the grand canyon in my drivers door, but who made me crawl through from the passenger side to get in. 

Hannah
Hannah

This is hilarious! I know exactly where you're coming from. I live near the Villages, FL where the old retired folks drive everywhere in golf carts. Seriously - everywhere! Wal-mart, Olive Garden, CVS. There have been too many times I've gone to pull into a spot and there was some fancied-up golf cart in my way. Speaking of parking, have you seen this pin (http://pinterest.com/pin/14566398766895550/) about people who can't stay between the lines? Makes me want to carry around a piece of chalk! :)

Kristin Hartman Riccitti
Kristin Hartman Riccitti

Next, you should start the Great Shopping Cart debate ;-) To return to the corral or not to return... that is the question.

Janice Carlson
Janice Carlson

This is crazy - I drive what I want - you drive what you want. I'll park how I want as long as I'm not impeding on you being able to open your doors and you park how you want as long as your're not impeding on me being able to open my doors. A little patience goes a LONG ways. Geesh!

Michael Threadgill
Michael Threadgill

Yeah, I don't think I'll be adjusting my parking to accommodate whinging suburban dads in their XXXL-Mall-Deployment-Mobiles. Maybe you guys could stop parking in the compact spots though?

Lynda Whitlow
Lynda Whitlow

My daughter was reminding me of this yesterday! I drive a 1995 Landcruiser Prado with a beam axle in the front so the turning circle isn't the smallest. I always reverse into carparks and make sure I park square so as not to annoy anyone, and usually next to the trolley return so it's one less person to worry about. A few years ago this old man follows me into the supermarket after watching me park and says 'not bad parking for a woman, I thought you were going to hit the cars opposite then you reversed in'. Hmm compliment sort of, the kicker was he drove a van, parked in nose first and took over 2 spaces crookedly! My daughter was only about 7 and now she's nearly 15 and has always remembered that.

Derek Denney
Derek Denney

Where does everyone want us to park our Motorcycles? Several comments about "taking up a whole space". That's where we are supposed to park them. Very few places have designated motorcycle parking, though I would welcome it.

lngrid
lngrid

Mad graphic skills indeed!  lol

BrittanyABoone
BrittanyABoone

I live in Oklahoma, we don't have parking spaces for compact cars only, I mean why would we? The big trucks to tiny compact car ratio is pretty high. Anyway, I drive one of those big trucks, the kind environmentalists hate. It's a big old GMC Suburban, one that holds nine people because all three seats are bench seats. It's a four wheel drive and gets about 10 miles to the gallon. Now that being said I'm not one of those idiots who jack their trucks up and put a bunch of mods on them. There are two things that make me angry when parking, guys with the jacked up modded out trucks who can't park or fit in one space because their tires are to big and think they need the closest spot. The other is what I call the midget car, like you Dan I go to pull in and start swearing because of the little car pulled too far forward. This were I insert my disclaimer. I usually park far out were there are few cars because my doors are huge, I don't want to wack anyone's car. Also, I have problem getting my truck to fit properly into a parking space. I guess my point is, it doesn't matter what you drive, just be polite and remember drivers ed.

elshortone
elshortone

It happens all the time when I'm trying to park at work (and I'm usually late). It drives me CRAZY! Motorcycles that park like that drive me crazy too.  Make sure you park so people can see you. Or one of these days you may not have a rear bumper anymore... :-)

MissBecky
MissBecky

Yeah, I swear in front of my kid when driving/parking, too.  He has learned some very valuable driving lessons based solely on my reaction to other drivers. For example, "Turn Signals - To Be Used When Turning, Not When Driving Down The Road For 20 Minutes Without Having Any Idea Where You Are Really Going".  Not my proudest parenting moments but we manage to make the best of it, lol.


Susanna
Susanna

My last car was a Mini Cooper and I always made sure to keep the back end at the "normal" point for large cars, for just this reason. Also, I don't want to risk being accidentally rear-ended or making someone unnecessarily angry, potentially leading to vandalism of my car.

Since you will likely have this problem again, a suggestion: instead of looking at the cars, look at the car shadows, the tiny cars can't hide their shadows! It may not work every time, but it can help.

 

Happier Heather
Happier Heather

I had these same thoughts a few days ago while at the Mall of America.

Mama2CamKat
Mama2CamKat

It's slightly annoying, but not enough for me to swear in front of my kids. Dude... you might want take some meditation classes and find your zen! LOL (I say that with all the love in the world--I'm not being snarky). But at least this post didn't make me cry.

Mindy Koelle
Mindy Koelle

LOVE IT!! but you didn't include motorcycles who take up the whole space either... ;)

Erin Lakeman Keniston
Erin Lakeman Keniston

A van the size of Alabama? ALABAMA????!!? We don't understand this here in Alabama. What's wrong with a van the size of Texas?? Anyway, as the driver of a small car, I can tell you instantly what's wrong with this: If you don't pull all the way into a parking space (in the manner you illustrated so expertly), the idiot whose front end is pointing toward YOUR front end (which did not make it into your graphic) will pull his pickup truck (which is the size of Utah) into YOUR SPACE some. So the choices are: protect your front end space or endure the Tonya Harding meltdown of someone who doesn't understand what it's like to drive a small car.

RoxanneFlores
RoxanneFlores

@Hannah really? i thought it was illegal to drive a golf cart on the roads?

KathleenKakacek
KathleenKakacek

@Kristin Hartman Riccitti The stores make it so easy to return carts these days that there isn't much excuse not to. Even if they didn't, it's the right thing to do, but I tend to give young moms who have to do their grocery shopping with youngsters in tow a free pass as long as they make an effort to put the cart where it won't obstruct someone else's ability to park.

RoxanneFlores
RoxanneFlores

@elshortone exactly like me LOL! it's at work and i'm usually late lolol