My Parking Fetish

An acquaintance told me recently, “You and I are kindred spirits in one respect.” OK, I replied. I’ll bite. He explained, “We both have a problem with people who have a parking problem.”

The gentleman, an elegant senior citizen whose gait was being girded with the support of a cane, said he had mouthed off recently to someone without a permit who thought nothing of planting his vehicle illegally in a handicap spot: “Why are you taking up that space?” the gentleman inquired.

The crass motorist’s classy reply was, “Because I can.” I told my kindred spirit that one of my preferred admonitions to people of that ilk is, “You should feel fortunate you don’t need to park there.”

Sign Up for E-News

Every so often in this space, this recurring theme rears its ugly grille: the not altogether healthy obsession I have with people who have a blind spot for where and how they park. The absence of simple decency exhibited by some among us gets my motor running into overdrive.

The parking story shared by my acquaintance reminded me I’m not alone in my fetish about people with a parking problem. In fact, I just came across a whole bunch of posts by people with parking fetishes on a fascinating Facebook page I’ve written about before—STFU Parents. If it’s not immediately apparent what STFU stands for, I’m more than happy not to spell it out for you here (in the interest of keeping my gig with this newspaper as a weekly columnist).

The issues and points of view that populate this particular Facebook page are very relatable for anyone who is a parent, or, for that matter, anyone without children. Every conceivable aspect of parenting is addressed at some point if you scroll long enough down the page.

It just so happens the most recent comments I eyeballed were about “Parent Parking Drama,” as the page administrator phrases it. Her name is Blair Koenig and she authors a blog titled “Mommyish(.com).”

Ms. Koenig writes, in part, “Particularly in high-traffic locations that are frequented by all walks of life, such as the grocery store, the movie theater, the mall, or the post office, parking spaces are fought over much like toys at a preschool…and no one gets [madder] more regularly over meaningless parking fiascos than parents.”

Meanwhile, back at the STFU Parents Facebook page, I read about a man who was scolded “by an entitled dad” in a park because the man had parked in a shaded spot. The upset father explained that his 3-year-old son was in a hot car, while dad was walking the family dog, and the inconsiderate man deprived this dad of the shaded spot. Irrational enough for ya?

In another case, a photo posted on the Facebook page shows a sign in front of a supermarket in a U.K. shopping center that reads, “Parent & Child Parking.” The spaces are wider than normal—as with a disabled spot—and, as the sign says, are “reserved for children under 5 so that parents have room for pushchairs.”

Sounds somewhat reasonable on the face of it. But then there’s this: If someone without a young child in tow parks in one of those designated spaces, it is punishable by a fine of 100 pounds (about $130).

So what’s the problem? The comment that accompanies the photo wonders whether it is sensible to equate a “Parent and Child” space with disabled parking.

In the topmost comment, Heather says, “Having kids is a choice! … Being handicapped is NOT a choice, and those are the only spots that should be reserved.” Heather was applauded by 274 thumbs up.

By way of reply, Gemma took exception to Heather’s point by writing, “When you are heavily pregnant you cannot get into and out of your car if people are parked too close so these spaces are a necessity. … it is kinda bulls**t that people park in them for the sake of it.” Gemma heard the sound of one hand clapping, with five thumbs up.

Heather returned serve with this zinger: “When I was heavily pregnant I managed… just as millions of heavily pregnant women did for ages before these spots existed.”

Curiously, the grocery store itself, Tesco, seems to be a tad conflicted about the strictly enforced parking regulation. Fine print on the Tesco sign says, “It’s so much easier when you shop from home.” But then people wouldn’t have the chance to go at each other on the Facebook page about the parking situation.

STFU Parents covers all kinds of juicy topics, from holding forth on some of the more exotic names that parents assign to their progeny, to moms who express a dislike for almost all children who aren’t their own, to commenting one way or another on couples who have no interest in having children.

It’s quite an eye-opening—and at times ear-splitting—forum. Where else could I discover that there’s this new trend in Facebook pages: One post links to an article on SheKnows.com with the tagline, “Psst, we don’t want to be friends with your baby on Facebook.” You can visit that site yourself to find out what advice is offered to a parent who inquires if it is advisable to create “Baby’s First Facebook Page.” I don’t see why not. What better way for a toddler to share with everyone that she just got an iPhone 7 for her second birthday?

Bruce Apar is Chief Content Officer of Google Partner Agency, Pinpoint Marketing & Design, as well as an actor and a regular contributor to several periodicals. Follow him as Bruce the Blog on social media. Reach him at bapar@pinpointmarketingdesign.com or 914-275-6887.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

Cuomo’s Frivolous Lawsuits Cost Us Money

Since Donald Trump became president, New York State has filed more than 100 lawsuits against the federal government. This includes those filed by both Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It does not include lawsuits filed by the City of New York. Most of them are political in nature, filed to please the plaintiffs’ voting base. In the real world, if we had filed ...

The State of the Democratic Party

Last week, President Trump gave his first State of the Union address. Here are a few things he pointed out:

• Since the election, 2.4 million new jobs have been created.

• Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.

• African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded.

• Hispanic-American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in ...

Beautiful, 'Clean' Coal

After completing his first full year in office—an alarming year, at that— Donald Trump has concluded that climate change is not a significant national threat and that the sacred lands and waters of this country should be sold to the highest bidder. 

The Trump administration has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement; deregulated national landmarks; freed public lands for ...

Multigrain, Please

I have no craving for white bread; it’s too plain, predictable and tasteless for me. I hunger for a chunk of multigrain or rye, maybe even a good-sized piece of pumpernickel raisin, with a schmear of cream cheese on the side.

I have no appetite for bland, clean-cut, middle-of-the-road, isolationist politics. And I find unsettling the cultural sameness, gross consumerism and incurious ...

A Trip to the 'Liberry'

Raise your hand if you didn’t—did not—call the library the “liberry” when you were little. I’m guessing not a lot of hands just went up.

Didn’t just about all of us say “liberry” when we were learning to read? (Well, whaddya expect when a place is named something way too easy for little kids to mispronounce?)

OK. Now, raise your hand if ...

Peekskill AIMs to Become a 'Mediapolis'

What could the city of Peekskill possibly have in common with Silicon Valley, Hollywood and New York City? Like those familiar centers of multimedia creativity and commerce, the historic river town is downright giddy with excitement about transforming itself into a mediapolis, to coin a phrase.

Thanks to local movers and shakers, led by prominent Peekskill businessman Ben Green, the ...

I'm Mrs. Heat Miser

To be perfectly honest, I did not need a large rodent with insomnia to convince me that we had six more weeks of winter. It’s been so cold outside lately that when I go out, my nostrils stick together. The dog is so hesitant to go out that he does his business right on the deck, less than five feet from the door, and then gives me a look of contemptuous indignation when he comes back in the ...

Getting Off on the Wrong Foot

“What happened to your ankle?” asked my neighbor when he saw the orthopedic boot on my right foot.

“I tripped while I was in Pamplona running with the bulls,” I told him.

He raised his eyebrows. “Really?”

“No. Not really,” I admitted. “I was actually climbing Machu Picchu and I fell over a llama.”

“Seriously?” he ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 21, 6:00 PM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

Freedom from Smoking

Health & Wellness

Wed, February 28, 6:00 PM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

Freedom from Smoking

Health & Wellness

Thu, March 1, 7:00 PM

Kennedy Catholic High School, Somers

The Kennedy Catholic High School Players ...

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Bazzo Needs to Get His Facts Straight

February 15, 2018

To the editor,

Once again Mr. Bazzo, in his Feb. 8, column cherry picks facts, ignores other facts, passes along lies and spins so fast to the right that it’s amazing he doesn’t drill himself into the earth.

Bazzo is correct—the economy is doing well, and we should give credit where credit is due. Thank you, President Obama for taking the economy from the brink of another ...