Last night I had a moment of panic. I couldn't find my car in the parking garage at work.
I usually park on the 6th floor of the 7 level garage, but when I left work around 7:15 pm last night I could not find my car!
It can't be stolen, I thought.
1) We have a security garage and you need a monthly parking card or ticket to get a car out. True, there was a murder in the garage several years back, but car theft, no.
2) I work in a fancy pants area spitting distance from Beverly Hills. There are WAY BETTER cars to steal in that garage than my 10 year old Ford Focus. Daily my old, dependable, and paid off car keeps company with Porches, Benzes, Jags, and Lexuses. I've even spotted the odd Rolls Royce. Unless a thief was looking for spare parts, I doubt my compact car, with its side-by-side Bernie and Hillary bumper stickers, would catch their eye.
I walked the entire floor area of the 6th floor, not just the area where I usually park, telling myself not to panic. It had to be somewhere. I even took the elevator down to the 4th floor to look. For years I parked on the 4th floor. I only changed to the 6th because since I come in later than most people, it was easier to find open spots there after the recent reconfiguration of all the spaces on all floors.
4th Floor - no car. I even aimed my fob at another white Focus, but it didn't flash hello back.
The thing is, I always park on the same floor just to AVOID forgetting where I parked. And after 7:00 at night there aren't that many cars left in the huge garage.
Panic started to well. I really can't afford the hassle of a stolen car right now. Been there, done that. Not to mention all the junk in the car that I really didn't want to lose and/or replace.
I took the elevator back to the 6th floor and started walking around again. Still no car. Then I started walking down the circular ramp to the 5th floor and started canvassing that floor. Still no car.
Anxiety was growing in my chest like a runaway weed. I might just have to go to the parking garage office and confess that I was a dumb ass old woman who'd lost my car. Then they would put me on a golf cart and drive me around each floor looking for my misplaced vehicle. While the ride sounded nice, I wasn't ready to face that humiliation. Trust me, I've seen them do it before for people in my situation.
Taking a deep breath, I started down the last row of the 5th floor heading for the 4th, determined not to end up in a golf cart. I'd walk every damn floor first.
WAIT! Is that it?
Geez, I'd passed right by my own car at least once already. It was parked between two dark SUVs on the far side of the 5th floor. Its compact presence hidden by the two larger vehicles like a white egg tucked protectively between the feet of a papa penguin. In spite of the bumper stickers, just to be sure, I aimed my fob at it. Yep. The lights flashed a cheery hello. It was my baby!
The 5th floor?! I never park on the 5th floor. Why did I park on the 5th floor? Obviously I'd lost my mind that morning and it hadn't improved throughout the day.
But my FitBit was happy. According to it, I'd walked nearly a full mile in the garage.
A dotty senior citizen wandering in a concrete desert.
But at least I didn't have to ride the golf cart.