Friday, December 11, 2009

The Price of Free Parking

It turns out you really have to work for free parking these days.   I ventured out to Pentagon City the other day on a rare shopping trip and remembered why I generally avoid malls.

The first problem came as I tried to get my ticket on the way into the parking garage.  If you remember, since someone bashed my door the driver side window on my old Volvo wagon no longer goes up and down without complaining.  But by pulling ahead and opening my door to get the ticket, the machine refused to spit one out.  I’m sure the people behind me were glad when my combination of backing up and persistence paid off.

My sole reason for going to Macy’s was to purchase a tiny container of Christian Dior Creme Apricot ($23), which a friend swears will cure dry cuticles.  When I finally got someone to wait on me, she proceeded to tell me she was dead on her feet after getting to bed at 5 am.  I didn’t even bother to ask why as she handed me the little bag.

Pentagon City has a 2-ticket parking system.  You get one on the way in, as I finally did.  And you can pay up at a little machine on your way out of the mall, giving you a second ticket.  Or at certain stores, like Macy’s and Nordstrom’s, you can get a free second ticket after making a purchase. 

But wouldn’t you know, in Macy’s they put Customer Service at the most remote place in the store.  So I trekked up to the third floor corner to get my free parking ticket.  Along with a line of other people, who were equally annoyed at the inconvenience.

As I fed my 2 tickets into the machine on the way out, I was relieved as the bar came up and freed me and my old car from the parking garage. 

I seriously doubt I will have reason to visit any mall again before the holiday onslaught is over.  Maybe by spring my Creme Apricot will need to be replaced.


Blogger Kristin said...

I've happily avoided any sort of mall since my return to the state and hope to continue that trend through the holiday season. The few additional gifts that I need can be purchased at or near Eastern Market. Whew.

1:47 PM  
Blogger lettuce said...

i did almost no shopping when I visited NYC last year. maybe next time

5:24 AM  
Blogger karen said...

Wow, I sure hope it's very long lasting stuff. I really don't enjoy shopping malls, or those parking systems!

I've just been catching up on the world of Barbara, with all your many posts that I've missed! Great to hear that the dogfood class went so well - good for you! Sorry to hear that Costa Rica isn't happening any more, though.. I had a chuckle about the idea of Jake's Hannukah present! :0

8:51 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Ugh. Malls. Ugh.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

We took our boys to the movies at a mall today. It was a sea of humanity.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uhm. Here, in the South, we call a "Mall" --- a place where you can shop inside. And the parking places are free.
Just wondering --- is this something special/different in the North??? Tina

2:37 AM  

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