Last week we had one of those all-day-long, steady rainstorms. Nothing violent, just a continuous downpour for about 15 hours. I discovered something scary during this rainstorm about my fellow Ohioans.
Put us in a grocery store parking lot when it’s raining and we go stark, raving mad. Doesn’t matter if it’s 65 degrees, we act like it’s the last hurricane of the apocalypse and we have to get the closest parking space while we finish our phone call.
I went to the store in this late winter rainstorm to get kitty litter. Mind you, I have lived in Ohio over 50 years, so I would normally avoid a store parking lot in such a torrent. I know it’s a good place to avoid. If you have a cat, you understand why kitty litter isn’t something that waits. If you don’t, just trust me. When you’re out of kitty litter, it’s like being out of baby formula or baby diapers. You can make do…but it’s not pretty.
So it’s raining and I go to the store. There are about 500 empty parking places with easy access to the main aisles in the lot. These are mostly empty because people have jockeyed for the closest spots possible. Heaven forbid we use an umbrella or a rain hat or a hood. We simply can’t get wet. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the wicked witch of the west had relatives here. So determined are these fine folks that they create spots — parking willy-nilly in the aisles so that getting around the lot is quite tricky.
Then you have the folks that tool through the lot at well over the recommended speed (which by the way is 10 mph or less) for parking lots. Ignoring the concept of rain creating a slight visual hazard, they whiz by parents with small children, older folks with walkers, and people pushing carts who are trying to find their car keys.
Most of them are also on their cell phones. This means I’m not totally confident that they are cognizant that I, among the other sane souls who parked in real spots and are getting wet (with the knowledge we will dry out), are scared to death.
Seriously, what is the deal with this? A little springtime rain and we go absolutely crazy. Like if we get wet, maybe we’ll die. Or be uncomfortable for a few minutes.
Slow down! Shut off your darned cell phone! Park in a real spot! I thought all these things while I jockeyed for safety.
The next day dawned sunny and beautiful and I found myself again in the same parking lot. In my worry over personal security, I had forgotten to get milk. Strangely, the parking lot was totally normal. No one was speeding, everyone was parked in legal space, and no one was trying to light a cigarette while talking on the phone and driving.
Apparently that vitamin D theory has some credibility – sunshine brings out the best in all of us! Email me at email@example.com.
Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.