Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Parking woes.

So last night I met two of my favorite girls out - kuntry bride and our mutual friend, whom I need to just go ahead and come up with a name for here... she's Irish so I'll go with *Lucky* OK? You know, she's the one who ventured down south with me to visit kuntry bride's hometown last year. Anyway - dinner and a movie with kuntry bride and Lucky last night. It was a whirlwind afternoon actually. I left work early to meet with our realtor (our townhouse is officially going back on the market this week - more on that later) and then I ran into town for a wax appointment which I nearly missed because of Buckhead traffic (and was quickly reminded of why I normally go at lunch time or on weekends instead of 4-freaking-30 p.m. on a weekday). And then after leaving the vagina barber (her words, not mine), I hopped on over to Atlantic Station to meet up with the girls.

We grabbed a quick dinner at Moe's and went to a 7 o'clock showing of SATC. Kuntry bride hadn't seen it yet, and Lucky and I were all for a second viewing. It was actually much more enjoyable the second time around because I had to pee like mad during the first showing but refused to get up and trample over 14 other girls to get to the aisle. I was about ready to be catherized by the end. OK so anyway, good dinner, great movie, good girly fun, yada yada yada... and then we go to leave. Well my local blog buddies probably know this, but at Atlantic Station, most of the parking is underneath the streets - so it's a huge ass underground parking deck. People often get lost in it. And it's one where you get a ticket on the way in and then stop at a little automated booth to pay your parking tab before you head back to your car and leave. Well Lucky and I parked near each other but kuntry bride was on the complete opposite side. So we all walked down together, paid our tickets, and found our cars. I drove kuntry bride over to her car, parked in the handicap spot next to her car, got out and said goodbye to her and then got back in my car to leave. She pulls off and I am about to back out when I realize... I don't have my parking ticket. Shit.

You have to have the actual ticket to stick in the machine thingee to get out of the lot. Even though you've already paid, you still have to have that ticket which somehow tells the machine thingee at the gate that you've paid. OK so where the hell has my ticket gone? I had it in my hands mere minutes ago and now it is nowhere to be found. So I'm in park with the car running digging through my bag, starting to really panic. And then some dude is walking to my car (keep in mind I'm alone in a parking deck at like 10 o'clock at night). He's looking at me and pointing towards something. I thought he was just making sure I knew how to get out of there - like motioning toward an exit or something. I made some kind of flustered gesture to say yeah, I know where the exit is, but he kept getting closer and continued to point at something. So I cracked my window and he says, "Do you have a handicap tag?" Oh... he's a parking attendant person. Didn't even notice his little security buggy while tearing my car apart looking for this damn ticket. In a surely frustrated tone I replied, "I'm just getting my ticket and leaving." Which I'm sure came out as "Leave me ALONE!" He said OK and went on his way. Not wanting to be harassed any further for occupying a handicap space, I backed out and moved to another spot to continue the ticket search.

After rummaging through my car three times over and seeing 20+ minutes pass, I just said screw it. I *just* want to go home. I don't care how much it costs to get out of this freaking deck. I'm so tired and I'm about in tears at this point because I really just want to go home. I'm not hurting anybody here, just let me out of this damn deck!!!! So I head over to my normal exit because I knew there would be an attendant there. I told him I lost my ticket and asked what I needed to do. "You lost your ticket?" Yes, dude, that's what I just said. "It's $14." OK, so... can I pay you? "No, you have to go to the central cashier and get another ticket." Central cashier? What the hell is that? So I have to do a u-turn to get out of the exit while he holds off the other exiting cars while I turn around (sure, not at all embarrassing). I'm roaming through the deck trying to find this mysterious "central cashier" and I'm seeing nothing. I called Lucky at this point, who was no doubt home and changing into her pj's by now, and told her I was still in the damn parking deck and she's of course laughing at me. I would laugh at me too. I accidentally hung up on her when I came across another security guard passing by. I rolled down my window and asked her how to find this cashier and she proceeded to tell me how to get there in seriously like 18 steps. Turn left here, then right at the stop sign, left here and then you'll see signs for no entry, but go in there anyway... and on and on. Are you kidding me? I just said yeah, yeah and retained virtually nothing she just told me. Did I mention this deck is huge? As in acres.

I finally find this central cashier station but of course - of course - it is sitting in the middle of the valet section and VIP parking (what the hell is that?) so I had to park like 500 yards away from this damn cashier and walk up. Not frustrating at all! I get up to the window and tell the dude I lost my ticket. On any other occassion, I probably would've tried to argue out of it somehow or explain my situation, but I seriously just wanted to pay my stupid $14 and get the hell out. "I lost my ticket." "You lost your ticket?" YES, I LOST MY TICKET!!!! Why do you people need me to repeat it? Yes I know I'm mental and stupid for losing my ticket but I just want to go home and if you keep talking to me I'm going to burst into tears and I do NOT like crying in public so please don't make me do it. Just give me my damn ticket!!!

I got my ticket, $14 later. Let's just keep in mind here that I had already paid $2 for the original ticket, so we're at a $16 tab now. Just so you know, my dinner and a movie was a mere $16 and change. So I've now doubled the cost of my evening out. I get back to my car and as I'm getting in, Lucky calls me back to see if I made it out OK. I'm explaining to her what all happened and as I'm talking to her I realize... where the hell is the $14 ticket I just bought?! SHIT. I told her I had to go. Once again... throwing things all around my car trying to find damn ticket #2. Are you kidding me? Are you freaking kidding me?! I should not be allowed out of the house - this is ridiculous. Well, 5 minutes later in a sweaty panic, I found *a* ticket that had fallen down between my seats. Who knows if it was my original one or the stupid $14 one, but who the hell cares - it was my ticket outta there. Finally, I hightailed it out of there (35 minutes after walking down to my car).

So the lesson here ladies, don't lose your stinking parking ticket. I suppose I will be sticking mine to my forehead from now on. I think the older I get, the more frequently I do dumb shit like this. Am I going to be an absolute basket case when I become a momma? Yikes...

6 comments:

Preppy Money Penny said...

Hi! I can't say I've had this experience at Atlantic Station, but I do hate the massive "parking basement"...I try to hold out for one of the metered spots up top, even if I have to walk halfway across the place!

The Eubanks said...

Example number 435,543,232 why I don't ever go to Atlantic Station! {May have to more now though since H&M is opening and it like 2 minutes from office}

Lauren said...

Parking is ridiculous. At my college campus, you have to pay $20 if you lose your ticket. $20!

Miss Lili NC said...

Haha, poor thing! one of my best friends lives in ATL and that same thing happened to us last time I visited.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I love this story! It makes me feel better knowing that I am not the only crazy girl who loses her mind on a fairly regular basis in the world.

Happy you made it home in one piece, bestie!!

Belle-ah said...

OMG...I never thought about the trauma of loosing your ticket!!!!!!!!!!!