Published Friday, November 02, 2012
While visiting a friend in the hospital I misplaced something pretty important.
The hospital parking garage always confuses me with its “2-3” and “3-4” floor designations. In my defense, who in their right mind labels a floor with two floor numbers? It’s hard enough to remember a single digit so I think it’s just rude to combine them and expect folks to have a clue where they parked.
Wearing my sassy boots seemed like a good plan that morning. The heel isn’t super high but definitely taller than the tennis shoes or flats I always wear. Sassy Boot Day is confined to short walking distances and wearing them to walk through the hospital was already a stretch.
My friend was heavy on my mind as I parked my car. She was in intensive care and we’d just spent nearly the whole day together just prior to her illness. Add that to menopause and my almost-54th-birthday and it had all the components to a big fail.
My car was parked and safe. I trotted across the parking garage toward the elevator. I would normally take the stairs but it was Sassy Boot Day. Sassy Boot Day means no stairs. Ever.
Just before the elevator doors closed I caught a glimpse of the painted wall designating the floor I was on. I would discover later that one of the by-products of Sassy Boot Day is paying attention only to what is on the ground so you don’t trip.
When I returned – to floor 2-3 – I had keys in hand as I stepped off the elevator. I walked toward my car, which was only five spaces from the elevator. It was the perfect distance for an occasion like Sassy Boot Day. Perfect except my car wasn’t there.
I walked a bit further; heading downhill in the garage, but no Sneak Mobile.
I named my car Sneak Mobile because my friends and I are known to occasionally sneak out at night for ice cream – in our pj’s – after the husbands and kids go to bed. We’ve been known to frequent our favorite fast food places late at night in our pajamas. The Sneak Mobile is an excellent vehicle for such activities.
As I traipsed back and forth on floor 2-3, the numbers of which still confused me, I saw no trace of the Sneak Mobile. I began to recount how things looked when I parked. There were treetops from the adjacent floor (whichever floor that was) and on the other side, a rooftop view.
Or was that the day before?
In a very, very short time I began to regret Sassy Boot Day. I was seconds from pulling them off and tossing them over the side of the garage. Drivers whizzed by me and I tried to not appear lost in an effort to avoid abduction.
Abduction was not a huge consideration 50 pounds ago but now I realize I might actually fit into the trunk of a car so suddenly and without notice I’m back in the what-if-someone-grabs-me mentality. Parking garage abductions are probably at an all time high, but to be fair I’d have to check the stats on that.
After walking uphill to floor who-knows-what, I found a corner to stand in. It was breezy and I could see tiny people far below, entering and exiting the hospital. People who knew where they parked, I’m sure. I called hospital security. I was not embarrassed to call because I was desperate to get off my feet.
In a few minutes a little white truck with a flashing light appeared. “Where did you park, ma’am?” He asked.
I tried not to say it, but, “REALLY?” escaped my lips. I took a deep breath and described my car. I wanted to get off my feet so bad all I could think of was riding in that little truck.
“I’ll drive around and locate your car,” he said. “I can’t allow you to ride with me, so I’ll be back shortly.”
Really? I managed not to say it out loud this time. Thoughts of abduction and pain whirled as I thanked him.
He found my car, one floor up. It was on 3-4. “I’ll meet you there,” he said cheerfully as he scooted off in his little truck.
By now my eye was twitching. I limped to the elevator. The Sneak Mobile was right where I’d parked it. I got in, pulled off my boots and started the engine. It was the official end of Sassy Boot Day.
Kathy Bohannon is a weekly contributor to the Newnan Times-Herald. Kathy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .