I have always considered myself lucky in a number of different ways. But when it comes to parking, my luck is nothing short of magical. Almost invariably, when I enter a parking lot, there’s an empty space waiting for me right in front of where I’m going.
When I first met my fiancé, Andrew, he’d always head for the back of the lot. He wouldn’t even check to see if there were any closer spaces. He said he didn’t want to stress himself out driving around in the most crowded section of the parking lot, where there would almost certainly be no vacancies. I’m not sure why that irritated me so much. I think it was because it seemed very pessimistic, as though he just didn’t believe that good things were waiting for him.
I told him about my parking luck, and that he should trust me — there’d be a space awaiting us. Of course, he thought I was nuts. But I was insistent. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea of excluding possibility, without even exploring it first.
Little by little, I convinced Andrew to just drive by the front of the lot — to have a little hope and see what might be there. Eventually (probably because he got sick of hearing me complain about it), he started to give in. And guess what! He started to see open spaces. It’s an ongoing “thing” with us now. We drive straight to the front and, nine times out of 10, “my” parking spot is open and waiting for us.
Yesterday I went to the doctor’s office at a big medical center. The parking lot is always jam packed. I drove around to the building where my appointment was, and — you guessed it — there was “my” spot.
As I was walking back to my car after my appointment, reveling in my amazing parking space, I suddenly had a thought: maybe my parking “luck” is nothing more than selective perception. In other words, every time I get a fabulous parking spot, I say to myself: “There it is again! My incredible parking luck!” But every time I don’t find a great spot (which, let’s be real, happens a lot), I just discount it as a random occurrence, and then promptly forget it. I selectively filter out any negative instances that don’t fit in with my belief that I have magical parking luck.
I texted Andrew with this revelation. “Maybe I don’t really have great parking luck,” I said. “Maybe I’m imagining it.” After all, he was mighty skeptical of my parking luck when we first met, so I figured he’d agree with this (very grown-up) realization.
To my surprise, he answered, “No! You do have incredible parking luck! I’m a witness. You can trust yourself on this.”
I think I will.