Expect the Unexpected?
Then I married Mr. Chaos and had his two messy children. If anything taught me to relax, it was the imposition of the wills of three other individuals on my daily schedule and responsibilities.
I take each hour as it comes most days and have finally found a sort of comfort in that approach – though I’d take a little more structure if I could get it. I have found the value in being adaptable.
Expectations can be a real trap. Expectations set you up for surprises and setbacks. Expectations kill creativity and spontaneity. Expectations trick you into thinking you have control.
Lots of things have been happening in parking lots lately – things that aren’t supposed to happen in parking lots. I’ve seen it on the news and wondered about the ramifications of these unexpected events on the people behind the scenes – the owners, operators and municipal folk who watch over the whole thing.
First, a small plane crashed into a Costco rear parking and loading area in San Diego. No one on the ground was killed, but the pilot was injured and her elderly passenger died in the crash. Passersby and nearby Costco and Target employees pitched in to extricate the two women from the plane and put out the flames before they reached the fuel tank.
No one could have expected that plane to go down in that area. The pilot reportedly did the best job she could getting the powerless plane on the ground. She seemingly looked for a spot and found one, and though, tragically, her passenger was killed and she was hurt, further injuries were avoided.
She didn’t know what was going to happen to her that day, but fortunately, she knew what to do when the emergency arose.
The people on the ground, probably shocked beyond belief, couldn’t have known they’d be witness to such a dangerous situation. They probably didn’t go to Costco to load up on bulk granola, buy a case of black olives, 8 pounds of chicken and a log of cheddar, and watch a plane crash nearby.
And it’s doubtful the individuals who jumped in to help expected to pull two women from a burning plane and then put out the fire on their lunch break. They weren’t planning to do much more than eat a giant hot dog, but fortunately, they were ready when the crisis presented itself.
In other news, hundreds of cars in parking structures in Los Angeles and Houston were flooded when the garages filled with water.
A water main break at the University of California Los Angeles released 20 million gallons of water onto the campus and surrounding area, and created a sinkhole on Sunset Boulevard. In Houston, severe weather turned the lower level of an apartment building parking garage into a car soup. Officials and property owners involved in both floodings are busy sorting out the situation. Cars had to be pulled out, garages pumped and insurance claims filed.
“Expect the unexpected” is an overused expression, especially when, most days, nothing very excited or terrifying happens. If I go around expecting the unexpected, I start to get a little crazy planning for all the unexpected things that might happen to me. So I try to expect the usual and be ready to accommodate the unusual.
Just yesterday, I drove into an especially busy part of LA to meet some friends at a taco shop I’ve been hearing about since I moved to the area 13 years ago. I got in my car and left home without looking up the parking options or stopping at the bank for a roll of quarters.
Sure enough, parking was hairy, and I had only 45 cents in change for a meter that charged $1.50 per hour. I jaywalked six lanes of traffic three times to get enough change to park for the duration of my meal. I survived to tell about it. The line outside the taco shop was 12 deep. For all that trouble, I expected the tacos to be delicious. They were.
There was a time when this scenario would have put me in such a state of anxiety that no taco in the world could have induced me to face it. But little things have a way of working out. The big things are harder to take in.
We don’t expect plane crashes and floods in parking facilities, and we can’t really prepare for plane crashes and floods in parking facilities, but we can expect that life will throw danger and drama in our way without warning.
Melissa Bean Sterzick is Parking Today’s proofreader,
occasional writer and amateur parker. She can be reached at Melissa@parkingtoday.com.