Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feeling like a grown up (warning - dorky, random story to follow)

I’m from “the small states” where paying for parking is all but unheard of except in “the downtowns”. I know in large metro areas, paying for parking is expected and no big deal. But in OKC we just don’t pay for parking unless we’re going downtown or in Norman on football gamedays.

So, it’s funny to me that a true turning point in this whole attempt to think like I’m 30, instead of the perpetual 19 I feel like every day, had to do with parking.

A few months ago, you may recall that I attended a dream concert of New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys in Tulsa. I loaded up some of my best girlfriends for an all out road trip 90 minutes North. Despite my best attempts, we didn’t plan our dinner very well, and ended up at a subpar restaurant in trendy Utica Square because none of the good ones were open on Sunday (don’t get me started). At that point, we were cutting it close so we ate and then headed to the arena.

Once we pulled up, we had to decide where to park. Time was running out and there were two carloads of us when my friend Brooke said confidently “we’re parking in THAT lot”. THAT lot was the $20 lot. Right across from the arena, it was prime and not all that crowded. But it was TWENTY DOLLARS. No one pays that kind of money, evident by the scores of people lining the main street walking from their $5 lot half a mile away.

But Brooke had been using a certain kind of logic for quite some time and I felt it surge through me as I pulled into the lot. “I’m 30 years old, I work really hard, I make decent money. I’m parking in THAT lot” I announced to my passengers. And I did, and it was awesome, and it made leaving the arena SO EASY.

Now, I’m aware that’s an awfully dorky story. And you’re probably thinking “seriously, $20?”. But that was a big moment for me. We’ve been so entrenched for so long in paying down debt, and we’re not used to this sort of thing…it was a big moment. Despite over a decade of coupledom with my husband, 2 beautiful children, buying 2 different houses, and traveling across the country for business…I still often feel I’m not older than a college sophomore (there's a whole embarrassing story about this, and it's why I don't really work with interns anymore because I "try too hard"). But that night, in addition to my awesome concert experience with awesome people, I felt like a grown-up.

Trying not to recite this logic when I go clothes shopping.


alison said...

I so get this. I HATE paying $10 to park downtown on game day - when it's like 30 blocks from our house. (And NO I'm not going to walk, I'm not that desparate.) I'm glad you're all grown up now, can you help me get there?

Leah said...

Ha ha. :) I enjoyed this story. It's so fun to see how people live in other parts of the country. I've never been to Oklahoma (or the surrounding states) so I always enjoy stories of there. :)

Here (Minneapolis) you pay for every lot. And $20 is about average. If you go to the doctor, you pay for parking, park on the street, you are metered. Most restaurants, you also pay for the parking.

This whole grown up thing is interesting. I also have my moments where I'm like, holy crap! I'm an adult! :)

Suzy, Not a Fertile Myrtle said...

I love this post. I'm the same way. I have free parking with work downtown, but it's a good hike to a lot of places we normally go, when we do go downtown. Some nights it's just easier to pay for parking than to make the hike from the office.

And I'm like you. We small town gals don't like to have to pay for parking! :)

not so zen momma said...

I'm famous! Never underestimate the ego surge from being mentioned in a blog post. :-)