Back on the subject of anxiety in middle age, yesterday I discovered one of the worst triggers of this condition when I decided to do an early Christmas shop mixed with a top secret mission for some (probably) useless decorative bits and pieces for the house that have been deemed ‘stuff we don’t need’ by the old man.
If I’m honest I just needed to get out of the house and there’s nothing apart from the beach and wine that is as good for my soul as spending money.
However, along with forgetting my phone when I go out (see my last post here), another issue I am experiencing a little too frequently now is remembering where I’ve parked my car in large car parks. And it makes me very anxious.
The first time I noticed this slow slip into senility was a few years back, just prior to Christmas again, when I had bought the biggest artificial Christmas tree ever to squeeze its ass into a food trolley and then had to search every floor of the car park dragging aforementioned tree with me, in tears, in search of my car.
Since then, I’ve created a “how to survive losing your car” ritual for new car parks ie. those that I’ve not already done a full recce and complete risk assessment for.
So here are my tips to help you find your car in the car park:
- Take a photo of the floor number and its code with your phone. If you can find a mnemonic for remembering the letters, eg. “bullshit” for B5 (Basement Five), that may also help.
- Doggedly track your steps to your first shop like a soldier on a mission. Lock in mentally where your car is positioned in relation to the exit, video your journey if you can do this without looking seedy, and make sure you count how many escalators you go up. Take a mental note of points of interest en route such as donut shops and wine shops, which seem to work for me.
- DON’T take the lift – ROOKIE ERROR – because people can be distracting and you need to concentrate, not spend the next few minutes judging what’s in their trolley meaning your forget which floor you came from.
Imagine if there was a machine in the car park that allowed you to code in the position of your car or number plate when you left it and then check back in when you come back brain dead after five lost hours of trying on swimming costumes, listening to toddler tantrums and drinking coffee.
Or what if someone invented a device on your car key fob that had a button that when pushed set an alarm off on your car to tell you its whereabouts? Because I always like to thoroughly research for my writing I Googled ‘device to help idiots, people with poor memory retention and absolutely zero sense of direction find their cars’ and low and behold this came up:
The only problem is that I can’t remember my Apple password to upload it.