Parking Anxiety

It’s a thing. At least it’s a thing for me. Or at least it used to be a thing for me and I’ve starting to learn to overcome it. It’s been a long road for me for this disorder but I’ve found a great support system and it’s getting better.

Parking anxiety is the fear and worry about finding a parking spot when I am going out.  Symptoms include:

  • Leaving the house an hour early so I won’t be late looking for parking
  • Excess swearing
  • Driving in circles
  • Getting lost
  • Research on parking garages in the area
  • Anger
  • Crying
  • Turning around and just going home to watch TV

If you are driving with me, please be aware that I will park in the first parking spot I see no matter how far I am from my destination so there will be walking involved. I suppose this all started when I lived in Brookline.  I had to pay $150 a month to park 3 streets and a 10 minute walk away. My Civic was manual at the time so I was obsessed with making sure I had the parking brake on. Except for one night, when I forgot. My spot was on a hill just to make this story better.  I was walking home and I heard a crash so I went back to check and as luck would have it my car had rolled down the hill, into another driveway hitting that person’s car.

Later when I moved to Somerville things didn’t get much better. There was NEVER a spot when I wanted to go out.  Once a “friend” asked me to meet her at a restaurant near downtown and she was like “there is usually a visitor parking space.”  She was completely clueless, as most people who live in the city and take public transportation are. Yes there was one parking space but there are also 600,000 people who live in Boston who are also looking for parking spaces. So every time I went out to meet her I had to freak out over where I was going to park and I was always late because I had to drive around for 45 minutes then walk 30 to get there. She would never pick a spot that was convenient for me. Needless to say, she isn’t my friend anymore. (For other reasons too) but that is definitely one of them.

One snowstorm in Somerville was so bad that I had to drive around for almost an hour after work at 10:00pm just to find a spot and I had to park so far away, I made another friend pick me up and drop me off.

When I moved to Watertown, parking was a bit better until I moved into a place where I had to pay this woman for a parking spot in the lot behind my house. It took me months to actually get in touch with her so I had constant fear that she would tow my car until I paid.

When I worked in Cambridge, I had a parking spot. Thank god.  It was then that I became a master parallel parker and a master at the lesbian back in. You know that one. Where you put your arm around the passenger seat and look back and act all cool at how good you are it.

Now that I live in Dover, parking is no problem at all. If I go to Portsmouth I never have a problem finding parking in the lot and it only costs me $2 instead of $25. Last night I went out in Manchester so I just parked in a lot and it only cost me $3.  Thank you NH!


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