Lost And Found Car

“Was it turn left at the fountain or the fountain was on my left. Would it still be on my left, or should I look right?” I switched my packages to the other arm as I wandered Old Orchard Mall hunting for my lost car. 

Often times my car was lost, but generally that was because I was driving it. Now it was lost in a sedentary state . . . a parking state. . . taunting me as it ducked down between two of the bazillion other parked cars.

A false confidence rooted in my fourth visit to Old Orchard Mall had caused my predicament.  I had successfully parked in the lower level “green garage” next to Macy’s and successfully returned to my Acura without a hitch. 

Since I needed to return dresses to both Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s on opposite ends of the shopping center, I chose to park midpoint between the two stores in a different spot. Then I would save fifteen minutes walking time. Instead I wasted ninety minutes wandering time searching for the elusive vehicle.

Arriving with a full bladder, I had hurriedly parked the car in the near empty lot noting an arrow labeled “Nordstrom’s”.  After passing two such signs I realized I had been duped into thinking my destination near. 

I forged ahead toting a full shopping bag and made mental notes so I could backtrack and retrieve my car. My internal conversation on the way to Nordstrom’s went something like this:

Me 1: It’s farther than I thought, but I’ll just remember my way back.

Me 2: That never works. You should have parked in the green garage next to Macy’s.

Me 1: Too late now. I have to use the bathroom and all the stores are closed. Nordstrom’s will be open when I get there. I just have to remember these few clues:

Pass the fountain; Stop and face Macy’s; Triangulate with Bloomingdale’s; Curve past the Cheesecake Factory; Turn by Francesca’s with the cute spring dresses in the window; Pivot by Northface that has a 40% sale on all fleeces; Exit Nordstrom’s by the shoe department. Nothing too it!

Me 2: I won’t hold my breath.

Fortunately Me 2 didn’t hold her breath because she would have passed out in front of Cinnabon waiting for Me 1 to find our car. My internal conversation on the way from Nordstrom’s went something like this:

Me 1: I exit by the shoe department.

Me 2: There are two exits. Is it the one by the boot sale or the seasonal sandals?

Me 1: I’m not sure. Maybe the sandals one.

Me 2: Maybe is not going to get you to the right place.

Me 1: Definitely the sandals exit. I remember the gold flip flops, or was it the flannel lined Uggs? No, the sandals.

Me 2: This is off to a bad start.

Me 1: Which store had the sales? It looks like they all have sales!

Me 2: Then there was the restaurant.

Me 1: Yes, I remember the restaurant. It was Cheesecake Factory or Corner Bakery. 

Me 2: You aren’t sure?

Me 1: It began with a “C.” I know. I’ll just follow the Nordstrom’s arrow signs in reverse.

Me 2: Will you walk backwards?

Me 1: Don’t be sarcastic. See Macy’s is right here. I’ll just triangulate with Bloomingdale’s and the exit to the parking lot where my car is. Wait, where’s Bloomingdale’s? I don’t remember this playground.

Me 2: Macy’s has more than one entrance. I TOLD you this never works!

A mall directory with a map flanked the exit.  An orange dot with a “You are here” caption offered meager aid. I didn’t’ need a “You are here” caption. I needed a ‘You were there” caption. Better yet, I needed a “Your car is here” caption. 

I retreated to a nearby bench and considered my options:

  1. Walk around the parking in a systematic fashion until I find my car. 
  2. Call Security and have them drive me around the parking lot until I find my car.
  3. Wait until mall closing time and my car will be the only one left.
  4. Press the panic button and follow the alarm in a “Marco Polo” game with my car.

Before listing “5” my synapses sparked and a past conversation with my son, Jack, surfaced. Jack, appalled at my tech inability, (I’m a one-fingered keyword Tweeter.)had offered hints to help me along. One was about finding your parked car using an iPhone. I Googled just that and sure enough there it was! 

Through divine intervention, I had the right apps and right settings in place. And there, right on the screen, a blue pulsating dot indicted me 500 feet from my car!

Within a few minutes I found my MDX. I shoved my Nordstrom’s bag inside and retrieved the Bloomingdale’s items I needed to return. I reentered the shopping center, but not until I had taken this photo. 

6 thoughts on “Lost And Found Car”

  1. Anita, This reminded me of those long ago field trips when You had me sit behind the bus driver to give directions! Very funny! Ruth



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