The 5 Stages of Parking Grief

Years ago, when Do Your Park was looking for a way to make its mark on the parking world, we were faced with a choice – crank out some snarky, often offensive, magnets or set up a spiritualistic self-help center aimed at healing the emotional trauma of caused by bad parking. Note that we never would have come up with that sweet doodle shaming fat folks on airplanes if we had gone the way of the eight-fold path, but it’s fun to think about, right?

The first step toward healing is always understanding the problem, so let’s have a gander at our Five Stages of Parking Grief:

1. Denial, or “Are You F*cking Kidding Me?”

You know the feeling. You’re rolling through the lot when you come upon something that makes you question the very nature of humanity. Is this real? Am I real? Do you have to plan this level of bad parking? Cards, flowers and well-placed sympathies can do little to shake you from this existential crisis, but soon, your emotions turn to…

2. Anger, or “A Growing Urge to Key.”

It’d be so easy. Who would see? With a simple flick of the wrist and kiss of the key, you could permanently brand this turd gobbler in a way that parking tickets, fake vomit or a prissly little bad parking note never could. It’d feel good. It’d feel right, but suddenly, a thought pops into your head…

3. Bargaining, or “The Questionable Attempt to Shimmy.”

There’s a little room, ya? Maybe I could squeeze in. Maybe Captain “You Park Like an Asshole” isn’t so bad. Maybe I just need to try a little harder. You crank the wheel, furrow your brow and give it your best shot. Suddenly, reality sets in and you realize the cause is a hopeless one…

4. Depression, or “Do I Really Want to Live in World Where Miata Drivers Think They Deserve Two Spots?”

Did I really need to leave the house today? Doubt starts to frolic through your brain and you realize that today’s mission just wasn’t in the parking cards. Funny how quickly your thoughts can turn on you, isn’t it? You flick off your turn signal, preparing to head home, when it hits you…

5. Revenge, or “Wait, Isn’t This Supposed to the Happy One?”

Burn this sunnuvabitch to the ground! We know this is where you’d expect to find the cathartic sense of acceptance, but that’s not how we roll. We’re cruising deep into Shame Town and Tommy Two-Spots just punched himself a first class ticket. Fake parking jobs, the kind where you just phone it in and hope no one notices, have no place in this society. Someone has to pay…

OK, OK…let’s walk this one back a step or two.

You get why we ditched the self-help route early on, ya? We’re spiteful, petty people, and if you’ve read this far, chances are you are too.

Now why don’t you grab a pack of magnets, get out into the world and do a little shaming?

Written by Peter V.
Peter is an L.A.-based designer, blogger and daily commuter. He explores what causes parking to suck in urban environments, how to bring about parking regulation changes, and the latest advancements in parking tech.