What Is Your Parking Lot Pet Peeve?

We made it through the shopping holidays with our skin mostly intact.

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Photo: Giovanna Dell’Orto (AP)

We’ve all been there: Staring at drivers doing idiotic things in cramped, busy parking lots that have left us wondering “What hole did you crawl out of and how can I speed your return?”

Hell is other people, and the holidays are full of other people. With the historic storm that slapped around most of the country during the break, we all needed to bring a little extra patience to the roads and parking lots of America. But patience can only do so much.

Grocery stores have always been my Waterloo, but the parking lots outside are particularly bad. Not everyone shops at the mall anymore, but most of us still need to get our own food, so you get a mix of competency and incompetency that becomes completely infuriating. Poorly supervised children darting in between cars, homeless carts wheeling around the few open parking spaces, and cars backing into spaces or “pulling through” can test even the most zen-minded of drivers.

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If there’s an entrance to hell here on Earth, I’m convinced it resides in a Trader Joe’s parking lot and not just because of all the hell-worth souls shopping there. These are places seem uniquely designed to make folks in giant SUVs lose their minds. After barely escaping a pre-Christmas shopping trip to a TJs, I witness two of my absolute biggest pet peeves in the parking lot: Drivers just sending their empty carts out into the world like mama birds kicking their babies from the nest, and drivers holding up some very backed-up traffic in order to haltingly back up their full-sized SUVs into tiny, cramped parking spaces.

My dentist will be delighted to charge me for the wear and tear on my teeth after I worked so hard to keep my mouth shut and just get out of the parking lot before I committed a misdemeanor. I was patient and understanding, but at what cost? There’s plenty to be frustrated with in parking lots. What are some of your biggest pet peeves? Things that make you question your hope for humanity, your own sanity, or just the general faith there may be a just and loving force in the universe? Share it with us in the comments.