Voting for Parking

March 27th, 2019

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Week 13: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

On the days I go to my office in town, I have to pay for parking. This shouldn’t be a big deal. After years of living in big cities where getting my hair cut at a fancy salon could cost me $30 in parking fees and the terror of navigating a downtown parking garage, the Brattleboro lots are easygoing, convenient, and incredibly cheap. In the lot closest to my office, I can park all day for $3…

…if I can get the parking box to take my money, and that’s a big IF. Finicky, it prefers to spit my dollars and coins back out, or even better, take them, think about it for a little bit, then change its mind and spit them back out. Lately, though, it’s been outdoing itself by taking my dollars, pretending it’s going to give me credit for them, then, as I put in the third bill, reverting back to “zero paid” and denying it took my money at all. Psych! I stand there, helpless, out of money, with nothing to show for it.

Today was one of those glorious mornings when I actually received a ticket for the amount I had paid. I shouted “YES!!” and fist bumped the machine. Then I sheepishly looked around and realized that my relationship with this machine has gotten pretty unhealthy.

It only costs $100 to get a quarterly permit, and that’s really what I should do. But getting a permit entails deciphering when the parking office is open (definitely not during lunch, ever), walking through a cluster of menacing cigarette smokers, and remembering to bring my licence plate number and a paper check. I have not yet been able to pull it off.

If you get a ticket in this town, it’s like $15 — still twice as cheap as parking for under 2 hours in San Francisco. If I were less of an uptight Virgo, I would just take my chances. But I’m too much of a do-gooder for that.

What I’m eating:

Trying to get the hang of cooking for a husband who’s a sudden vegetarian, two toddlers who are good eaters but, still, toddlers, and myself, a carnivore who gets twitchy without enough animal protein in my diet. Raising the stakes on this effort is that I work until 5:30 and have to have dinner on the table by 6, or else. Definitely taking tips on this conundrum!

What I’m watching:

Nothing, just waiting breathlessly for the last season of Game of Thrones!

What I’m reading:

Er, a book about Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. Long story.

What I’m listening to:

A lot of Laurie Berkner in the car with my kids.

What I’m working on:

I’ve been writing abstracts for a conference later this year in the tech space. Sometimes I tell people I am a freelance writer with a focus on technology and I can see them fighting the urge not to yawn. I usually go along with their assumption and say something like “Yeah, it’s pretty dry,” but the honest truth is, I find it interesting. I filled out a survey recently that asked “On a scale of 1-10, are you doing fulfilling work that helps people” and I was like, Imma give that an 8, sorry tech haters.

But I bet you use technology.


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