Listen, I always try to park within the lines of spaces in parking lots–as difficult as that is getting to be in most parking lots in crowded suburban shopping areas these days.
And, I always try to open my door carefully when getting out.
Sometimes, in order to have room to exit my car, I have to open my door enough so that it touches the door of the car next to mine.
That’s what happened yesterday when I parked at a local grocery store. After my son and I started heading into the store, this woman approached us. She was holding a fussing toddler, and she was complaining that I “hit” her car when I got out.
“It’s not a big deal,” she said, sort of apologetically but also with a scolding tone–she wanted to make a point. “It didn’t cause any damage.”
No, my driver’s car door touching her front passenger door caused no damage.
“Sorry,” I said meekly.
But I was also annoyed.
What do motorists expect these days? Especially motorists living, working, shopping and parking in a crowded suburban area like Walnut Creek? Where everyone is competing for space in parking lots? And where parking lot owners seem to be shrinking the width of spaces to squeeze more cars in.
A former boss–or rather his wife–had a fit because her BMW SUV got dinged in the office parking lot. A company-wide memo went out, telling employees to be more careful when entering and exiting our vehicles. Duh.
This dinging occurred after the owner of the building resurfaced the parking lot to squeeze a few more spaces in.
Sorry, but owners of big vehicles–SUVs, vans, pickups–have the least cause to complain about their cars getting dinged by the doors of other cars in parking lots–especially when these owners are squeezing their vehicles into spaces designated for “compact”-sized cars.
I’m careful. I think most people are careful. We don’t go whamming our way out of our vehicles. After all, we want to protect our own property. And, if I cause damage to your car inadvertently, I’ll take responsibility.
But again, if you’re going drive your car into downtown Walnut Creek, get used to the fact that your car might get tapped by the door of another car when you park it. Your car’s precious paint job might even get nicked. I know. It’s annoying. It’s happened to my car. Mine has a few nicks here and there. But this is one of the hazards of modern car ownership.