I drove Leo to Kindergarten orientation the other night. As we arrived the parking lot was filling up but there were still plenty of spots, albeit a little bit of a walk to the front door. So we parked and walked in, meeting up with Frank along the way, who had parked on the other side of the school. Just then an SUV pulled up, parked in the fire lane right in front of the school and the able-bodied woman waltzed into orientation.
"Oh, I see they have VLP parking here too," I said loudly to Frank.
VLP = Very Lazy Person.
It really should be VLEP, the E for "entitled."
We have this problem at preschool too. While the rest of us moms are schlepping our kids through the wind (it's a wind tunnel in that parking lot!), snow (yes, sometimes we have snow here!), ice, heat AND lugging all their gear from the parking lot, some parents just cruise right up to the fire lane, put their hazards on and skip a few feet into school.
Hey, this ain't no carpool school. If you wanted that you should have signed up for one. Nope. Here at our preschool, we walk 'em in. All the way from the parking lot. And there are moms here with LOTS of kids. I mean, it IS a Catholic preschool.
But it's rarely the parents with a gaggle of kids who park in the VLP spot. No, it's often some (again able-bodied) dude who has one, maybe two kids, and blocks the stroller ramp while he's at it. I don't personally use a stroller to schlep into preschool anymore but another lady told me that she and some other stroller moms are also frustrated with the VLPs. (She liked my acronym, btw).
This used to happen at our church in Atlanta too. (I mean, come on, church? Isn't that where you should be on your BEST behavior?) Sure, it was packed but there were spots available. Still, people would park in the fire lane. I would always walk by as they were getting out of their cars and say loudly, "I SURE hope there's not a fire!"
If I may rant a little more, I'd like to point out that VLPs are not just at churches and schools. I take Leo to a class every week and there is a mom there who is the ultimate VLP. I've even taken a photo for evidence:
Okay, so it's not actually a fire lane but it's not a parking spot either. She makes it difficult for anyone to drive through there to get to the rest of the parking lot. I've been giving her the cold shoulder but obviously it's not working.
Frank does not get why I'm all fired up. He says that the VLPs (okay, he doesn't use that terminology), aren't affecting me. Whether they park there or not, I still have to schlep through the parking lot.
To that I say, "It's not fair! Who do they think they are and why do they think they get special (and sometimes illegal) parking spots?" I mean, what if everybody parked in the fire lane?
Clearly, based on our recent experience at the elementary school, the VLPs are here to stay. But I'll continue to glare, loudly express my disapproval and give the cold shoulder as best I can.
Oh, and of course, pray for them.