Day 19: Parking it forward

A few months ago I parked at a municipal lot and was heading for the meter to pay when a woman in a tailored suit and heels offered me her ticket, which would be valid for two more hours.

I was thrilled. Free parking — what’s not to like? Since there was 90 minutes to go when I left, I in turn handed the ticket off to someone else.

The gesture stuck with me and I thought of it again today when my husband and I parked at a hospital lot. The payment machine wasn’t working properly and mistakenly charged the maximum time. We were paid up till midnight yet it was only 11 a.m. I told my husband my free parking story and suggested that we do the same when we were leaving.

As I should have predicted, the hospital visit preoccupied me as we left and I completely forgot about my “pay it forward” plan. I only found out later that while I had been standing in the parking lot talking with my brother and sister, my dear husband had remembered my suggestion and passed along the ticket to a couple who had just arrived.

So I guess you’d call this a good deed by proxy. But the bonus for me is finding out that even though he might not always show it, my husband is listening to me after all. Go figure….


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