First parking ticket is an interesting experience

Kristine Gill

I was not greeted by a black squirrel on my way to class Monday morning. No, instead I enjoyed glancing across the street at the Ice Arena parking lot only to spot a manila envelope pinned to the windshield of the family car.

GASP! My worst fears were confirmed. I rushed off to class and texted my sister, Katie, to share the horrid news: We received a parking ticket.

Katie had driven down to Kent on Sunday to visit her beloved sister. Even though we realized the weekend was over, and we needed a parking permit, we decided to just risk it. We were too lazy to go inside for quarters to buy a four-hour pass that would expire before morning. So we crossed our fingers and went to bed.

At 4:56 a.m., while Katie and I slumbered unwittingly, our car was spotted and issued a scarlet letter by automobile standards. I only wish I had been there with our Borrego Beige Metallic Honda Civic in its hour of need. Like ignorant parents, we had instead left it defenseless and cold in the dark, dark night.

Katie and I decided to take care of the situation ASAP. We drove to Michael Schwartz and up to the parking booth. The kid in the booth asked us which office we were headed to before issuing a temporary parking pass. “Michael Schwartz,” I said. “Which OFFICE,” he snapped. “Parking Services..” I trailed off. Booth boy, watch it.

Katie and I agreed that even though I was the stupid one, booth boy deserved to be slapped for his smart tone. After our encounter with a not-so-hospitable parking lot worker, we anticipated the worst.

To avoid looking like bumbling idiots, I had Katie fill out the ticket in the lobby. We rehearsed our story and discussed potential consequences of the fact that Katie did not have her license with her. Genius, Katie, genius. We found our office but stopped short when we got to the door. A sign read: HAVE DRIVER’S LICENSE OR STUDENT ID READY — a predictable twist in the plot. We regained composure and proceeded onward.

It turns out the secretary was pretty nice. After all, it’s not like she was angry with us for parking in the Ice Arena. She said it was OK that Katie didn’t have her license, and she even smiled. Go figure.

It was our first offense. (Well, it was really Katie’s first offense. I suggested that she take the beating for this one). And since it was the first, it was waived as a courtesy. We wouldn’t have to pay the $15 — which was great because I’m broke. (Muchas gracias Parking Services!)

“Why do I feel like I’m in trouble.” Katie asked cynically after emerging from the office of Parking Services unscathed. It felt as though we had evaded severe punishment. No death sentence for us. Pack up the guillotine and cancel the funeral services.

Made confident by our recent triumph over the “supposed evils” of Parking Services, we risked loud mocking tones as we passed booth boy, who seemed deaf as he sat behind the thick glass.

Still, we decided not to tell Mom. We didn’t feel like answering a million questions. If you think I overreacted to the situation, raise that to the bajillionth power. I can’t wait until she reads this online.

Kristine Gill is a freshman pre-journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].