Valet Parking for Amateurs

For some people, valet parking is a normal occurrence. For others (I am included in this category), valet parking is a luxury that is rarely taken advantage of. Looking back, I can only remember one other time that my car has been valet parked – my wedding night, so you get the picture.

This past weekend I topped my previous valet parking record and valet parked TWICE, in one day. It was quite an experience. I had appointments at 2 hotels downtown to do updos for the Cotton Ball. (I am also a hair stylist, in case you were wondering)

For those of you that don’t know what a Cotton Ball is, I’ll tell you all that I know. From what I gathered in my time listening to conversations during my updo appointments, it is a debutante ball. The girls wear all white dresses (they HAVE to be white, not ivory) and white gloves – the whole shebang. There’s a queen each year, but I am not completely sure how she’s chosen. The girls are introduced, and then I heard something about doing the waltz… That’s all I know. It sounds like something that happens in movies – I’m picturing the scene in Princess diaries where Michael shows up to surprise Mia and they dance the night away. Who knows if my fantasy is correct.


Anyways, back to my valet parking story.

Have you ever done something where you don’t want to look like you have no idea what you are doing… so you try to fake it… but really, you have no idea what you are doing? That’s me with valet parking. I pull up to the first hotel, and get into the line of cars next to the sign that says “Valet Parking”… Do I stay in my car?… Do I get out and hand someone my keys?… Do I get out and leave the car running?… I opted for sitting in my car for a minute, until I saw the valet guy awkwardly looking at me. Staying in the car was apparently not the right choice out of my options, so I grabbed my purse and my hair equipment bag and hopped out – leaving the car running. The second choice was better (Mental note: when valet parking, pull up and get out instead of sitting in the car looking like a loser…GOT IT!)

I went about my hairstyling business. 3 updos and 2 down styles later it was time to go back down to the dreaded Valet. Valet ticket in hand, I made my way down the elevator to the parking booth. I handed the guy my ticket and he started walking towards the parking garage. I figured while he was gone I would get caught up on my social media on my phone. Then I hear from across the roundabout, Ma’am… (of course I am not paying attention)… louder, Ma’am…. (still not paying attention) … now, almost yelling, Hello Ma’am… Finally I looked up and the valet guy is standing there with my car. How embarrassing. I apologized, tipped and left.

I am a TERRIBLE valet parker. I’m sure everyone around was looking at me going “she sure doesn’t do this often”. Exactly what I was trying to avoid.

My last appointment for the day was at another fancy hotel… with valet parking (oh boy). I pull up, get out (leaving the car running), get my ticket, and make my way into the elevator like a pro. YES! I finish my last updo, head back down to the valet. I hand the guy my keys and he’s off to get my car. I make sure to leave the social media alone this time around- so he wont have to be yelling at me from across the drive like the last valet (#facepalm). He pulls up and I go to get in my car, almost home free without embarrassing myself at this hotel when the valet says, “Well, I emptied your… um, Car-Can, for you… that’s actually really smart to put a trash can in your car”. THHHANNNKKKSSS. Of course he had never seen a trash can in a car before, I’m sure people that drive Bentleys, BMWs, and Teslas don’t have “Car-cans”. Yet again, embarrassed by valet parking.

I have to say – if I have the choice again, although I appreciated the convenience of the valet, I’ll probably just park my own car 🙂

PS, as a side-note, how great an idea is a Car-can? You can throw your drive-through trash away, cans, cups, all the stuff that normally takes over the car… just throw it in the Car-can. For those of us who have children, it could also double as a puke bucket. Just saying. I think its a brilliant idea. All cars should really have them as standard equipment.


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