If Necessity is the Mother of Invention…

…then I think I found the red-headed step-child.

Saturday I braved the crowds and snow and my overall tiredness to hunt down the last of my Christmas presents. I knew exactly what I needed and where to get it, and I’d plotted a course that would make a gas-conservationist proud.

There were a few mishaps when I arrived at the post office to ship two packages — namely, I kept leaving the items I wanted to ship in the car. Two trips back to the parking lot later, I shipped my items and continued my hunt for the remaining items.

I hit the jackpot at the final store. Not only did I find my dad’s gift (on sale!) but I found a couple small items to round out gifts for other family members. (Sorry I’m being so generic but I don’t want them to know what they’re getting!) I thanked the woman at the checkout counter for completing my final sale of the season, then trudged outside and into a swirling blizzard.

I hurried up the aisle, past slush-covered SUVs and other harried shoppers, but no Reggie. Okay…

I cut through a row of cars to the next aisle and nearly collided with a bearded gentlemen who looked colder than me. “You too?” he asked.

I laughed. “This is my fourth parking in an hour. How am I supposed to remember where my car is?”

We wandered down the aisle together — in a mini-blizzard, I should add — then I wished him luck and cut through another aisle. He was still walking in circles when I found my car.

This got me thinking. I know you can hit the panic button to find your car in a situation like this, but I’m so short I can’t see over the multitude of SUVs and my car could end up shouting for several minutes before I’d see it. Considering I was four rows off, I could alarm (ha) a lot of people in that time.

So I thought of an invention: an app for your phone that you activate when you park. It then saves the location, so when you leave the store you just press it again and follow the beacon to your car. No more aimless wandering!

As far as I know they already have that app and I just don’t know about it.

What tricks do you use to find your car in packed parking lots?

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. They already have that app and you just don’t know about it. 😉

    (Providing you have a GPS enabled device, that is.)

    I find remembering where I parked helps. 4th row, near the back! 😉


    PS – *Poke*

    • I have GPS on my phone but I didn’t think about using it for a location like a car. And I’m usually pretty good about remembering those types of markers, but I was in so many parking lots in such a short span of time that I completely forgot.

  2. Allen

    I have a low tech solution. I keep a roll of Orange Survey tape ( a buck or two a most hardware stores) in the glove box of my truck and my wife’s car.

    When I go somewhere I might have trouble finding the car, I peel off a couple of feet and tie it to my antennae.

    It works for suitcases at airports as well. Just tie a strip to the handle and when the luggage comes down the claims line, it is easy to find.

    Okay, so I am not Martha Stewart. It still works.

  3. Ah, the joys of a Michigan winter. I don’t miss it at all. Okay, maybe I miss looking at the window at night while snows falls quietly. Very beautiful. Having to call Indiana Jones to launch an archeological expedition to find my car the next morning?

    Not so much.

  4. I love the tape idea and I still like your app idea! It’s different than a GPS. You could call it “Where’s my car?”. I’m digging it.

    My husband parks in the absolute farthest spot in the far right of the movie parking lot so he always remembers where he parks. It drives me buggy. I like to park nice and close. I’d drive through the front window if it were allowed.

  5. ab

    I had a Durango that did “Shave and a haircut” when I needed to find it! It was connected with the remote start. I miss that most about that truck!

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