Thursday, February 09, 2006

Do you valet?

We have had some super experiences with valet parking.

A few years ago, we were at Amy June's wedding luncheon in southern California at a restaurant with complimentary and mandatory valet parking. We had driven our really nice car to California: our 1990 Chevy Lumina Euro that we had inherited from Steve's grandpa and which had sat in a field in Canada for a year and a half, with its window down. It may have been the only rusted-all-over car in the entire state of Arizona, but oh! was it reliable. When we got the vehicle, it was like 11 years old and had only 20,000 kilometers on it. It seriously had no mechanical problems and since Steve and I are not all that into appearances, we drove it everywhere. Maybe not proudly, but we weren't too embarrassed. After all, it was a free car that ran perfectly! So we drove that car to California for Amy's wedding, leaving our much-newer-but-much-less-reliable lemon of a car at home.

Alright, so maybe it was a little embarrassing at Amy June's wedding when we parked next to my old college roommate and dear friend and she and her husband got out of their, like, $80,000 something or other brand new luxury sedan, and we were wiping Cheerios off the red vinyl backseat of our looks-like-it-belongs-in-a-junkyard Lumina. But we were not about to play the comparison game, so we let it roll off our backs.

But the valet parking incident was almost too much. You see, although the car drove with no problems, there were definitely problems with the body. Just recently, the driver's side door handle had jammed, making it necessary to reach in through the window and open the door from the inside. So we were at the valet, and Steve explained the situation and told him not to roll up the window, or they wouldn't be able to get in.

After a lovely luncheon extravaganza, it was time to collect the car and head back to the hotel. The valet ran off to get our car in the very furthest row of the parking lot. He seemed to be taking a long time, and we could tell that he was struggling with the driver's side door handle. Of course, they had rolled up the windows! So my husband walked all the way to the back of the parking lot, re-explained about the door, and that the guy would have to get in from the passenger side. Then Steve walked all the way back to the front of the restaurant and waited patiently while the valet drove our car up. We tipped him for his lovely services, and we left, laughing hysterically at what had just transpired.

There are some things that are just too sophisticated for us folks, and valet parking has proven to one of them.


ahc said...

Whoa, blast from the past! What made you remember that, Emily?

Lorien said...

what a great story!

neil and diana said...

I think maybe the principle of "don't roll down the window" was too sophisticated a concept for the valets!

sarah said...

what wver happened to that car?

Suzie Petunia said...

WHO has the $80,000 luxury sedan? Are you sure it wasn't a rental? :) I just remember driving a really basic, little, white compact rental that weekend of Amy's wedding and feeling like I was in heaven because it was clean and didn't have carseats in the back (and no kids, although I WAS 8 months pregnant).

Anyway, I love you for not being pretentious, Emily. I know you'll never judge me for my minivan that currently smells like rotten milk.

amyjune said...

How funny. I didn't even know this had happened the day of my wedding. I really hate valet parking. I will park several blocks away just to escape paying a couple of bucks.
You and Sarah were both so great to come to my wedding sooo very pregnant. Thanks guys!!!!!

Emily said...

Diana, you're absolutely right. It wasn't our problem about the window, it was the valet guy's who couldn't follow simple instructions. Same goes for all those countless car wash dudes who, you guessed it, always rolled up the window, despite my warnings.

As for what happened to the car, we declined to sell it to a guy who wanted to make $100 payments and instead "traded it in" to Terry L. when we got the van. He gave us $1000, and we could not have been more pleased. Well, maybe we could have, but we were pretty happy considering we got to get rid or our rust mobile and our lemony Cirrus (at the same blessed time!) and also got to pay less for our van. What a deal!

Suzie, that's unfortunate about the rotten milk, but I remain judgment-free.

ahc said...


I think that the couple's initials are J & C. (Am I right, Emily?) At first it sounded like M & M, but then I remembered that they weren't there.