The loving spirit of the holidays can sometimes be tested if you can’t get a parking space, get cut off, or get stuck behind a double parker.
Around Santa Barbara and many other cities, the shopping centers with grocery stores, were jammed. Some customers drove in and drove out. Some walked into stores and came out due to the crowds, deciding to come back later.
Almost every grocery store lot the day before Thanksgiving looked packed. You see the bumper to bumper bizarre behavior often through the holiday season, but more so when people are on a deadline.
“They get out of their cars and say, ‘Why is this parking lot so difficult?’,” said Asia Ashley who works at Trader Joe’s on De la Vina Street. But she tries to help people get through the stress. “When people see you smile they want to smile too!”
She wore a turkey hat but it did not catch many eyes. “No, some people don’t even realize I have a turkey on my head. Like, ‘Oh that’s a nice hat! “
David Zeff recalls the same problem last year. “During the holidays I came in here (Whole Foods) and I have never seen anything like it at stores with twice the size and twice the traffic.”
It was obvious for Christine Luciano who said, “people are not patient and they have a really hard time. I try to avoid it and steer clear.”
As for advice? Cheryl Maxwell says “you know what just let them go ahead.There’s got to be another spot.”
Hand gestures (non offensive) are often the most well received.
“I try and signal and let them go ahead and plan to take the extra time. You know it is the holidays. It is busy,” said Luciano.
Walking into the store with her mother Lee Bethel said, “I’m waiting to the last minute, and so did you. So let’s just enjoy it.”
And, could it all be linked to politics – not the holidays? “I think it is just the last year and a half with the election and so forth, people are just different,” said Maxwell.
Some drivers had difficulties making it through the crowded lots, hitting curbs, and missing or overlapping the parking spots.