I was downtown running a few errands for work when she caught my eye. She was a vision in navy cargo pants, a polo shirt and an institutional-looking visor.
The meter maid was out in her Wednesday best.
“I hope you have time in your meter,” said one of the women I was talking to.
“Oh, yeah, I should be fine.”
But in the back of my mind, I doubted myself. I had put in a quarter for 25 minutes, and while there’s no reason I shouldn’t have been able to accomplish everything I needed to do in that length of time, sometimes I get a little chatty.
“I’d be careful,” said another woman. “That one will stand there waiting for your time to run out.”
“Why would she do that?”
“She has to earn a salary, too,” said the first woman.
“You ladies are crazy. Well, I’m going to head out. Hope you have a great day.”
Stepping out onto the sidewalk, I surveyed the landscape to see where the meter maid had gone. She was nowhere to be seen.
As I headed over to the area I had parked, I started pressing the “lock” button on my key chain. I am a Sentra driver in a land of SUVs, so unless I initiate a little game of Marco Polo with my tiny car I usually can’t find it.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
I was getting closer.
But just as my bumper came into sight, so too did the meter maid. Sure enough, she was slipping a yellow envelope under my windshield wiper.
I had to wait for her to move away from my car to get to the door, and it was taking a while so I decided to say hello.
Actually, what I said was, “Heeeeeey.”
She looked up, startled.
“That thing for me?” I asked.
Then, because I wanted to show her I wasn’t mad about it, I winked at her.
“Oh, um, yes. But I, uh, haven’t entered it into the system yet. Why don’t you just throw it away?”
“Hey, thanks! I hope you have a great day. See you around!”
“Uh, yeah. You too.”
Did I make a new friend? Or, did I flirt myself out of a ticket? I’m not sure. Either way, it’s been a good day.