There are endless places in LA that offer valet parking. I never indulged in this sort of luxury living in Toronto but I have taken it for a literal spin here in California. There are certainly advantages, and I will list them first. For one thing, it is obviously a pleasure to walk minimally from your car to your destination, particularly if you’ve made the adult choice to wear heels. This also comes in handy on the rare occasion rain strikes this burg. And, it may surprise you, but because valet is so commonplace here, it is often as reasonably priced as a meter, depending on the time of day you need to park. There, I’m not crazy. Onto my grievances.
I don’t trust anyone with my stuff. My stuff includes E Honda. E Honda includes a variety of artifacts that I leave in his care. When the strange driver who I am forced to trust to be a true restaurant employee just because he is wearing a uniformed jacket takes over the wheels, I am left wondering, will he touch/look at/steal/mangle any of said stuff?
Sometimes the valet driver is much taller than I am. Despite a short drive to wherever they take the cars, sometimes the driver changes the seat or mirror settings. I am set in my ways. These settings have been carefully cultivated.
I like terrible music. I like to listen to terrible music at a loud volume. Every time I turn over E Honda to this stranger, I have to remember to turn off the stereo so this stranger with whom I will hardly interact does not get a taste of my tunes and judge me.
Sometimes I arrive early or underprepared. At these moments, I like to fix my face, cool down or read my soap opera magazine. And I like to do these things in peace, while listening to awful music as the car stays on in battery mode. If you show up to a valet stand in one of these situations, you can’t rightly loiter while they wait for you to get out of the driver seat. I’ve tried. It’s weird.
And once all of these annoyances are conquered, I am forced to tip the driver for doing something I never wanted in the first place.
In sum, valet might seem like the optimal choice for parking. But I will circle the wagon looking for a meter or alternative self-park option before I hand over the keys. And I urge you to follow my example. The self-park revolution has begun.