“Why Aren’t You Moving?!” She Screamed.

Anxiety and overwhelm in a downtown parking garage.

Mindy Morgan Avitia
5 min readMay 2, 2024
Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash

Philanthropy is so old. Older than the philanthropist who assumed I was poor today. We were in a downtown Austin parking garage, high off the fundraising event we just left. Sweating, in my Toyota Highlander, my heart was beating a mile a minute. I couldn’t tell if it was the exhaust from my car or the anxiety causing my lightheadedness.

“What is taking so long?” People screamed from their cars and blared their horns. Horns in parking garages are so much louder. I looked anxiously at my friend next to me.

“Should I just pay it?” I asked.

She shook her head. “But you already paid.”

I had prepaid, of course. This is what the hold-up was. The event organizers messed up. Their tagline “When Generosity Thrives, We All Win,” was fresh on our minds when we discovered a miscommunication between their parking app and this parking garage. And so, defiantly, I refused to pay another $40 to a parking garage that makes tens of thousands of dollars a day.

And then I saw her, barreling towards my car. She was small. A baby boomer. Her hair was short, dyed auburn. Her small round glasses hugged her face at the brim of her nose. Her blouse was bright, Kelly Green. Something you’d…



Mindy Morgan Avitia

Figuring out how to be a creative, a mom, and a good person at the same time.