Monday, May 18, 2015

Spot story

I pulled into a choice spot in a parking lot — aah, shade. As soon as I opened the driver’s door and stepped out, the driver to our left rolled down her window: “I hope you’re not going to start banging my car. You’re parked so close to the line.”

“Believe me, I’m as careful with my car as I am with everyone else’s,” I said. (I know that I should have said it the other way around, but this story is true in every detail.) Up went her window. I closed my door and stepped back to check my parking. Our car was centered in the narrow space, as I more or less already knew. I don’t think a measuring tape would have added anything to what was obvious to the eye — my parking was, well, perfect.

As for our neighbor to the left: her SUV was parked within perhaps three inches of the white line between our cars. On her driver’s side, she had perhaps a foot and a half of space.

I wasn’t willing to let it go. I walked around to the other side of the SUV. “Would you like to look at how our cars are parked?” I inquired. She pulled out her phone and started her car. I worried for a moment that she was calling the cops. But she just backed out of her space, still talking on her phone. I stood at a distance and watched her leave.

This moment was my first experience of rudeness from a stranger in a long time. Elaine told me to let it go: was I going to let an idiot ruin my day? No. Not the idiot in the SUV next to us, and not the idiot in me who wanted to hang on to my indignation. I let it go long before writing this post.

[Yes, it felt like a moment from Curb Your Enthusiasm.]

comments: 7

Chris said...

“I hope you’re not going to start banging my car" isn't a sentence one hears every day.

I wonder how driverless cars, if they catch on, are going to affect encounters like this.

The Crow said...

Sometimes it is right to call idiots on their idiocy. I thought you handled that rather well, and conservatively, Michael. You're a good man.

I'd have taken pictures of her car and her face, just to be mean. I'm like that some days. Not always, but often enough to feel bad about it.

Diane Schirf said...

But you're so perturbed you lost your period and closing paren. :)

Michael Leddy said...

Chris, I hope that driverless cars can be equipped with the gestures and utterances of human drivers. As for “banging my car,” I’ll just say that there were opportunities for humor in this encounter that I failed to seize.

Martha, I wish I’d thought of taking a picture. But then she might indeed have called the police.

Diane, I’m pretty chill. But I edited this post on an iPhone. Blogger and iPhone do not play well at all. I think the post is now error-free. (First time at my Mac today.)

Anonymous said...

Ah, whim-in with big issue-views.

Michael Leddy said...

I think men-in and whim-in both can be pretty vehement in vehicles.

(Menin: first word of the Iliad, “rage.”)

Anonymous said...

Do not go gentle into that tight space.
Rage, rage against the parking of the car....