Wednesday when I arrived home there was a truck parked in my driveway. I rolled down my window and said to the guy loading his car up with furniture, “Hi. That’s my parking space.” His reply? “Oh. I’ll only be about ten more minutes.”
“Yeah, no. You can back your car out and I can pull up so you can park behind me but I’m not parking on the street.”
I live in a very busy neighborhood just blocks off a main drag of restaurants, stores and bars. Parking is a real bitch to find (trust me, I hear about it from my friends who drive around and around the block looking in vain for parking when they visit me). That driveway parking spot of mine is earned, damn it. Being an Apartment Manager is a lot of work!
Then last night as I was running out the door to meet my sister at water aerobics, I saw that someone had blocked my car in my driveway. They had parked lengthwise along the sidewalk where there was no way my car could go around them. Not to mention this is ILLEGAL. I furiously called the tow truck company number and they told me I had to call the cops. I called the cops and the rude bitch they connected me to said I had to call the tow truck company. When I tried to explain I had already done that she said to me, “Ma’am if you would stop interrupting me…” so I hung up on her. Fuck her. Don’t call me “ma’am” and don’t tell me I am interrupting you when you aren’t listening to me in the first place.
I was pretty mad at that point. Can you tell?
My sister texted me that she was on her way to class and when I wrote back explaining the situation, she said she’d come get me. We’d be late to class but at least we could both still go. Thank God because if I didn’t get to work out, someone was going to get their face punched in. While I waited for her, with still no sign of the driver of the illegally parked vehicle, I wrote them a note.
My first attempt was too mean- when I re-read it even I couldn’t stomach it. It served no purpose except for me to spew out my frustration. The second note wasn’t much better and looking back on it, I’m none to proud that I left it on her windshield. I was just so angry and frustrated and had had a very long, stressful week with work and apartment building bullshit and therapy and I just wanted to go to water aerobics! I basically told her that she was parked illegally and that because of her selfish assholeness (yes, I used that word), she had greatly inconvenienced me. And then I threatened to tow her next time.
When I returned home from class there was a note on my car.
It was a rather long, apologetic note that said things like, “I can only imagine how angry and frustrated you must have (legitimately!) been when you came out to go to your class and were stuck due to my dumb ass parking.” She thought she was up enough that I could get out. She repeatedly apologized, recognizing her mistake and promised not do it ever again. Then she told me she is 9 months pregnant and 5 days over due (the car had a car seat in the back- I had noticed when I thought about throwing rocks at the windows during my rage fit) and her “brain is seriously out to lunch.” She included $3 for a coffee and said she liked my “Yes We Can” sticker on my car.
Well I’ll be.
I was not expecting that. I honestly thought that letter would be a rude response to my angry note. It made me stop and think. Not because I suddenly felt remorse because she was pregnant (I did though) but because I didn’t even stop to give her the benefit of the doubt. I was so consumed with how inconvenienced I was that I couldn’t see straight. Anger gets the best of me sometimes and I wish it didn’t. It’s rare that someone counters your anger with understanding. Maybe next time when someone is angry at me, I can pay it forward.