I mentioned some time last week in the comments section that I was having some issues trying to live here and be a mother at the same time. I’m having difficulty with things like grocery shopping, alternate side parking, and just getting around in general.
One of the hardest problems I have had to deal with is alternate side parking. For those unfamiliar with the concept, every other day (for an hour and a half) you have to move your car from one side of the street to the other. Let’s say it’s Thursday right before 1 PM. The street cleaner has come and gone and now everyone from the Tuesday/Friday side has to move their car from that side to the other side to avoid a ticket the following day.
What you get is this: at around 12:45 PM at least five people get in their cars, move them, and sit there until 1 PM. That way, they are guaranteed a spot the following day and don’t have to drive around forever (or park somewhere dodgy, like I usually do) later on.
That’s all fine. I get that mentality. If I had the time and never used my car except to move it from one side of the street to the other, I’d probably do that too. My biggest problem, however, is in regard to our neighbors. The house directly next door is home to an extended family. They purchased the entire three-story home (which is split into three apartments) and three families (from the same family) live there. It seems they have about 5 cars total, but three are there all the time.
And these people drive me crazy. They simply refuse to follow any sort of social contract when it comes to alternate side parking. They don’t take up one spot per car. Instead, they take up anywhere from four to six car lengths. And one of their cars is a monstrous SUV.
Below is a picture taken an hour ago. Behind the tree on the far left, you can make out a little bit of the SUV. That car is owned by the older guy and he lives on the second floor. His car talks. It says things like, “PROTECTED BY VIPER! STAND BACK!” which is REALLY awesome when you have a baby napping. The car in the middle is owned by the guy living on the third floor. The car in the back is owned by guy who I think is the younger brother of the guy on the third floor. He lives on the first floor.
The amount of room in front of the SUV is double the space of what you see behind it. I can’t get a shot of that from here, but here’s an illustration:
And, no, this isn’t the fault of any other car on the street. These guys know exactly what they’re doing. They do it almost every day. Granted, they have no control over how close the car behind the last guy parks in relation to their own, which is why when the red car pulled in late last night after a rarity occurred and someone left, I snickered.
I can’t tell you how angry it makes me. I’m embarrassed by how angry it makes me. I’m embarrassed I don’t have the guts to say something to them about it.
This morning, as we left to see Tobyjoe off to the subway, I decided it was time to write a note. I put it on the SUV, (delicately of course as IT’S VIPER PROTECTED!) On our way back home, I removed the note from the car because it seemed too passive aggressive and pathetic. Plus, I know it’s not going to change anything.
I’m embarrassed I wrote this. But I simply don’t know what else to do. Yes, I could ask them to stop, but they won’t (and I’m too much of a coward anyway).
They do this because they don’t want anyone scratching their precious hunks of metal (they never drive). (Edited to add: I learned from a comment that it’s for another reason entirely. I feel so stupid!)
I’ve watched my mother’s once mint condition, hand-me-down get keyed, scraped, dented, and smashed in only a year’s time. But I don’t do crap like this. Having your car’s bumper destroyed is one of the things you silently agree to when you live here with a car.
I’m not proud of myself for feeling this much rage over something so mundane and simple. I try and do the whole “Embrace it and let it go” thing—you know, breath in, breath out.
But I can’t let it go. It never stops pissing me off. So, I wore patchouli today in hopes of conjuring up some residual hippie vibes leftover from college. Someone’s gotta give and it simply has to be me.