In case you’ve never been to my new apartment, I live in between a glass repair shop and an old person’s home. (I smell a sitcom.) From the outside, my apartment complex looks like a place that middle class businessmen take their mistress to get their cheap thrills. Luckily, it’s great on the inside and I’m of the mindset that OUTER APPEARANCE DOESN’T MATTER. jk.
Anyway, we were told that we got one parking spot for our apartment. Totally fine, there is plenty of street parking. What we didn’t immediately realize is that there are only three LEGITIMATE covered parking spots and there are 4 units in the complex. In order to park a fourth car in that area, we need four spots… If you get what I’m saying.
I called the landlord and explained my predicament, and he told me that I was to park “where the trashcans usually are.” Granted, it’s not the first time someone has told me I belong with the trash, but I wasn’t sure my car could fit. After all, that spot was intended for the trashcans, not my Buick.
So I awkwardly parked my car in front of the gate to the complex, leaving barely enough room for someone to squeeze in. I wasn’t cool with it, at all, but I figured if we were paying for this non parking spot then I might as well use it?
Later some dude sees me walking out to the car and goes “Nah, unit 4 parks like this” and gestured that I needed to park the car parallel with the front of the building. With the front end of my car facing the Glass Shop.
Okay, fine. It makes slightly more sense. So I move it.
The next day I’m walking out to my car to leave for work, and a small old man in a tasteful Hawaiian shirt runs out of the glass shop and directly up to me. He has clearly worked himself up into a tizzy over something, I’m too tired and dead inside to really inquire but since he’s in my face I don’t really have a choice.
“Is this your car?” He gestures to my rental Hyundai Sonata
“I mean, it’s technically a rental but I’m driving it, yeah.” I stutter awkwardly, drop my keys on the ground, and give up on the day before it even begins.
“When you park here I can’t open my gate in the morning!” He gestures to a rickety wooden gate that opens onto the eerily horror-movie-esque workshop section of the glass store (which my bedroom has a full view of.)
My brain shuts down at this point. I just want a spot to park my stupid car (which isn’t even my car and I still haven’t gotten the Buick back and my life is crumbling before my eyes.)
“I don’t know what to tell you, this is where I’m told to park.” I just want to leave for work at this point. You know it’s bad when you WANT to leave for work.
This frustrated old man and I reach a stalemate. Neither of us have the power, or the desire to forfeit our position. I stared at him while he shrugged his shoulders and gestured at my car, and shook his head. He grunted a few unintelligible words.
“I need to leave.” I said and got into my car.
When I came home, I made an effort to park my car as far as possible from the gate, while still not blocking the door to the complex OR boxing in the other cars squeezed into our tiny, sad excuse for a parking lot.
I got out of my car at least five times to analyze the situation, using geometry and a protractor to predict the radius at which the gate might open in relation to my vehicle. At a certain point I remembered I haven’t taken a math class since high school and I gave up.
A few days later, we have another similar encounter. This time he is past the point of being in a tizzy and instead is full on pissed. He has defiantly opened the gate door and shoved it up against my car in protest. Thanks bro, thanks for adding on another scratch fee to my rental!
“You CANT park here, I CANT get my truck in and out of the gate!” He shouts and throws his hands in the air at me.
I have a certain face for situations like this. One that I don’t like to use very often, but one that is very effective when used. A face that tells you, I’m not the person to spout your bullshit to. I am in fact, the WRONG person to spout any bullshit to at this hour, on this day. I’d already had my C4 preworkout, I’d been to the gym, my arms were shaking… If he was trying to start something I would end it. Just kidding. Maybe?
I gave him the face. It’s a scowl combined with slitted eyes and a slight grimace. Like, the kind where I’m clenching my jaw and gritting my teeth so that I don’t bite anyone or anything. Except myself. Like the kind they do in old western movies when they have chewing tobacco tucked under their lip and curled over their yellow rotting teeth as they utter some sort of mildly racist warning to their enemy.
“Sir. You need to talk to the property manager.” I said using some powerful hand gestures I learned in Mock Trial to show that I wasn’t kidding around.
He didn’t understand what I said, at all. He made no attempt. So instead of talking with me he kept gesturing, and babbling and shaking his head. I continued to make my cowboy face then got into the car and I drove off. It wasn’t until I got to work that I discovered the piece of paper (with his glass company insignia on it) tucked into my windshield wipers with a message written on it in all caps, in sharpie:
“PLEASE DON’T PARK HERE!”
You might be thinking, Katrina, this is a pointless story. Maybe it is. But I think this is a huge lesson in modern communication. Both me and this man talked AT each other, and didn’t ever accomplish anything. I still don’t even think he fully understands that I live in the apartment complex next door. I think he is so caught up in the fact that his gate won’t open that he is blinded by his own rage and unable to take in external opinions.
On my end? Since I only have to deal with his incessant chatter in the early hours of the morning, I’m willing to be apathetic. A mild annoyance at best compared to the two goddamn cats who scream at me every morning even though they already ate. I’ll do my best to park where he isn’t impacted, but I’m not gonna go out of my way to find a solution.
But to be fair, he isn’t providing a solution either. He just yells at me every day, hoping to break me from my apathy. Which, sir, good luck… Not happening. I will continue to be apathetic about my shitty parking spot (and the rest of my life) for all of eternity if the world lets me. He could put up some marking that indicates the point which I shouldn’t park beyond, but instead he likes to leave me passive aggressive windshield notes.
Man at the glass store, I get that you are frustrated. We’re all frustrated by something in our lives. But be warned, my Buick is a lot bigger than this rental car and I can assure you we will have a whole new saga to start once the beast returns to its home.
(The above image is a sample of the type of work I imagine is completed at this repair shop.)
(Based on the appearance of the shop- this is also the type of work I could imagine being completed. If you didn’t know, this is from the movie Saw. I just explained my joke to you, in case you didn’t like it. Did you find that funny? Shoot me a message on Facebook/iMessage if you found it funny. I need to know how my jokes are landing.)