Monday, February 27, 2006


Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Last Thursday night, I met my friend Erika downtown for dinner. I was lucky to get what my friend Amy has coined as "TV Parking." (TV parking is getting a space just like people do on TV. They never have to drive around the block. They just pull up to wherever they are going and miraculously, there is an open spot.) Well, I pulled up to the Uptown Cafe and there were two parallel parking type spots open right in front of the place. The two spots were part of what I estimate as three and a half to four total spots. Four small to midsize cars might fit, three SUVs or station wagons, maximum. The first two spots were taken by medium size cars. If I pulled reasonably close to the the second car, there would be room behind me for an additional car. I did just that, being careful not to make it difficult for the car in front of me to get out. In my (considerate) desire to make space for another car behind me, I apparently ignored the parking lines and was parked right over one, so you could say I was taking up two spaces. I wasn't taking up two spaces. I was actually making room for another car.

Alas, that isn't the way it was seen by author of the eloquent note pictured here. When I went to get into my car after dinner, this lovely napkin was tucked under my windshield wiper. At that point, I was the only car parked in the spaces and it was then I realized that my car could be perceived as carelessly taking up two parking spaces.

Before I get into a critique of the content of this note, let's look at how the writer’s reaction is typical of so many that friends and strangers have to one another every day. One person does something with the best of intentions only for another person to interpret what was done as being malevolent or thoughtless. It makes for a whole lot of misunderstandings leading to fights/break-ups...etc. on an individual level and wars on a group level. What would it be like if we assumed that people acted with good will until firmly proved otherwise? Something to think about.

Now, let's briefly discuss the content of the note. First of all, it is clear that the author is a bit irritated with me. The use of the word "fucking" clearly indicates that. So, my question is why the weak-ass finish? "Ass" in my opinion is a rather innocuous insult, much tamer than its more-to-the-point close cousin “ass-hole”. If one is going to use a variation of “fuck” in one’s rant, “ass” seems like an anticlimax if you ask me. I would have finished the note with much stronger name calling. Indeed, “ass” made it sort of humorous to me. The message would have had a much stronger impact on me had the writer really let it rip at the end.

One of the few times I feel the urge to leave a note on someone’s car is when I see this huge Hummer that is driven around town by tiny little blonde mom. ( I often see it in a grocery store parking lot.) This gas-guzzling vehicle has a “Kids First” license plate and a “Support our Troops” yellow ribbon decal on it. I always want to write a note asking this, “How is it that you are putting kids first and supporting our troops by driving this absolutely unnecessary gas guzzling car? Are you going to send your “kids first” to the draft office so that they can support our troops in the war for oil to fuel these SUVs?” I don’t of course put the note on the car. I always want to, though.

I was going to link this entry to another I have wanted to write about Brokeback Mountain, but I am too tired to do it and Chris wants to watch a movie. Perhaps tomorrow I will opine on the movie. It won’t be what you think.


Perk said...

I read it as "ASS" being the signature of the author of the note. It was however, incomplete. It could have been "DRUNKEN ASS", "STUPID ASS", "NASTY ASS", etc.

Valerie said...

Having lived too long in the NY Metro area I would have closed it with, Fuckin Moron, Stupid Bitch, Fuckin Asshole or the like. I agree that the closing was too gentle for the message at hand! See, there is a difference between Midwesterners and Easterners!

Anonymous said...

Here's a similar situation... I'm at the grocery check out line with a pretty full cart and am 2nd in line. No room yet to put my stuff on the belt. No problem, I am in no hurry.The "front end" manager motions for me to go to the express line. She said "tell the checker that Meagan said it was OK". I don't like this idea but I feel pressure to go. So I head over there and apologetically tell the checker sorry I have so much stuff. OK I get over it... but who should show up just as my items begin to get scanned but someone with 5 items. I immediately tell him that I didn't want to come to this aisle but THEY made me do it. He was funny and was then sent over to the customer service dept to have them check him out. He's fine with that and smiles as he leaves the store well before I am done. Then...another customer appears with 1 item and of course I still am unloading items. I once again immediately explain myself to this poor person and blame the management in a joking way. They are cool with it and laugh at my self deprecating humor. More people behind them attempt to use the express lane as I am still getting checked out. Do I make my way down the row of customers explaining to all of these single item people that I am not really an asshole but was told to use this aisle by "Meagan" who by the way is no where in sight? Ok so my situation is more uncomfortable in the immediate time than yours but at least I had the chance to explain my actions. BUT we both feel so compelled to explain ourselves to everyone. WHY? I want the store/checkout person to do the explaining for me. They should come up with a sign to put behind me that says that I'm not the asshole they think I am. What should that sign say?
My advice, don't get bullied by Meagan. Stay in the right lane and let someone else feel the heat over on express!


BloomingtonGirl said...

You are a riot. Maybe we should leave a napkin on Megan's car...