Tuesday, July 29, 2008

when you park on top of me, it hurts my feelings

Until I get around to uploading the platypus picture (see comments section of previous post), please enjoy this note I found on the windshield of my car in my office parking lot last night. AK and I spent a good half hour dissecting its weird passive-aggressiveness. A couple of things you should know:

1. All the spots in our lot are really fucking small.
2. Four out of every five people who work in my building are therapists.*

La nota:

I intentionally leave lots of space so when you park between lines I won’t knock your door and vice versa. You have been parking practically on top of me with ample space on your other side—you are over the line in my driver’s side. I can’t get in unless I go through the passenger seat and crawl in that way. Thanks. :-)

AK told me someone once left her a note that said, “Learn to park, asshole.” She and I and Jamie all agreed that that’s preferable to the anonymous happy face and self-righteous “I” statements.

Anyway, I’m working on my parking skills and enjoying the fact that my blog is writing itself this week.

*Not that there’s anything wrong with therapists. If not for mine, I’d still be the kind of person who left notes in which I tried to make people think I was really nice even while telling them crappy things. But don’t you think there’s something a little therapy-speak going on here?


Laura and the family said...

It happened to me one time at the mall. I already figured it out when the "dumb" woman JUST left a note on the window of my van as my kids and I were about walking back to the van, and then she was locking her car before she went to the store. (She did not know it was my van.) I waited for a couple of minutes. Then, I left her a note, " Thank you for the note regarding the parking space. Have a nice day. (with a smiling face)" without leaving any cussing words.
I believe she would feel even more stupider for the way she behaved on my message and instead ended up getting a thank you note from me. It worked when you made the opposite and positive note. :-)

I would agree to leave a happy face at the ending of the note.

Caroline Wilkinson said...

"But don't you think there's something a little therapy-speak going on here?"

I think if you have yet to work on your own issues, then, yes, it is possible to view this note in a negative light. Sometimes it's hard to see past the hostility that we have come to expect from other people. It's especially difficult when we don't let go of the past. I intentionally have let go of past conflicts and negative expectations. Unintentionally--or maybe accidentally on purpose--I do park my b*llshit close to total strangers. :)

Quite the note you got there. Thanks for posting it.

Peter Varvel said...

Hmmm, being extremely passive-aggressive myself, I am torn, here. And also, absolutely fascinated by this post.
I used to keep an extra supply of bank deposit envelopes in the glove compartment just for this kind of communication, but I haven't left a note in years.

Hey, have you heard of:



Cheryl said...

L: I'm usually a fan of killing 'em with kindness too, but as AK recently pointed out to me, it doesn't really work on headstrong, oblivious types. They're not going to pause and think, "Wow, wish I'd taken the high road too." They'll just think, "Yep, more proof I was right."

CW: Thanks for commenting. I have to disagree, though. I don't think my inability to process my past is what's preventing me from seeing the note-writer's beautiful soul. I'm sure she/he has a fine soul, but she/he also has an asshole side, and I just want him/her to own it.

PV: Great site--thanks for the link!

Jesi said...

my friend doesn't leave notes on cars she spits on them. but you have to be a real asshole, take up two spots.

Jesi said...

oh and one time i had a bumper sticker that said, Jesus Please Save Me From Your Followers, and i got this 2 page note from this jesus hugger. i didn't even read the whole thing. now i wish i would have kept it, then i could have posted it on my blog, but this was before i even had a blog. btw, i was parked at SDSU in the faculty/staff parking garage when i got the note.

Claire said...

My fave parking note escapade I've heard is about Rick 62. No passive-aggressiveness there.

I'm still trying to get my mom to stop prefacing requests with, "Would you like to..." in favor of a direct question.

Cheryl said...

J: So I guess Jesus didn't save you from His followers in that case.

C: My dad is, in some ways, the most direct person I know, but he has this habit of trying to convince people that what they want happens to be what he wants.

Case in point this past weekend: Instead of saying, "Can you drive instead of taking the train so that you'll get here earlier? Because I'd like you to be here earlier," he went with, "Are you sure taking the train is a good use of your time? I know time is really valuable to you."

Oh well, he made me waffles when I got home, which was really valuable to me.

Cheryl said...

Claire: I choose A, ignorance. Rick rocks, but I'm so glad I don't live on his block.

Veronica said...

i think i may have found a happy, ineffective, medium. i leave notes that say, "you parked very inconsiderately". it made me feel better, anyway.

meehan said...

best parking note i ever got (i drive an old volvo station wagon): "Hey hippy pull your fucking hippy wagon up further so everyone else on the street has room park."

Ms. Q said...

I agree that sometimes short and rude is more honest and easier to take than polite and patronizing. It's because you know the "learn to fucking park" person wasn't thinking about how they are a much Bigger Person than you.

Monday club music was blasting from the building next door till midnight and I wanted to yell "knock it off!" out the window really loud.
"It works in New York City" I said. "This isn't New York City" Kim said. So I made an anonymous noise complaint to the Sheriff instead.

This leads me to think - it was a client, not a therapist that left the note.

Therapist note would read: "When you park too close to the edge of the space, I feel frustrated and angry because I have to crawl in through the passenger door of my car. Please park further to the left." That's actually what a therapist would call an "I statement".


Daughter of a Therapist

Tracy Lynn said...

I would have taken that note to every fucking office in the place. Or not. It really depends on whether I've had my coffee and if my hair behaves.

Because that's what a decade of therapy and some hard core pharmaceuticals will do for you.

Cheryl said...

V: Yeah, "ineffective" is the key word, but probably half the things any of us say in life are more for our own benefit than the alleged listener's. A little healthy delusion never hurt anyone.

M: Awesome. Hippy wagons need elbow room, man.

A: My college roommate used to call the cops on our noisy neighbors all the time, but that was mostly because she thought cops were hot. I wonder what a therapist would say about that....

TL: I wish you worked in my building.

Anonymous said...

I know someone who keeps copies of these forms in his glove box to put on the windshields of cars whose parking bothers him: