Parked in a thoughtless manner, got called out, overthought the situation severely
The driving situation is stalled (pun definitely intended). I still dislike driving, although the prospect of it doesn’t make me quite the nervous wreck it did a few months ago.
Because of my general disinclination to get behind the wheel, my the car often gets left unattended for over a week at a time. Where I live, that means it’s parked on the road.
Last week/this week I parked it outside some houses around the corner – legally parked, I should add, but in a place that s almost certailny was unofficially ‘basgsied’.
Due to a couple of social engagements being cancelled, (by me, tbf) , I didn’t touch it for 10+ days – out of sight, out of mind.
This morning I was finally struck by a combination of memory and willpower before work and popped around the corner to move the blasted thing closer to my own front door (or at least somewhere I was likely to walk past it more often).
The car was still there, happily – but it had a note, thoughtfully sealed in a sandwich bag, tucked under the wind-shield.
I genuinely hoped it was a parking ticket rather than a personal complaint – I care that much about criticism and that little about faceless punishment – but unfortunately it was a handwritten paragraph.
It said I had a permit for my own street (true), that I should use it (true), that they’d called the council and the police on me (probably not true? not very effective even if so, as I didn’t technically do anything wrong) and that this was a polite note (erm) never to park here again.
Hyper-sensitivity mode: activate!
Well, as you can imagine, this shook me right up – the ol’ rejection sensitivity kicked in and and the only way I could make myself feel better in the next couple of hours was by imagining lavish apologies and explanations. I would be so humble and heart-wrenchingly remorseful that I would make them feel guilty for telling off such a nice young lady.
I would write them handwritten cards, and buy them Amazon gift vouchers, and I would mention my mental health but make sure they knew it was an explanation not an excuse, and… and…
Luckily, by the time I got around to logging onto Amazon, a few cyber-friends on Twitter and Facebook had talked me down and I didn’t spend £80 on a weird and useless gesture.
I should, probably, still write those notes…
To make it worse…
As I picked the note up from under the wiper, a young woman pulling a buggy emerged from one of the houses. She glanced at me and I saw it out of the corner of my eye – I tried to nod resignedly but pensively at the note and not look angry (as I was in the wrong) or upset (as that would be pathetic).
God damn, though, I wish she didn’t know what I looked like.