Sunday, August 27

Get The Plank Out Your Eye, Neighbor

My block is parked full of cars on the street. It's a problem. I'm not generally part of the problem because we use our garage and driveway to fit our four cars. I don't like that it's a problem, but I don't tend to say too much, probably because saying too much leads to interactions like the following:

My daughter parked on the street across from our house because my wife was gone and the wife's car gets the garage. I told my daughter to park there for the hour or so it might take for my wife to get home. There are no parking restrictions on our block, and we generally get all the cars in the driveway by bedtime. Anyhow, the neighbor, who I have seen all of five times since I've moved here six years ago, comes out while I'm adding something to the trunk of the car. "You're not planning on parking that car here," (or something to that effect) says my neighbor. "No, my daughter just parked here until my wife comes home with the car," I returned.

That's ok so far. Just a neighborly "don't park in front of my house" interaction. Problem is, I could sense the attitude, and it was really unwarranted. We never park in front of this lady's house. And if we did, it would be quite legal. However, what I knew was illegal (and I never reported) was her broken-down Nissan Juke that sat right there on the street for at least six months.

"I just didn't want it to be one of those cars that sits out in front of my house," she returned, probably thinking I'd agree and move on. But I really couldn't, because she was busting my chops for the one and only time I've parked in front of her house on a public street, when she'd left a car that needed to eventually get towed away sit there in the way of everyone on the block for so long. So I dunked on her with, "It's not like that Nissan Juke that sat there for six months."

"Excuse me!" she said, probably in a bit of disbelief that I knew her car had rotted there for so long. Then she went on about trying to have a nice conversation and that was her car and yada yada. But the fact is that, even if it was her car, if it doesn't move for half a year, it's parked illegally. Realistically, if it doesn't move for a week, that's illegal. Also, she definitely wasn't trying to have a nice conversation, and I learned from another neighbor that she's been leaving notes on people's cars for years who dare to park in front of her house.

So I made the neighbor mad by calling her out, but I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything wrong. Sure, I should have just complained about all the other people on the block parking on the street. Or I could have played dumb and suggested some other neighbor Juked her house for six months. Or I could have just let her grumpy-ass win and moved my car immediately. But she doesn't really deserve that kind of victory.

Because I pay attention, I was able to Dikembe Mutombo her attempted dunk, wag my finger at her, and then tomahawk dunk on her sorry ass. But I know that feels really salty when that happens, so I have to be careful to not get honey poured on any of my vehicles parked in front of her house on public property. And guns, of course.

I'd really like to smooth things over at this point, mostly because I smacked her down so bad. Except I forgot to mention I knew her broken-down Juke was, in fact, broken. In which case she'll (in her own reality) possibly think I was just ripping on her for parking her car there daily. I mean, I guess even working Nissan Jukes are broken down most of the time, but this one definitely did not move for months. She knows that, but her not knowing that I know it might complicate my clear victory. And again, I don't really need a victory. I'd rather have a friendly neighbor, but she didn't seem to want that.

Really, this is all just nonsense. 1st world problems and all. But now there's a grudge, and when I see her again in a year or so, I won't wave or smile or anything, which makes me almost sad.

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