Monday, April 13, 2009

The Parking-spot Thief

Just realized how ready I am to get out of Los Angeles after this experience, just a half hour ago.

I needed to mail two packages, so I went with Abe to our local post office. There are five spots there in a tiny lot, but all were taken. I pulled around behind the building, turned around to head out to look for street parking, but noticed a woman coming out of the p.o., so I decided to wait and get her spot. I gave her plenty of room to get out, turned my blinker on, and rolled down my window so I could signal to people that I was waiting for her spot. Any L.A. driver knows that if someone is waiting in a parking lot with their blinker on, that they're taking the next available spot.

The woman gets in her car and right as I see her brake lights come on, a guy in a rotor-rooter-type service truck pulls into this tiny lot and locks eyes with me. I point at the lady who is trying to pull out, and he just stares back. It's as stale-mate. No one can move. He refuses to back out of the parking lot, and he's blocked the woman in.

After realizing he's simply an a-hole who isn't going to move, I never lose my lock on his eyes, but peel out of the parking lot.

I end up having to park in the neighborhood behind the post office, walking with a heavy toddler back to get in the looooong line to mail these packages. The parking-space thief is three people ahead of me. The Tyra Banks Show is playing in the waiting area. Abe is getting more and more squirmy in my arms. I lose feeling in my left arm, the side I'm holding him on.

Parking-space-thief makes it to a window close to where we're standing in line, close enough to us that he can easily hear anything I say, and I am so mad at this point that I have this conversation with Abe, who is whining about being stuck in this line listening to Tyra Banks prattle on about nothing:

"Oh, I know, sweetie, but it's not my fault. You see that man standing right there? The one in the blue striped shirt standing at a window where we should be standing right now? Yeah, he's the impolite one who took our parking spot. I know you're feeling impatient now. I am too, but if he hadn't been so selfish as to take the spot from a woman with a toddler, then we'd be where he is right now, wouldn't we? Instead, we had to park several blocks away and walk all the way here all because that man right there was being a jerk."

I don't like the passive-aggressive person I am becoming here. Los Angeles can do that to a person though. It's time to get back to Oregon.

...and I forgot to mention the $48 parking ticket I got last week at a meter that was broken. A woman standing on the sidewalk when it happened told me when I got back to my car that she saw the parking attendant fix the meter and immediately write me a ticket. I left an angry message saying that I was refusing to pay. A few days after that, a friend here in town told me that she got a parking ticket while parked in her own driveway. No joke. She asked if she could stow away with us back to Portland.


Autumn and Dan's family said...

Oh, that sort of thing makes me so mad. That happened to me the other day in the New Seasons parking lot. As I waved and smiled to an old lady pulling out with my blinker on a young punk pulled into my spot. I was so mad. I ended up just glaring at him, but I wanted to kick him in the shin.

coffeemom said...

Every year when I go back to visit my sister, I get some sort of parking ticket along those lines and it makes me crazy mad and just want to leave. My sympathies...and aren't you glad you have Oregon to escape to? I too, am a nicer person outside of LA...I feel myself morphing back into a harder harsher one when I return. It's bizarre. Go home, quick! love M

PVZ said...

I feel like I should defend my fair city but I can't think of a good defense for that. All I will say is that for me all the good people I do know in LA make up for all the rotten parking spot stealers I don't.