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Parking Wars

I’m going to wade into some controversial waters.

Usually I try to see both sides of an issue. I do my best to be aware of my own inherent bias, to make sure I’m seeing the truth as it is, not simply as I want to see it. But this…this is a tough one.

I live in an apartment complex. Because that’s what happens when you’re 41 and still follow your dreams. I’m not saying it isn’t worth it. But I am saying expect to have roommates and lots and lots of neighbors. Since I live in an apartment complex, parking lots are not only a part of my life when I’m out and about, but also when I’m hunkered down at home.

Now when it comes to parking, there are two types of people. There are those who pull the front of their car into the front of the space like normal humans, and there are those who back into the space like aliens from another planet.

“But Davey, there are much bigger problems in the world!”

Trust me. I am aware. I’m about to go get the results of a PET scan for crying out loud. But in addition the major catastrophes of life, there are the minor annoyances as well, and they deserve the full brunt of our anger too! If parents can fight over little league baseball games, I can be passive aggressively enraged at people who back into spaces.

Now I’m not going to blast a subset of the population without giving some reasons. So here they are:

Number 1. It makes me wait.

I once heard it said that if you pray for patience, expect some lines. Well I must have prayed for patience because almost every time I pull into my apartment complex I’m made to wait behind a car who is backing into a space.

It’s always a surprise. We’re just driving along and all of a sudden they stop in the middle of the road and start backing up. Was I supposed to read their mind? “Oh of course, you’re stopping in the middle of the road to pull into the parking spot THAT YOU JUST PASSED.” It’s hard enough texting and driving at the same time without having people stopping and backing up in front of you!

Then I have to sit there and wait for them to back into the spot. To stick their finger in the air to get the direction of the wind so the angle is just right to back their car between the lines.

And if you want to see my blood pressure go from normal to boiling, let them not pull in right the first time. I’m popping Lipitor as they pull out to back back in, making me wait in the middle of the road even longer.

Number 2. People make weird faces when they back up.

Ever watched someone back into something? They always make weird faces when they do it. Whether they stick their head out of the window, use the rear view mirror, or watch the camera like they’re one of the Rockefellers, their faces seem to suggest they think they’re doing something important. It’s like they’re putting in contact lenses. If they had simply pulled into the space, they could have saved their backing up face for when they’re pulling out into oncoming traffic like the rest of us.

Number 3. It’s braggadocios

There’s something a little show-offy about backing into a space. They’re like, “Look at me! I took Geometry in high school! I understand angles!”

Every time I walk by a car that’s backed into a space, I imagine how self satisfied they were about their incredible parking skills. I imagine them walking into their apartment, feeling all good about themselves. And if there’s one thing I hate more than people backing into spaces, it’s people feeling good about themselves.

I imagine they’re the type of people who used to do their homework first thing when they got home on Fridays, so it wouldn’t be hanging over their head for the weekend. They’re probably the kind of people who fill up with gas when they’re at a quarter of a tank. I bet their glove compartments are super fucking organized. I want to break into their cars and just spill a bunch of crumbs everywhere. Pour a little coffee in their cup holder. Shove a bunch of fast food napkins into their perfect little consoles.

“Ohhh look at me! I pay my taxes at the first of the year! I change my oil every three thousand miles! My check engine light has never once turned on! And tomorrow morning when I’m ready for work I’m just gonna pull right out and start my day in a positive way!”


I'd love to know which side of the parking fence you’re on.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, on Thursday, I will be discussing this with my therapist.

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