Dear Person Who Left the Helpful Tip on a Napkin Under My Windshield Wiper,
First, I am nothing if not fair and honest. I agree – I could have parked better. My parking job was not to my normal standards. My back wheel was on the line, maybe even a half an inch over. If I had known, I assure you, I would have backed up and tried again. I won’t write a public letter to you and not admit that your note wasn’t entirely unjustified. And, since you don’t know me and my nitpick-y parking jobs 99.9% of the time, I understand why you didn’t go for the more accurate “LEARN TO CHECK AND SEE IF YOU DID A GOOD PARKING JOB.” Regardless, I’m sure it made it slightly more difficult for you to back out of your space. So, on the point that I didn’t park perfectly, we are in agreement.
We are also in agreement about how delicious Chick-fil-A is. That was where the napkin on which you composed your corrective prose was written was from. I like to get the number 5 with a sweet tea. That’s two things we can agree on – Chik-fil-A is yummy and I could have parked better.
I see that on both sides, you struggled to make your pen work. I must admit, the thought of you, fuming, standing over my car, napkin on my hood, swirling your pen angrily, trying to get it to do your bidding, amuses me. I’m assuming you wouldn’t risk scratching your own car angrily swirling away at a flimsy napkin. Or, maybe you did it in your car, in the driver’s seat. Maybe you accidentally honked your own horn a little. That’s even better if that was the case.
I have a couple suggestions – if this was truly a call to action, you should have left the contact information to a local parking school (do those exist?). Or, maybe a nice drawing demonstrating the proper way to park, although I do understand that that was probably impossible considering your ink flow problems. “LEARN TO PARK” is a request, but if you really want to empower me to LEARN TO PARK, a little guidance would be appreciated. Luckily, I do know how to park, and this was just a fluke, so your helpful note could simply serve as a reminder to stay vigilant, or face the wrath of future napkin notes.
Finally, I’d like to make one more point. We were both parked in a hospital parking garage. I had just come back from a gastroenterologist appointment. So, unfortunately, if you were hoping that I would read your note and start crying from embarrassment and humiliation, dabbing my tears with the very napkin that held the stinging message, that did not happen. I already reached my daily limit in the embarrassment department at my appointment. But, that’s really not the point I’m trying to make.
The point I want to make is this: you left your note on the car of a healthy sarcastic blogger who parked bad because she was panicked because she was late (also something I rarely do), but it could have been different. You could have left your note on the car of someone who had just found out they had cancer. You could have left the note on the car of someone who rushed to the hospital because their loved one was in an accident. You could have left your note on the car of a couple who had just lost their baby from a miscarriage. You don’t know. And you know what? I don’t know, either. Maybe you were one of the three examples I just gave, and my parking job was the straw that broke the camel’s back. If that’s the case, I’m sorry.
However, I’d just like to say that I don’t leave notes like the one you did because of everything I mentioned in this letter. Do I drive past a double-parker and assume they are a jackass? Yes. And you know what? If they really are a jackass, they don’t give a shit about any notes pointing out their jackassery. And, if they’re not a jackass, they’re probably having a bad day. The chances that you would actually be enlightening someone who honestly doesn’t know they park bad and would be relieved to be told about it are probably less than the chances of winning the lottery.
All of that is to say: if you are the type to leave obnoxious notes for obnoxious parkers, just don’t do it at the hospital.
P.S. Just yesterday, I was lamenting my lack of blogging material, and Tom told me I needed to leave the house more. So I guess I also owe you a “thank you.” If we ever meet at a Chik-fil-A, waffle fries are on me.
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