When we find street parking in New York CIty, visitors from out of town are amazed. Our parking skills have evolved in the past 10 years to a point where we can leave our car and feel confident that: a) we are in a legal spot, b) our car will be there when we return, and c) there won’t be a ticket on the window.
Even with advanced skills, parking in the big city can still be a challenge. This morning we were looking for a parking spot before Pilates class. John was driving, as usual, and just missed an opportunity for a spot on 55th Street. A big white van got it before we did. As John pulled ahead, we noticed the car in front of the big white van was now leaving. We were feeling very pleased that the parking gods provided us with a second opportunity.
However, we were in the unfortunate position of being in front of the exiting car. By the time the exiting car passed by us, a new vehicle had arrived on the scene; a big audi started to pull into the spot behind us… into OUR spot!
We looked over our shoulders and watched as the driver of the big white van approached the big audi and explained that we were waiting for that spot. What a nice man in the big white van. Then the big audi proceeded to finish parking in our space. What a nasty man in the big audi.
What was even more astounding was the lack of nastiness in the man in my vehicle. There was no escalation of frustration into road rage that is typical in these situations, and I must say, is sometimes typical in John.
I took notice that John did not curse or gesture, he did not lower his window and shout at the nasty man, he did not put our car in park and get out to approach/confront the nasty man with a litany of injustices. John remained very calm, and eventually, we drove forward and parked at a metered spot around the corner.
I attended to the muni-meter and paid for an hour and 15 minutes of parking. When I next saw John he was out of the car with a piece of paper in his hand and a smile on his face. He had written a note to put on the big audi’s windscreen (or window as I would say).
Typically, I prefer to avoid confrontation. I was glad that in this instance John did as well, or so I thought.
Later in the day while having lunch with our friend the Princess, John described how leaving the note made him feel. He felt that by giving written notice, he addressed the situation, expressed his view of the wrong-doing, and was able to let it go. It was then I realized that John had not avoided confrontation — he wrote a new page in the old playbook.
live. enjoy. repeat.