So. I left a note under VKF 521’s windshield wiper imploring him to park more considerately. I didn’t use profanity, but nor did I leave a smiley face or a cheery “Thanks so much!” at the bottom. I was through with VKF’s nonsense, and if my large, bold print offended him, I refused to care. Having never given me the chance to confront him directly, he’d brought this ugliness on himself.
I had yet to admit to anyone that I’d left notes on windshields, though. The act sounded cowardly and petty, reflecting an embarrassing lack of character. But for some reason, I had a sudden need to confess.
“I. . . uh. . . just did something,” I told my boyfriend over the phone.
“Oh? What did you do?,” the implicit “now” voluble to my ear.
“Well, that asshole VKF was taking up two spots. Again.” I paused. “So I left him a note.”
“Really.” My boyfriend laughed. “Did anyone see you?”
“Are you kidding? I gave myself whiplash making sure the coast was clear.”
“Because,” my boyfriend continued, “if this becomes a habit, you’ll have to invest in a wardrobe of heavy black sweatsuits.”
“Fuck you,” I said. “And FYI, I’m already on it.”
“Of course you are.” I heard him roll his eyes. “So where did you leave the note?”
“Under his windshield wiper. Why?”
“It’s supposed to snow tonight.”
“They say it’s going to snow.”
I turned toward the window. The steel gray sky portended near-certain precipitation.
“Fuck,” I said. “My note will never survive the snow.”
“You know what you should do?” my boyfriend asked. “You should write up a bunch of notes like VKF’s and have them laminated.”
I laughed. “Not a bad thought,” I said. Then, “Listen, I think I’m gonna hang up. I want to go watch the sky.”
As the first snowflakes fell, I considered lamination. A clever idea, but it smacked of negativity. There were a handful of courteous parkers in the neighborhood. To keep things balanced, I’d have to write up a second set of cards lauding their consideration. “Swell job, Mary!” “Keep up the good work, Stan!” and “Mike, your parking skills rock!”
On the up side, notes of recognition would boost good parkers’ self-esteem. Bad parkers would learn from their example, uniting discordant factions of the parking community. Tempers would ease, good-will would prevail. Smiles would replace frowns.
On the down side, it would be a real pain in the ass. Writing the notes, proofreading them for spelling and grammar, keeping a log of people’s parking habits: It was a lot to ask of someone who could barely keep up with her laundry.
This was going to require some thought.