Friday, September 14, 2012

My Encounter with an Angry Lady, an Anonymous Nice Neighbor, and the Police

Oh, good LORD.

When my son and I got back to our apartment complex tonight, there was no parking at our building (never is; in fact, it's one of only two buildings in the whole place that didn't get additional parking this year when we were sold to the "luxury" apt. management company). We parked at [Y] Building, in the lot we almost always use. What we did differently, however, was pull into the handicapped spot. I have a placard, but I've never used the spot here; I've never seen it available, frankly.

I joked to my son, "Ooh, I bet whoever uses that spot is going to be pissed. I just hope they don't pull into it before looking."

That might have been easier.

I realized later in the evening that I'd forgotten my phone in the car. What greeted me as I went to retrieve it? An angry, angry lady sitting on the steps of [Y] Building, demanding to know who I was and telling me I had no right to use her spot. Not only that, she then proceeded to tell me I should only park at [Z] Building. To my great amusement, a man's voice came out of the darkness, calling, "There IS no parking here!"

As I was standing there trying to reason with the woman, her daughter-in-law joined her. In addition to parroting her mother-in-law's words, she added a few acrobatic (but not obscene) gesticulations into the mix and asked loudly, "Who was that guy talking earlier? Is he your man?"

"," I said. I was internally debating the wisdom of telling her I don't own anyone when I saw three police officers walking toward our imbalanced little conflict. (Hey, our township doesn't get much action; what can I say?) One of the cops said the incident was called in by a man, so I was left to wonder if the call was made by my unseen not-my-man parking ally. One officer started listening to the angry lady, and I caught the eye of one of the others. "Hey," I said, "the only reason I'm here is I realized I forgot my phone in the car. I came out to get it and this lady started yelling at me."

Because a large part of angry lady's argument had been based around her belief that because she requested a handicapped spot in the lot, that handicapped spot belonged to her and only her, I asked the cop if the spot could be designated for one person only. "Not if it doesn't say so on the sign," he said. He took my name, phone number, and apartment number, and said, "Okay, you can get your phone and head back in. Have a good night." "Thanks!" I replied, and did just that.

So...anyone placing any bets on whether I'll have any damage to my car in the morning? I can't say that I can cover those bets, mind you; I might have to get a new tire or some such.

UPDATE: Car is fine!


  1. People get such a sense of entitlement, don't they? I don't use my placard unless I'm having a Really Bad Day, but I've been yelled at by people who think I look too-able bodied to park in a handicapped zone. I'm glad there was no damage to your car. That lady needs to remember to take her Prozac every day...

  2. Douglas J. BroadbentOctober 19, 2012 at 7:30 AM

    Hey Tracy, this is Douglas. We met about 2 weeks ago after the 11:15 service at BuxMont UU. I tried to email you some thoughts on your writing and other things, but it wouldn't go through. Would you mind emailing me so I can show you what I wrote? Thanks.

    1. Dude, that is so cool! I was just thinking of you today, because I was thinking about the Tao Te Ching and I remembered you talking about it.