So. I left a note under VKF 521’s windshield wiper imploring him to park more considerately. I didn’t use profanity, but neither 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. He’d never once shown his face, giving me the opportunity to confront him directly. He’d brought this ugliness on himself.
I’d had yet to admit to anyone that I’d left notes on windshields, though. The act sounded cowardly and petty, and suggested an embarrassing lack of character. But for some inexplicable reason, I felt 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” was 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,” he 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?”
“I think 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.
“Shit,” 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.”
“Huh,” I said, and scratched my head. “Where does one find a laminator?”
“Try under ‘laminator” in the phone book.”
“Thanks, wise-ass.” I sighed. “Listen, I think I’m gonna hang up. I want to go watch the sky.”
As the first snowflakes fell, I considered lamination. It was a clever idea, but was too focused on the negative. After all, 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, like “Great job, Sue!” and “Keep up the good work, Mike!” It could be a real pain in the ass. My boyfriend hadn’t thought of that.
I took a mental step back to assess the pro’s and cons of this. On the up side, notes of recognition would boost good parkers’ self-esteem. It would provide incentive for bad parkers to follow suit, uniting discordant factions of the parking community. Tempers would ease. Increasingly, smiles would replace frowns.
The arguments against the project were compelling too, though. It might require more time and energy than I had to spare. Writing the notes, proofreading them for spelling and grammar, keeping a log of people’s parking habits: it was a lot for someone who could barely keep up with her laundry. And I had to consider the overhead. After investing in the paper, magic markers and lamination, God only knew what I’d have to scratch off of my grocery list.
This was going to require some thought.