The Steely Resolve of Ladies Parking

25  August  2018

There’s a war going on out there. Innumerable skirmishes every day, never reported in the news. But, like plaque, they build up a hard coating around the area of the brain that should exude fairness and friendliness. What was a gusher of gemultlikeit is now a dried, cracked river bed of qualm and doubt. It’s led to a rise in our overall On-Edge Quotient.

To wit, a lady pulled her car behind mine, as I prepared to pull ahead and back into a parking space. I had my blinker on which was an indication of intention to take the space. By the vagaries of luck, I got there a few seconds before she did, but she didn’t go around me, conceding my rights to it. She obviously thought the space was still in play. There’s little arms-length dealing in love, war and parking spaces in New York. So I figured that when I pulled forward to back in, she’d slyly slide front first into the space…and tell me she thought I was double parked and it’s too late to leave now, she’s already in.

So as nature dictated, I dug in my heels. I sat and waited for her to go around me. But she sat, too. She honked. I sat. She honked again. Finally, lacking the patience for a protracted battle, I backed up two or three feet to her bumper and pulled into the space front first, like she, no doubt, was planning to do. It made parking more difficult, but I worked into the space. Then she pulled up to me, opened the window and asked if I couldn’t move up a couple of feet to the car in front of me. There’s enough space for another car behind you, she said. Ma’am, I said, there isn’t room for a rickshaw in that space. She drove off.

Such is the competition for parking spaces in New York. Even elderly ladies, scheming like the pickpockets in Rome…are wily and tenacious and tactical as Sun Tzu…and hard as nails. Why, sir, she’d likely say, sweet as syrup, when you pulled up, supposedly to back in, I scooted in front first, so no one else could take the space. Then, of course, she’d trot out the old canard about thinking I was double parked and she thought I pulled up to let her have the space. So to avoid the unpleasantness, (including a smirk on her face as she locked her car and walked away), I did what I had to do..

Such are the feral thoughts one needs to survive in the big city. Wouldn’t it be somewhat embarrassing to be aced out by a grandma who’d likely have dismissed my complaining by telling me curtly…too bad, sonny, this is New York, grow up. Life is all about avoidance of humiliation and keeping one’s psyche in tact.

After all, nobody’s going to smack an old lady over a parking space, are they?