Do not assume, just ask

Beware Rude Neighbors Street SignOne of my pet peeves where I live is when I see some random car that has been parked on my assigned parking spot: I live in a complex and I own a garage next to my unit, which I use. Since I have only one car, the assigned parking slot is free, free to be highjacked by any other resident near it, generally someone with visiting or permanent extra vehicle, since each unit in the complex has only one assigned slot.

There are plenty enough visitors parkings spots, but my street is very long, and I live all the way down at the opposite end, when the visitors slots are at the beginning. No big deal, I can walk, I like walking, and I can tell my guests that they have to park far before finding my remote unit. No big deal, if it does not rain, snow, or if it’s not for a quick drop off but a long visit.

But still: I’d love to be able to tell my guests not to worry about where they can park when they come and see me, and to find my numbered spot on the way down my street: they would park there, I would see their car arrive from my window and greet them with my best welcome.

Instead, every time I have a friend come over, I find that an unknown car has been chosing  my spot to park and it annoys me, because I was not aware that it would be there, or because the driver has deliberately decided that it was okay to park there without even reaching out to me.

I went to one of those indelicate offenders the other day, to ask her not to use my spot all the time, because I had seen who she was.  She very graciously accepted my request, telling me in a not so apologetical way that she was never staying very long in that spot (which is certainly not true since every time I was passing by I could spot her car with a very distinctive licence plate), and also warned me that I should also tell some others who would use that spot when she wasn’t parked in it (ah ah! so she knew exactly that it was abused by all sorts of illegitimate drivers!).

Today I noticed a big unknown SUV that seems to have elected this parking slot to rest for the entire Memorial Day Weekend. I suppose some families came from outside and are visiting, why wouldn’t I have also visitors? I went to the windshield of that big car and taped a note stating: “Do not assume that it is okay to park in here. Please ask me before and I might say yes anyway, or no if I need to use my parking spot for myself”, and I signed.

What are your pet peeves with your neighbors? Is it more difficult to have civil relationships within the community because many assume and feel entitled? What is your take on this story? Am I overreacting?

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French blogger in the US writes on cultural differences, disabilities, religion, social media and politics.

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