Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Last May, I moved into a new apartment complex. It’s kinda schmancy and overall, I have very little to complain about except perhaps the rent price and the dude downstairs who has a penchant for action movies and a deep, personal relationship with his surround sound. And maybe the Tacky Water People. And the Friendly Pedophile. But I digress.
When I moved in, I was given one covered parking space on the end, very close to my stairs. Score! To my right is parked a white Miata, circa 1992 or so. It’s in 1992 condition… not bad, but certainly not cherry.
The day after I moved in, while I was unloading things from my (2009) Matrix, a man in a pith helmet with the mullet flaps on the back sidles up to me with this hands clasped behind his back, like he was ice skating in a Rockwell painting.
“So you just moved in, huh?” he says.
“Yes, just yesterday,” I replied.
And then, with a weird knowing grin and the tone of someone hosting a children’s storytime, he said, “Ok, well, don’t you go dinging my car now.” (wink) “I keep a close eye on my baby,” gesturing to the Miata.
I laughed politely and ribbed him a bit back, assuming he was just trying to be cute. “It’s a deal. Wouldn’t want to mar such a classic!” Then I wished him a good day and off I went up the stairs.
A few weeks later, as I was pulling into my spot, the man was at this car and we did the neighborly “wave, smile n’ nod”. He picked up his stuff and headed back to his side of the building, but not before he leaned down as I sat in my driver’s seat and wagged his finger at me through the passenger window.
“Ah- ah- ah!” he chided and motioned toward his car. He was smiling, but still… mention it once, it’s cute… a second time, it’s a bit odd. I smiled, then quickly acted busy until he left before I got out of the car.
Several months went by and on occasion, I would see Mr. No-No (as I started calling him after the finger-wag) walking to or from his car and he’d harp on the same joke. After a while, I started becoming a bit incensed.
Before Christmas, I was out at my car, unloading the groceries and Mr. No-No strolled up and said, “Watch the paint job there, little lady!” with a joking tone. But you know, I don’t know this guy. I know nothing of him other than his penchant for safari attire and lame sense of humor. I was over his ‘ding’ obsession, so I turned to him, arms loaded with groceries:
“What exactly is it that you think I’m going to do to your car, sir? I’ve lived here for months now and we have a good three feet between our parked cars. In case you haven’t noticed, I drive a brand new car. So why, on this green earth, would I be negligent about my own paint job let alone yours?”
He kind of blinked at me, clearly not expecting me to say more that I usually had. “Well, I… uh…”
“I figure you must have had a poor parking neighbor in the past, but once — it was funny, twice — it was noted, but the tenth — it’s insulting. I appreciate your concern, but please… do not wag your finger at me again.” I smiled to take the edge off, but he looked positively vexed.
I think he’s one of those nice guys that’s a little overbearing, like someone’s crazy Uncle Ned or whatever, that people indulge way longer than they should and so he doesn’t realize he’s a pain in the ass. Someone needed to tell the man!
I’ve not seen him much since then… just in passing and both of us are clearly avoiding each other, which is just fine by me. I do wave and smile when I see him, but we don’t really exchange words anymore.
There’s also another parking lot issue I need to address with management today: there’s some motorcycle guy (parked on the other side of Mr. No-No) who leaves at 4:30am for work (I assume) and when he goes, he revs the engine SO loud that it sets off someone’s car alarm. This alone rips me of out of a dead sleep (and I’m close to the front of the building — I can only imagine what the bedrooms facing the parking lot must hear) but the car alarm sounds so similar to mine, I’m forced to get up and go check it out. I have to get out of bed, go to the door, open it, shove my hand out, push the button on my keys. If that doesn’t work, I have to get dressed, go outside in the cold in my robe and physically go look to make sure it’s not my car and test the locks. By then, I’m awake.
Then it takes another 30-60+ minutes for me to fall back to sleep, so I may as well just stay up. This happens at least 2 times a week, sometimes more. Vroom, Vroom, VRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM, HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK…. and on and on and on. I am so over it.
However, I do take solace that Mr. No-No probably has his face pressed against his bedroom window whenever this happens, making sure no one is touching his precious Miata.