Parking Spaces

One of the most ruthless, dangerous, deceptive and evil places is a parking lot in the Hamptons. People lose their minds. Grandmothers steal parking spots out from under the noses of susceptible families. Grown men scream at the top of their lungs at 14-year-old traffic control officers for giving them a parking ticket. I’ve personally witnessed a woman throw a cup of iced coffee at a man over a parking dispute.

It’s a nightmare.

I generally avoid these places, but sometimes, I need to get myself a parking space and I swim with the sharks like everyone else. The other day, I managed to beat another predator in the sea to a parking spot, and I’m not sure if I’m the one who did something wrong or if he was the one who did something wrong.

Let me explain. [expand]

I was in a very crowded parking lot in Bridgehampton looking for a space when I saw that a car was about to go into reverse and another vehicle in front of me had just pulled up to him. He was there first, I admit that, but only by about 10 seconds. It’s not like he was waiting there for 15 minutes as he followed the guy to his car.

Anyway, the man that was parked pulled out, and as he pulled out, he happened to be going in the direction that I was waiting at, so when he pulled out, he blocked the other guy that was taking the space, leaving the space open for me to sweep in and park.

So I did. And I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t feel bad about it. I actually felt pretty good about it, the parking gods were on my side that day and as a former valet parker in Boston, one of the most ruthless cities for parking, I felt like fair was fair.

Well, the guy that was hoping to get the spot didn’t think that so much, and completely lost his mind. He was with his wife and children, and began cursing at me at the top of his lungs. “You are a bad person you @#$!, go back to the Jersey Shore where you belong.”

I just got out of the car and didn’t say anything. What did he expect me to do? Move? No way. If he was in my shoes he would have done the exact same thing, there is no doubt in my mind. Absolutely no doubt.

But the guy couldn’t get over it. I tend to just rely on my size when I’m in a confrontation like this, and didn’t bark back at the man, and after a few more insults he drove away. And I figured it was over.

But then, later, at Starbucks, he saw me getting coffee, and he walked up to me. I sort of just stared at him like, “Are you serious?” And then he again said, “You are a @#$. Go back to the Jersey Shore.”

I felt like telling this guy that it was just a parking spot and he needed to get over it, and I also felt like telling him that I’ve never been to the Jersey Shore, but would probably love it there, and I also felt like saying a few other things. But I didn’t, because I’m not a loser that does that kind of thing and I think making scenes in public is completely ridiculous. And in short order he walked away. Now I was feeling REALLY good about getting this parking spot.

But I have to be honest, what did I do wrong? The driver left the spot open for me, not him. It’s not like I drove around the guy and then got into the spot, or blocked him on the right side, daring him to crash into me before taking the spot. And I can understand if he was there waiting, I really can, and it would have made me mad if I had lost that spot, but I would have blamed the parking gods. What did he expect me to do, wave him into the parking spot and give up my place?

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