Updated: 5 days ago
So, this blog post is going a bit off topic. Though - maybe not.
I just need to rant a bit. Vent. Get things off my chest.
Subject: Parking Spaces in my Apartment Complex.
Now, I think this is a touchy matter for me because I haven't had to deal with a parking space, so to speak, since 2006. So that's about 15 years. I moved into my house in Brookwood, AL in July of 2006, which had a lovely 2-car garage. I then moved back to NJ in September 2009, and always had the nice parking spot in front of our house.
When Jonathan and I moved to this apartment in February 2019, the apartment to the left of us was vacant. There was a family to the right of us, who used one of the handicap spots in front of their apartment and another across the lot, where I would assume visitors should park.
Now, I have to admit. I had my parent's Envoy and it occupied the same spot for almost a year and a half. Maybe what I'm going through is payback for that egregious act on my part. However, we are allowed two vehicles per household and in my opinion, you can opt to park one close to your apartment and the other on the side for visitors, which I did with the Envoy. No harm no foul.
Also, when we first moved in, hardly anyone parked on the visitor side, save the folks next door and the small family in front of that apartment. That was it.
So, for the first 5 months ago, I parked directly in front of my apartment. What I believe I should rightly be able to do. I fought a bit sometimes with the family in front of my apartment who would sometimes take the space and it would tick me off, but 9 out of 10 times, I got the space.
The family to the right of me moved out and for a few months even more spaces were available. It was wonderful!
Then in July 2019, a young family moved next door. Gal and Guy - young - and her 3 year old daughter. I thought they were married but eventually learned they were not (as of the date of this post, he has moved out).
They had two cars and to my horror, they decided that they could park in both spaces in front of our apartment - pretty much knocking me out of my space. I was furious.
There was no fighting it - and soon I got the job in Hoboken and the long commute pretty much x-nayed me ever getting that spot in front of my apartment again, as I tended to get home way after they did.
So, to ensure (I thought) a dedicated space for myself, I started to park on the visitors side, next to the Envoy and directly across from my apartment. I have come to adore and I suppose, YES, covet this space. In fact, I supposed it's almost an obsession.
I've come to the conclusion that it has a lot to do with all the tumult over these past few years and not having a lot of certainty about anything - which is life, right - but because things have been so downright up and down for me, whatever seems consistent and unchanging for me brings so much peace and joy. This parking spot, truly is a highlight of my life - or it was.
Generally, because hardly anyone parked on that side, I got the space ALL THE TIME. It was wonderful. Even with the commute. Whatever time I came home, the spot was available to me.
And then the pandemic.
More people were home - including the town home community adjacent to ours. When they started adding cars to their families, two families in particular, decided they wanted to start parking their cars in our lot.
So, more competition for the space I loved. More and more I would come home to find one of their cars in my space.
And then there was the family who typically parked on that side. The ones on the opposite side of the family that moved out. Because the Town home folks started taking their spots, they decided to start taking mine. The daughter eventually married and moved out, but every now and then I have a bit of a headache with the dad and mom who park their red car in my spot and because they are retired and go nowhere, will stay in the spot for days! Infuriating.
Sometimes, I actually feel that they park there on purpose when they see I've gotten the space too much. It didn't make sense to me for them to take that space when others with a shorter walking distance to their apartment were available. It felt like a personal attack - it feels like a personal attack.
I'm writing today because once again, I'm feeling that another family has decided to teach me a lesson.
There's this young mom with a little girl and either her brother or maybe an older son who moved in around autumn.
Like the family with the red car (and their daughter and new husband who from time to time also park in my space when they visit - again, I think just to piss me off), this new fam has a tendency to simply park their car ANYWHERE. Which would be cool if they did it for a few hours or maybe overnight and had somewhere to go every day to free the parking space up.
No, that is not the case. They will park the car in a spot for days on end - days and days. It's sickening.
I generally leave every day - especially during the school year to take Jonathan to school and to pick him up. During the pandemic, yeah, I generally was home - so was everyone else. However, I don't hog the space. Usually, on a daily basis, someone has the opportunity to take it. By the grace of God, He generally does leave it open for me. As the pandemic has loosened up, and folks have moved, I find that there are now a lot more spaces available, which makes my ability to get my spot even better.
So, today, when I left to pick up Jonathan, I felt strangely that when I got home, that blue car would be in my spot. I had left and they were not home. Rare as hell and scary as hell - cause that would mean they could indeed return while I was away and get the spot.
Lo and behold, I return home and guess who is in the spot?
I'm sick at heart cause I have no idea when they will ever move their car and now Jonathan is home and I have no real reason to move my car for the next couple of days.
It's going to rain over the next few days and I want my car in my spot when it rains.
I want to park my car and see my beautiful decorated door and my gorgeous flowers from the car window. I want to do the same when I get in my car to leave.
I want to look out my windows or sit on my balcony and see my car in its spot.
It might be days before that happens again. And now I fear that I'll be battling with this family until I finally can get the hell out of here!
I say that because they had about 6 other spots - literally 4 right in front of my apartment they could have chosen. When I left, my spot was the only one left in a group of 7 cars packed together on the visitors side.
They parked in my spot.
That is some egregious let's see how much we can piss her off who does she think she is always getting the same spot or (maybe in their minds) always HOGGING the same spot ISH!
Well you know what, I'm Kim Qunett Ivey, and I do my best to respect and honor my neighbor's preferences for where they want to park. I also try my best to keep a clean and pleasant apartment and not make a whole lot of noise. I AM A GOOD NEIGHBOR.
But my GOD how I don't like or love my neighbors very much today.
I truly believe that if you notice someone parks in a specific space that must mean they prefer that space so maybe you should be a good neighbor and honor that preference. I do my best to observe where neighbors park so that I don't act foolishly and park in their space.
Yes, there is no assigned parking but to me it's an act of respect and deep regard. Why can't others see it that way!?
Father, please forgive me this disdain and this anger and this upset and really this sadness. I just want to get the spot everyday without fail - particularly when it comes to my neighbors. I want them to honor the fact that I love that spot and leave it open for me as I would for them. If you're a visitor and you park there, no foul. You have no idea that it's what I prefer. However, if you live here and day in and day out you see that I prefer to park there - that I even run out to put my car in the space when I visitor who has occupied it leaves (or sometimes one of my "inconsiderate" neighbors) please do me the kindness of STAYING OUT OF THE SPACE!! Especially when there are so many others you can choose from that are even better for your household! Don't try to hurt my feelings and teach me a lesson. It doesn't work. I'm hurt and upset and I'm not going to change. This spot is peace for me and yes, Jesus is my peace, it shouldn't be a parking spot. It shouldn't. God I know if shouldn't.
Father help me. I can't seem to get free of the pain that I experience when I don't get this spot. I don't want to hate my neighbors - curse them like I tend to do when I come home and see one of them in my spot. It's not right and it's not loving. I want you to protect the spot for me but I know that's unreasonable. Help me. Please help me.
After all, I just finished "The Happiest Man in the World" - a memoir written by a 100 year old man who survived the atrocities of the Holocaust. He lost pretty much his whole family. He witnessed absolute evil and horror and had horrendous acts of violence done to himself. He barely survived, coming out of it physically scarred, sick with cholera AND typhoid. However, even in the worst of conditions he managed to honor his neighbors and he labored with excellence, even in his weakness, and he spoke of other kindnesses he witnessed in the lives of fellow prisoners and those in the community who tried to help.
And I'm sad about a parking space.
Yes, I am. I know it's silly. However, I remember reading a quote about not comparing your pain to someone else's - no matter how severe that other person's pain might be. Pain is pain -regardless of the cause. It still hurts.
So this hurts. However, I need You Lord to give me the heart and disposition of sweet Ed, the Holocaust survivor, who endeavored to always smile and to enjoy each day to the fullest. He's still here, with his mind sharp as a tack, a best-selling author and coveted public speaker - and he's 100 years old!
Father help me to truly be a good neighbor, parking space or not.
However, I'd prefer having the space...