Bad days

Don't pass 'em on

It was the middle of a sunny afternoon when my boyfriend came home, looking upset. Worried, I walked over to meet him.

“Someone left this on your car.”

He handed me a pale yellow sticky note, and my questioning concern changed into confusion and surprise.

In skinny, blue ink, someone had scrawled: Nice parking job :)

“Hah?” I stared dumbly at the unkind compliment.

“I hate it when people do things like this.”

“Did I park badly?” I mused, calm on the outside while fantasies of tracking down this anonymous coward ignited in my mind’s theater.

My boyfriend explained that there was some space in front of my car that made it look like I was taking up two car spaces on the street. In reality, someone with a smaller car size who had parked in front of me had left for the day, as people do, making me look like a jerk. And somebody else had decided to give me a piece of their mind for it. Luckily, they’d left their disgruntlement at that, and my car hadn’t been keyed.

I continued my outward role as an understanding high grounder even as my inner self prepared for war. “They’re probably having a bad day.”

Tossing the missive in the trash, I went about the rest of my day, seemingly dismissing the incident. Truthfully, my pettiness continued to meet my neighbor’s for hours after. It wanted revenge. I considered sharing a photo of the note I’d received on NextDoor and asking my neighbor to talk to me directly. Fist to face.

Yeah, I can’t imagine me actually punching somebody, either.

But it felt good to envision sweet revenge. And that was the point. Before I could let the slight go, I needed to feel my anger, and all the revenge fantasies that accompanied it, first. Then I could laugh at the ridiculous solutions offered by my imagination and decide not to let some stranger pass their bad day on to me.

It’s been a year since this moment, so I’m still holding onto it in some way, clearly. But with this post I fully relinquish any ill will. Because I know I park quite nicely.