Emotional Whiplash

My biggest pet peeve of the winter is when people put their CRAP in the street to save "their" spots. I LOATHE these people.


Shannon feels the same way (well, not exactly, he doesn't loathe the people, he just hates it when they put stuff out on the street. SO UNNEIGHBORLY!!!!)

This looks a LOT like the next block down from us, where I counted 6 spots saved with crap like this. Only two of those spots had actually been shovelled out.

This is one of the thousands of reasons our marriage works so well. It's, like, reason #2 between neither of us being a right-wing Republican and our shared love of walking up to 6 miles each way just for a really good cupcake. That's not to say we won't travel further for a really good cupcake, but if the a trip over 12 miles round trip, a second form of transport will be required to make up the difference. Like a train, or a bus, or (very rarely) a cab; or maybe in this weather, a sled pulled by Maine Coons dressed as reindeer!

Since moving in to our current abode, we have never had a problem on our block with people putting their garbage on the street to save themselves a spot. Why? Because Shannon shovels most of the block, both sides of the street (we live on a one-way). He's been out there 5 days so far this week, shoveling for up to 2&1/2 hours at a time. So when I pulled up yesterday to see a freaking CHAIR in a spot DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF OUR BUILDING,

it was all I could do not to fling it through the front window of the neighbor I thought it belonged to. I. Was. LIVID. I mean, there were PLENTY of places for me to park in, don't get me wrong. It's not like I was being put out or anything. Besides, I have a shovel in my trunk so if it happened that all the shoveled spots had been taken, I'da shoveled myself a new one.

It was the principle. Shannon shoveled that spot and about 20 others. I helped briefly, and 3 or 4 others shoveled themselves out, but the majority of our block - including that spot the chair was so smugly squatting in - had been shoveled out by Shannon.

Which brings me to the chair. Some ABSOLUTE TOTAL SELFISH JERKASS BASTARD put a chair in one of the spots he'd shoveled out!

OMG! The NERVE! Then: the RAGE. I was shaking with it, I kid you not. I parked and forced myself to walk around the chair, thinking that if I moved it and someone else parked there, that jerk might just key their car or worse.

There has been quite a bit of vandalism and violence over street parking spaces in the winter in Chicago, even the rare shooting or shovel-to-the-head bashing. I did NOT want to be the reason some innocent commuter had their tires slashed. So I left the chair and stormed upstairs, GLARING at the door of the neighbor who I knew, I JUST KNEW, put that chair there.

(I was sore tempted to confront him, but what good would it do? "Hi, my name's Jo and I live upstairs? Maybe you've seen my husband shovelling for the better part of 5 days? Yeah, that's him! Oh, no! Your Guitar Hero playing isn't too loud...No I didn't even know you HAD a dog! Hey, cool boots! Aren't Keen's the BEST?? Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I think you're a total asshole for putting that chair out there, and I hope you die a horrible death. Bye-eeee!")

I went into our apartment, kicked off my boots, and realized that Shannon was outside shoveling. I could hear the scrape of the shovel on the street way down the block, which I'd missed because of my RAGE!!! (Hell, David Bowie could have come up to me and asked for directions to my apartment, explaining he was going there to perform a private concert for me and ButterNugget who was on her way over because we're such loyal fans, and I probably would have snapped the directions at him distractedly ("Yes, YES that one! The one I'm POINTING at! Now if you'll EXCUSE me...!") then slammed the door in his face as I walked up ahead of him.)


Shannon's probably working off his own anger, I thought. I decided to go find him, see if he needed anything, then maybe bake him some cookies or something. Something without milk as an ingredient. My mood would have curdled milk.

As I walked out the door I made a little jog to the right to kick over the damned chair.

I'd show that guy how angry I was! Before I got close, however, I ran into my upstairs neighbor who was walking away from the chair. A little more sharply than I'd intended, I asked if she was the one who put it there. I wouldn't want to bury the wrong person's car in all of the snow Shannon had shovelled after all.

Had to be sure. "HELL no." she said. "I HATE it when people do that! I actually took it and THREW it onto the grass, then I put it back because I thought maybe if someone else parked there, whoever put the chair there in the first place might do something to that person's car."

I immediately decided she was going to get some of those cookies. Hmmmm...maybe chocolate chip? I then wondered if my mood would affect milk chocolate...?

She asked if I thought I knew who did it. I told her, we both glared our neighbor's darkened front window before going our separate ways.

I tracked down Shannon and asked him if he needed anything, and he asked for a bottle of water so I started storming back to get it for him. On my way back I encountered our neighbor's daughter from across the hall. She was wearing a short-sleeved dress and ballet slippers - not very appropriate attire for a subzero evening! She had a message for me that couldn't wait for her to throw on a coat:

"That lady threw the chair we put out for you! I thought she was going to take your spot! We saved that spot for YOU!" Meanwhile, her grandmother threw open the window and called for me to "MOVE YOUR CAR BEFORE SHE COMES BACK! That's YOUR space!"

Apparently, this family had saved the spot for us, because Shannon had shovelled them out during the heaviest part of the snow. Their dog was sick and they were worried about him, so they wanted to be ready to go if they had to book it to the vet, and they were really grateful. I didn't move my car, but I did move the chair.

Guess who ELSE is getting cookies?

I think I owe some to the neighbor I'd blamed for the chair, too. He won't have any idea why, but that's a good thing.

Current Status: Happily Eating Humble Pie. With a big glass of fresh milk.


Shannon said...

I like the picture of the same chair, over and over. Kinda shows the state of your mind.

I approve, of course, that you obsessed over something like this.

I approve even more that your anger was completely misplaced. This makes me laugh a big, full belly laugh. What? Didn't you learn anything from all this? Stop glaring.

Shannon said...

Oh, and in the interests of veracity, I feel compelled to point out that at least 3 people shoveled out their cars on our block (besides us, of course). Might have even been 4.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

Not the 15 minutes I was out! (o; I am glad to hear it, though. Let me know who they are and they will get cookies, too.

I've changed this entry to reflect that whole veracity thing.

Rev Transit said...

You know, I bet it's legal to steal all the furniture that's put out to save spaces. Seriously. It's like snow-season trash picking. The chairs are in the public way and therefore "refuse". That'd be my guess, anyway.

Of course, it might get you shot trying to snatch up that crap, but you'd die completely in the clear legally.

Personally, I think y'all are completely nuts about this issue, but it's a free country (saved just in the nick of time from police-state status) and obsessive behavior is damned amusing IMO.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

It's just that there's nothing more frustrating to me than driving around looking for a space and seeing loads of crap but no cars in empty spaces along the curb - MOST of which aren't even shoveled, just claimed by selfish, self important, lazy jerks with extra crap in their garage that they can finally put to some use.

They leave this crap out, incidentally, until July.

And then there's the little naggy bit of my brain that KNOWS that the ONE TIME I trash the garbage sitting in one of these spots, that that garbage will have been placed there by some little old lady with a bum hip who is TERRIFIED of driving in the snow, but she just had to visit her husband in the hospital...

Then there's the other niggly bit of my brain that says "SHE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A CAB!!!" and wants to proceed with the trash trashing.

Shannon said...

I freely admit that I'm nuts about the subject. You're absolutely right about that. But I have my reasons, of course - I dislike seeing the ugly side of humanity (and nothing seems to bring out the ugly like inconvenience) and, since I kinda like shoveling anyway (and certainly like an excuse to be outside), clearing a bunch of spots seems like a good thing to do. And, yes, I do always make sure to break through the snowbanks on the sidewalks so pedestrians have an easier time walking, too.

PS - I'm sorry (truly) you had to come back today of all days.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

I dislike seeing the ugly side of "humanity (and nothing seems to bring out the ugly like inconvenience) "

Street crap brings out the ugly side in me, ironically....