My friend got engaged the other day (hurrah!), so I took the opportunity to visit her yesterday. Naturally, I decided to try and avoid the treacherous rush hour traffic (boo, hiss), but of course got stuck right in the middle of it for the entire course of the journey (moan). You can, therefore, imagine my shuddering relief to finally reach my destination. I pulled up and jumped out, happy to have survived my ordeal, and went into my friend’s house to enjoy an evening of merriment and wedding planning.
Well, it would have been the end of a perfectly wonderful evening, and I was much more relaxed and prepared to make my way home in my little car, had I not discovered a note that someone had put under my windscreen wipers that completely threw my calm into the proverbial wind.
I took the liberty of inserting the asterisks into that for you, since the writer didn’t feel that taking their anger down a peg or two was appropriate. My first instinct, upon reading this, was slight amusement. “Ok”, I thought to myself, “That’s a bit harsh.” This feeling was almost immediately replaced by guilt. Guilt, my friends, is an emotion that I am cursed to constantly suffer from, whether I am actually in the wrong or not. I frantically looked up and down the road, wondering what the hell I had done to deserve such wrath. I noticed that behind my car, there was probably only enough space for a Smart car to slip into, and at the front, I had left too much space between my car and the other parked up. Guilt increased. Guilt followed by fear. Fear that kicked guilt out of my head and frantically whispered “Get in. Drive away. Right now”. Suddenly, at half past ten at night, standing all alone in the middle of an unfamiliar street, holding threatening words in my hand, I got scared. If someone could write so viciously, surely they could act viciously, too?
I crumpled the note, stuffed it in my pocket and hurriedly packed myself into my little car. Guilt returned. My poor car. I felt sorry for my car; ashamed that I seemingly couldn’t park to someone’s satisfaction, and that it had taken the hit for me. I was feeling guilty for leaving my car out on the road. I wished I could have brought it in, like a cat. As you can see, readers, my mind was starting to get a tad frazzled, slightly irrational, and a little cloudy.
What better way to clear your head than to go for a drive? Luckily for me, I had no other option! (hurrah!?) I had to take a moment to coax myself out of my tension, with Fear helpfully reminding me that I should probably, you know, get out of there before the culprit of the note, you know, kicks my windows through. I nervously started the car, hesitantly pulled out, and carefully drove off. I basically made my car creep out of there on tiptoes.
Once I had made it to the motorway, the quiet monotony of the streetlights pulsating past me, my car settling into the 70 speed limit (yes), Fear having gotten bored and pigged off to harass someone else, I began to reflect on the note. It was written on a large, bright pink (magenta/cerise/hot pink, you know, some version of pink that isn’t pink) sticky post-it note. This person wasn’t fucking around with the back of a receipt or anything. Oh no, I deserved post-it note treatment for my crime. Secondly, DEFINITE Sharpie pen. No worrying about whether or not the note would be misconstrued because the ink was running out, or the pencil wasn’t clear enough. Sharpies suggest purpose, and boy did this person have a purpose.
Finally, the wording. No holds back sarcasm, followed by aggressive expletives. I then realised two, no, three, very important things:
One: I can understand that this person was pissed off when, on arriving home from a day’s work, they had to park a bit further away than normal from their house. They also didn’t stop to consider that, when the culprit (me) had parked up, there was a heap of space free behind their (my) car. Really, what I am getting at is that the note is really a reflection on them, rather than on me, because:
Two: People Make Mistakes, People! I hold my hands up on this one, I admit, I should have made sure I was closer to the car in front of me. I made a mistake. I can only apologise to the note taker for being A HUMAN BEING. Seriously, how many reading this, who are drivers themselves, or just pedestrians, have seen other people on the road making mistakes? Blocking someone in at a car park? Cutting someone up on a roundabout? Leaving the handbrake off so the car rolls into the middle of the road? (I have seen that – it was hilarious). Can you yourselves honestly, hand on heart, say you’ve never accidentally made a mistake on the road? Things like this happen all the time, everyday, and I refuse to believe that the majority of people are so malicious that they would intentionally do things on the road to inconvenience, even endanger, other road users. People make mistakes, simple as. Which leads me to:
Three: Sorry, note maker, you made a mistake, too. I wasn’t a selfish c**t, I was thoughtless. I thought I had parked fine, and I’m sorry that your opinion on the matter differed to mine. But the next time you decide to channel your rage using cerise paper and a Sharpie, perhaps just take a step back and have a little think about how your words might affect the person you’re attacking from a distance. Allow for people to make mistakes, because they all do. Even you.
Now it’s The End.