I have realized lately that the older I get, the less tolerance I have for people. In general, really. This tops my list of Things To Work On In Order To Be A Better Person, but I'm sort of stuck with it right now.
This attitude shines when it comes to my apartment complex. Put a person with no tolerance in a building with 100 other people, make her share parking spaces, washing machines, and mailbox areas, make her follow "rules" about where she lives, and she'll be a hard core bitch. You can count on it.
Honestly, I'm a nice person. I mean, I try to be. I hate conflict, which is why I can't seem to ever finish a good short story. In order to avoid conflict, I go to great lengths to change my mind about things, or alter my situation so that no one around me will be upset. This has been working rather well with my friends, but with strangers? I turn in to this conflict-lovin' lady.
Our apartment complex has underground parking, which I'm grateful for, and it's a commodity in Los Angeles. My roommate and I share tandem spaces, which can be annoying, but it beats the alternative of having no parking at all. If she's behind me, I'll move her car to get mine out and then I'll re-park hers... she does me the same favor. It's no big deal.
Recently, we got new parking neighbors. A couple - a guy who drives a late 90s mustang, and a girl who drives a white Dodge Durango roughly the size of a yacht. These underground parking spaces are not large. Their first night in the building, they parked that white beast RIGHT ON THE EDGE OF THE YELLOW LINE separating her space from ours. I ran into her in the parking garage and explained to her that we can't get in our cars if she parks like that. Things have been okay since then, besides my total intolerance for SUVs.
This morning, I had to move my roommate's car. In order to do that, I have to back the car out of the space and park it somewhere in the garage. I park it out of the way of most cars... even though it's only going to be there for 45 seconds. I park the car and begin heading back to my car. Well, Dodge Durango girl is leaving, and she zooms out of her space in reverse and doesn't look like she's going to stop before she runs into my roommate's car. After all, my roommate's Honda CRV is dwarfed by the Durango... maybe she didn't see it at first. She stopped, and then had to do a 60 point turn to get her "car" out of the garage. She rolls down her passenger side window and mumbles something in her tiny straight girl voice. I walk over to get a better listen.
"Is there a reason you're parked there, because it's really hard for me to get out," she whines in a chiding voice.
"Yes, I have to move my car."
I walk away as she whines something else.
A few things: She had PLENTY OF ROOM. If a girl that size is going to drive a car that large, she needs to be able to have some sense of depth, and some sense of how big her car is. Secondly, does she not know she looks like an asshat driving a car like that?
And most importantly: I will NOT alter MY life in order for YOU to drive a gas-guzzling Sport Utility Vehicle that you don't even NEED, because you live in a one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood with your BOYFRIEND. Maybe if you had bought a more efficient car, you could afford a house in Los Angeles. If you want to drive a car like that, go ahead. But I'll be DAMNED if you're getting any special treatment from me beyond looks of disgust at how ignorant you must be to be driving a car like that unless you have a brood of kids and sporting equipment (and even then... it's gotta be upwards of $150 to fill up that tank!). YOU picked that car, tiny woman... not me. YOU decided to move into this building, even though you knew the parking situation.
And BESIDES, I was totally here first.