Strictly speaking, that’s not true. But I’m blessed with the ability to derive amusement (usually) at my blunders and subsequent [mis]adventures, so we’re calling this funny. I mean, I almost laughed about it. Anyway, here’s what happened and what I’ve learned.
Let’s start with the rules:
- Never, ever make judgement calls at the end of a long, stressful day when you’re tired and hungry. EVER.
- This applies doubly when you have to start parking your car in a new spot because of construction and you’re not entirely sure which spot you’re supposed to use now.
- Be aware that things that seem self-evident to your management company—such as where spot 6 is located—may not be particularly evident to you. Especially when there are two spots labeled 6.
I didn’t know the rules. My building manager called and told me I had to park in a new spot starting today because of construction that would be starting on the back patios in my building. “Spot 6,” she said, “Just a up the alley. Closer to the end of the buildings.” In a classic Shanna blunder, I assumed by her casual tone that it would be obvious which spot was 6. So last night, at the end of a long day that involved a lot of noise from the construction crew that made Spur irritatingly anxious, a lot of stress involving packing up approximately 200ish books (not joking) and dressing my shelves in preparation for putting my condo on the market, and not nearly enough food, I thought to myself, you know, I ought to just move my car tonight and not have to worry about it tomorrow. I was concerned that they would show up ready to work at 8, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be up early enough to move my car by then.
So I went out into the alley where I park and I scoped the place out. I looked at the spots on the east side—where my group of condos is—and didn’t see numbers really, so I wasn’t sure where the spot was. I went “up” the alley from my usual spot and didn’t see an obvious spot 6 waiting for me. In fact, all of the spots on my side were filled with cars. So I looked around. On the west side of the alley was a clearly marked, empty spot 6. I had always assumed the west-side spots were owned by the buildings on the west. But my weary, food-deprived brain thought, Oh well. Guess that’s mine.
I want to believe that at another time I wouldn’t have made the same decision. If I had, say, eaten a hamburger [or anything] for dinner, or if I had not spent my day irritated at my pansy of a dog and in full-blown, type-A, perfectionist mode, perhaps I would have been able to access those places where Logic and Reason were napping. Alas.
So when I finally quit working on packing and arranging for the day and settled into a few issues of Captain America and The Avengers, it didn’t totally shock me to hear the tow truck in the alley. I watched the Corolla drag away for a second, shrugged my shoulders, and went back to the comic books. I didn’t have enough energy to get upset. Really, I thought that living in Boston for two years and only being towed once is actually a pretty good record.It’s all part of the Boston experience, I told myself. Once I knew where it had been taken, thanks to an automated email from the City of Boston, I made A Plan for getting it back. A Plan that involved lunch because, clearly, I can’t be trusted on an empty stomach.
I woke up in a good enough mood and felt genuinely amused at my mistake. First stop was Chipotle, and as soon as I sat down to eat, dirt got into both of my contacts. I sat there eating with tears streaming down my face and sniffling. Alone. And thought I must have looked like one pathetic loser, crying into my chicken burrito. I almost laughed out loud.
My consolation for the hour-long ride on the T to get to the car lot in Southie was starting a new book, the latest in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles, so it was just my luck to cram onto an inexplicably packed D-line—we’re talking Sox game-day packed—where instead of sitting and reading, I did my best not to topple headlong onto the little old man sitting in front of me. The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful, although I did learn a couple of things:
- The Red Line kind of feels like a luxury liner when you’re used to the Green Line.
- Southie (at least where I was) is not particularly pedestrian-friendly, unlike everywhere else I’ve been in Boston. And the surrounding towns. Come on Southie. Sidewalks, please? Crosswalks? Walk signals? These are not luxuries in this city!
- It’s important to know if the towing service is a cash-only business before you get there. So you don’t have to walk down the street and put you life at the mercy of Southie’s pedestrian dystopia to then pay a foreign ATM fee.
- Don’t call and cuss at the woman at the towing company. Just don’t do it. [I learned this through observation while I was paying, not by personal experience].
And then I drove home. It took about a third of the time it took to get there on the T. I didn’t even get lost, which is always an accomplishment when driving somewhere I’m not familiar with in Boston. I found what I assume is the right parking place. For the record, it is “down” the alley from where I usually park, both in direction (south) and altitude (the alley slopes up). But after I had been parked there for about fifteen minutes I got nervous. It would kind of give me a nervous breakdown to get towed two days in a row. I called my building manager to make sure I had the right spot, but she didn’t answer. My solution: park on the street in front of my building until I’m sure.
I’m half-way expecting to get a parking ticket [my parking permit should be good for another year, right? Right?!], but that’s a lot cheaper and easier than getting towed. The good news is that this has been a timely reminder of some of the things I am NOT going to miss about Boston.
By the way, as of right now, no construction dumpster has appeared to occupy my vacant parking spot (that’s why I had to move). Of course.