In most ways, JP and I are in love with our new home. Compared to the old place, it’s a palace. It’s small, but very well laid-out and the lighting is phenomenal. It’s so pretty and so peaceful. There is no one above us stomping around and yelling and no one below us, so we don’t have to worry about stomping on them. We’re in an end unit, so we only have one (very sweet) neighbor directly connected to our unit, and she is almost never home.

But there is one problem. Across the parking lot from our unit, lies the unit we’ve dubbed “the nursing home”, and in it resides the old biddies. Much of their behavior is nothing more than a slight annoyance. They are nosy. They are eager to regale us with the condo association rules, and even more vigilant about watching for the slightest infraction. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But one of the old biddies (who is surprisingly spry for someone who was born during prohibition) has crossed the line. Our feud with her began simply enough. In the first week we were here, we were asked three times to move our car. Not because it was parked illegally, but because we were in a spot that someone else wanted. Let me clarify: in our condo association, there are no assigned spots. And there is a plethora of parking. Parking unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Atlanta. Who knew there could be so much parking?! It is, sadly, one of the things were most excited about when we moved here. In our old place we had to park on the street, often a half mile away from our house, leaving our poor car vulnerable to nocturnal (probably drunken) hit-and-runs. But this new house…oh the parking. So much of it.

And that’s why, the first two times, we agreed to move. Because really, there is SO much parking that we were still close to our unit and did it really matter which spot we were in? Besides, one of the women who asked us to move was really sweet and 84-years-old and had just had hip surgery. Come on. I’m not heartless.

But then it started to get ridiculous. It seemed that no matter where we parked, someone else had “claimed” that spot. Including the spot DIRECTLY in front of our unit. After finding a terse note on our car demanding we refrain from parking in that particular spot, I’d had enough. I went to the condo association office and clarified that parking was on a first-come, first-serve basis. They sent out a memo to all residents reminding them of this rule and specifically informed me to ignore any more requests to move my car or reserve a spot.

So we carried on parking where we liked, much to the obvious dismay of a few of the biddies. After a few weeks, no one seemed to care anymore. Or so I thought. Thursday after work, I had just gotten out of the shower and was getting dressed to go out when some rang the doorbell. And rang. And rang. And rang. Six times, in rapid succession. And when I didn’t respond (because I was WET and NAKED and BUSY GETTING READY) they began POUNDING AND POUNDING on my door. At this point, I assumed (a) the house was on fire or (b) it was the cops, mistaking my house for a drug den.

Of course, it was neither of those things. It was Ms. Hatfield, pissed that we had parked “in her spot”. When I finally answered the door, she yelled at me for being inconsiderate and rude and told me that she had been parking in that spot for nine years and her “car is used to it” and therefore she cannot park even one spot over because she just doesn’t want to and I needed to move my car right that second. I informed her — calmly at first — that I was leaving in fifteen minutes, as soon as I dried my sopping wet hair, and she was welcome to the spot at that time. That obviously wasn’t good enough and she came unhinged, lecturing me about the fact that I am “the new kid on the block” and I need to be respectful and courteous. I told her that she had no right to tell me where to park, that the condo association had specifically told me not to honor requests to reserve parking spaces or move my car, and that she was the one being discourteous by stomping over to a perfect strangers home and ringing the bell incessantly and then pounding on the door. Her response? “Well, you should have answered it sooner!” My response? Shaking my we hair in her face and screaming, “I WAS IN THE SHOWER!” before slamming the door in her face.

Not exactly my finest moment, but at least I didn’t punch her.

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