My day began with ringing my neighbor’s doorbell at 6 am to see if they could identify the owner of the silver car which was parked across my driveway. I figured that if they did, then being awoken was a reasonable consequence. Sadly, they did not. So two households were inconvenienced by one silver car and I think I owe my neighbors apology cookies. Or maybe “thank you for being good neighbors” cookies because they offered to let me take one of their cars to drive Kiki to school, or at least to stand around and play guide while I backed my van across my lawn to make sure that I didn’t hit any of the rocks and trees. We were just beginning the process of backing my van, which I gave even odds of getting my van stuck in the snowy grass, when a different van pulled in to the cul de sac and two teenage girls hopped out. One ran into the neighbor’s house on the other side of me. The other came running to the silver car, spilling apologies.
“Oh, I’ve blocked you! I’m so sorry. I just parked here so we could carpool together in one car. We went to the temple this morning.” The apologies kept coming as she tried to unlock and unstick her frozen car door.
“It was so dark when I arrived I couldn’t even see that this was a driveway!”
I looked up at the dark sky with no hint of sunlight. I looked at the streetlamp which shines on our entire cul de sac. I looked at the tree in the corner of my yard which is completely lit with Christmas lights and illuminates my entire yard. I looked at the snowy lawn and the wet-but-clear sidewalks and driveway. I looked at the seven feet of curb in front of my house where she could have parked without blocking my driveway. All of these things were clearly visible, as was the entirely empty driveway of the house containing her friend, which easily could host three cars.
By this time she was inside her car and scrambling to drive away from her embarrassment. My neighbor turned to go back into his house, walking gingerly because he’d come outdoors in bare feet. I called to him “Thank you John, sorry I woke you up!” I pitched my voice so that the girl would hear. Embarrassment is the only consequence she is getting, I wanted to make sure that she got the full load–not out of vindictiveness (well maybe a little,) but mostly because paying attention to where you park is an important safety lesson. The girl is obviously a nice one, just young and inexperienced. I’m just glad that I did not have to leave any earlier. We got Kiki to class only a couple of minutes late and I get to proceed with my morning.