Thank You For Parking Here

8 06 2017

Lately, I’ve been having a series of parking issues. You could say my head is ahead of itself, as in, as I’m parking I’ve already parked and am onto my next task, but in reality I have not yet parked and thus end up failing to parallel properly or I land across the yellow line and need to re-do at least five times.

Last night, I come home later than usual and there’s not spot on my block. So, I park on the main street nearest me. Of course, I had gone to buy plants and groceries so I had an entire car to unload (because that’s obviously when one would need convenience the most and not get a close spot).

parkinghere

I am on my third and final trip, trying to tell myself positive things like, “hey you didn’t get your run in today so be thankful you’re getting some extra exercise,” and “look our neighbor has a pretty blooming bush, how hopeful late spring becomes,” you know, happy thoughts of that nature, etc. I remove my tote bags from my trunk (<- look at me remembering my reusable bags) when this old white dude in a maroon colored van creeps up behind me. He rolls down his passenger window, leans over and nearly inaudibly whispers, “thank you.”

It takes me a second to register what he said, then I am confused.

Is he thanking me for parking here?

Is he thanking me just because I exist?

Is he thanking me because I saved his life in some lucid dream he had the night before?

A second later I become angry.

He better not be thanking me because I’m wearing a dress and now he has a boner. He better not be thanking me because he somehow believes in some weird white male fantasy that I am wearing what I’m wearing for him.

I slam my trunk down.

This will not do.

I glare at him in a way that says, “if you do not move along in less than one second I will come after you and rip your eyeballs out of your head.”

I step in the direction of his van.

I am destruction.
I am fury.
I am woman who has had enough.
I am empowered Goddess.
I am not about to take another man’s shit.

White Old Creep lurches forward like a puppy dog that has been spanked for peeing all over the floor. If an oversized metal vehicle had the capabilities to shrug its shoulders this is what that van seems to do.

I turn and stomp back to my house. “Asshole,” I mumble under my breath.

I become conflicted.

Is it wrong to be thankful for the beauty in the world?

No.

Is it wrong to drive a creepy van and use it to creep up on a woman parked on the side of the road and whisper weird things at her?

Yeah, that’s pretty fucking weird.

Is it wrong for me to be wearing this dress?

No, I can wear whatever the fuck I want.

Is it wrong for people to be thinking in their heads, “yeah, but when you do wear short dresses, skirts, etc. that kind of lewd behavior from entitled creepy men is expected.”

Yes. Yes it is wrong to be thinking it, but it doesn’t stop people, even me from thinking it. Thinking about how I can’t even park a half a block from my house without being gawked at like some humping post. Thinking about how maybe I’m too old now to be dressing so scandalously, thinking about how dumb it is to think I’m dressing scandalously just because my dress cuts above the knee.

Wondering if I should actually feel flattered that I’m still getting cat-called. Wondering why I am wondering that when I know deep down that there are plenty of less creepy ways to flatter people, particularly strangers.

Proud of myself though, proud for getting pissed and going after him instead of retreating, smiling, acting like I’m complimented when I’m not, I’m annoyed.

I’m proud of my body.

Proud of my mind.

Proud of my ability to finally after years and years, move forward to fight instead of backing away.

Not that it’s a bad choice to back away, surviving is always a good choice. But, enough is enough already. Making that step is what I needed to do to get back in my head right. To be like, nah bro, I got this, watch me take care of me. Watch me wear what I want, walk how I want, be who I want, even park where I want–because now my head is back, which means there isn’t any parallel fear. I can back my boatcar wherever I need.