Okay, so here’s the deal. You’re driving to the mall on a busy Saturday, and while you aren’t particularly in a rush, you want to find parking as soon as possible, so that you can begin your errands. You see a typical family with two kids and a stroller, and you figure, “They’re going to take forever to get settled in the car, but I’ll wait, because I’m a patient person, and it’s better than continuing to drive in circles looking for a spot.”
We’ve all been there, and thought those exact words. So you turn on your blinker (protocol for claiming a spot), and you wait for the sluggish family to get settled in their car and finally pull out of the spot. In the meantime, you see from a distance, another car from the opposite side, slow their speed and conveniently pause a few feet from the very spot you have been staking out. A competitive rush of adrenaline takes over for a split second. But you give them the benefit of the doubt, thinking that they are just letting the car out. And so you continue sipping on your vanilla latte and browsing your bestie’s latest Instagram post. — Suddenly, when the car you’ve been waiting for exits, the suspicious vehicle SWOOPS on your spot! What! How dare they?! What have I done to deserve this incredulous behavior? — Actually, scratch that. Your actual thoughts are far less elegant, and would be considered wildly inappropriate in any professional workplace. But the truth is, we’ve all been there before. Here are few potential ways to handle this situation.
1. Write an angry Facebook status.
This allows you to let off steam without confrontation, but it all depends on how you word it. You can whine about it, or you can let other sympathize with you. Avoid the needy all-caps vent-status. Other than that, don’t become the passive aggressive friend whose posts get “hidden.”
2. Key their car or slash their tires.
Damn right! …Okay, this one is not recommended, but I have to mention it because it does happen and it’s something to consider if you happen to be the person stealing someone’s spot. Other than making yourself feel a little better, you risk getting caught on security cameras or having a good samaritan jot down your license number. Besides, you’re a better person than that, right? Well, that’s for you and your therapist to decide.
3. Give a dirty look, or the finger.
You’re angry. You deserve to express yourself, and let the thief know that he or she did something unnecessarily cruel. But honestly, the most he or she will do is scoff at you, take that finger as a trophy, and put it in the glove compartment. With this action, you only continue to feed their wrongdoing, and make yourself look like an asshole too with the possibility of starting a parking lot fight. Let’s not stoop down to their level. Besides, are you a professional MMA fighter?
4. Honk obnoxiously and storm off.
This method is a popular amongst parental figures, and it is usually paired with some under-the-breath shit-talking out the window. Unfortunately, this is similar to giving the finger. While it’s not as aggressive in connotation, it still says “Hey you dickhead! You stole my spot! Rawr, I’m an angry dinosaur!” Caution: You risk being mocked.
5. Write a note.
This is one method that I’ve considered multiple times, but never seemed to have a pen and paper on hand. Note to self: Go buy pens and a sticky pads. This method assumes that you’ve kept you’re cool long enough to avoid an actual confrontation. So the intention of the note is not so much, “You suck,” but more along the lines of ”I’m better than you, have a good day.” It’s passive aggressive, like the Facebook status, but without the cry for attention and free group therapy. Stop being so cheap, therapists’ pay rent too.
6. Scream/vent to yourself (or your poor passengers) and drive away (usually recklessly).
Just let it out. If there are other people in your car, preferably not your boss or your in-laws, let the vent-fest begin! From the color of their car to their pretentious alumni license plate frame, roast em good. Add some humor in order to avoid coming off as The Hulk’s angry cousin. Through this method, you can let out your anger without adding more drama to the situation, which doesn’t deserve more of your attention anyways.