Monday, August 08, 2005

In just one unsuspecting moment!

Once I lived in a very nice apartment. The particular building I lived in was towards the very back of the property. I had a great view from my patio. There was a stretch of grassy land from my patio to the edge of the property, where it dropped off with a view of the distant rolling hills. It really was quite picturesque….unless you were on my patio. It was then you realized that tenants and their dogs walked the beautiful stretch of grassy land frequently. There was a strict rule the apartments had and that was to scoop when walking your dog. It was obvious that several did not abide by that. I do not have a dog, so this rather aggravated me. I mean, I love dogs, don’t get me wrong, but people should be more courteous of others. My “across the breezeway” neighbor had a big friendly dog that seemed to like the area right under my windows. So, on a nice breezy day, I could not enjoy the fresh air by opening my windows, because the air was not so fresh, if you know what I mean. These “across the breezeway” neighbors (we can call them Tom and Sue) had not lived there very long, but the man (Tom) was in a wheelchair. He didn’t appear to be in very good health. Well, prior to them moving in, the parking for my particular building was limited. After they moved in, the property manager tried to accommodate for the handicap and painted two handicap spots in the parking lot. One of the spots was a double space. I did not have a problem with that, even though Tom and Sue parked both of their vehicles in those spaces, and had two other vehicles. (Why they had so many, I am not exactly sure. I think there was a settlement of some sorts involved). There was supposed to be a limit of two vehicles per apartment in that particular lot. If you had more than two vehicles, you were supposed to park them in a spot further away. It was not an issue that I was going to worry myself with until….. One night, my boyfriend came over. He pulled his truck in a parking spot, which happened to be the one next to the handicap spot (which was the big double space). His front tire on the driver side was right on the blue line. There was no vehicle in the handicap spot at that time. He came inside. About thirty minutes later, someone was knocking on my door. When I opened it, it was Tom and his adult daughter. Tom said, “One of your vehicles is blocking the handicap spot and we can’t get my wheelchair in it”. I said, “Ok, I will take care of it” and closed the door. I went to get my boyfriend and told him he needed to move his truck because it is blocking them. He put his shoes on and went out there. He came flying back in the apartment and said he couldn’t get in his truck to move it. I went out there with him and Sue had parked her vehicle so close to his truck that her passenger side was about six inches from his driver’s side. (Take in mind she had another space worth of parking on her driver side). I told him “let’s go knock on their door and tell them that we came out to move your truck and we can’t get in it to move it.” On our way to their door, she came out with a camera. We told her we couldn’t move the truck, she said very sarcastically, “wonder why” and went on to take pictures of boyfriend’s truck. He said he was sorry he was on the line, but is willing to move it over. She started saying, she would have his truck moved, but it will be towed, she is tired of people blocking them in their spots, etc…. Well, I have a tendency to avoid conflict at any cost, but don’t mess with someone I love. My claws came out and I think it surprised my boyfriend. I started telling her that it wasn’t necessary to treat people like that and she didn’t have to act like that, and I told her about the rules she was breaking by letting her dog do his business under my windows without scooping, and thanks to that I couldn’t even open my windows... (I normally wouldn’t fire back, except I thought she was being totally unreasonable). Tom heard the commotion and came outside, he said he felt like there would be a problem from what I told him in the breezeway. I said, “What do you mean, I told you I would move the truck”. He said, “No, you said you would take care of it, and I have that on tape”. WHAT??? I said, “You taped me”? He said, “Yes and I can play it back for you”. First of all, I said, “You taped me, is that even legal”? He said, “Yes, you can call an attorney and they will tell you it is”. I said, “I don’t want to call an attorney” and secondly “What is the big deal on what I said”? He said he didn’t know how to take it when I said “I will take care of it”. They had the tape turned on prior to me saying that! He was looking for a fight. Then Sue said, “You better hope he doesn’t have a heart attack”. I told her, I didn’t wish that on anyone, and that I was sorry because they were looking for a fight. I told Tom, that I didn’t wish any harm to him, but I was sorry he was so bitter. He said he wasn’t bitter, and I told him that it was apparent that his wife is. Then he said he was sorry for the way his wife was acting. Whoa! He apologized to me about his wife, right in front of her. Things calmed down a bit after that, but I was in disbelief that this had even happened. Tom said he would make sure the dog didn’t do his business under my windows anymore and we said we would try to park a little straighter from now on. Neither my boyfriend nor I were trying to be inconsiderate. I despise conflict. We gathered from the conversation that Tom had apparently gotten robbed and shot at gunpoint, and that changed his and her life forever. I am truly sorry that happened to him. I do have sympathy for him, but at the same time, they didn’t seem to want to give anyone a chance. It may not have been illegal for him to tape me, but it was immoral, in my mind. (Boyfriend and I looked up the law about it on the internet later that night. For our state, something like, if it is done in a public place with more than 2 people knowing about it, it is not illegal). I guess that is why he had his daughter with him and they did this in the breezeway. It must have made an impression on my next door neighbor as well. About a year later, after Tom and Sue had moved out, the next door neighbor was telling me the story of what happened to some guy that parked his truck a little crooked that crazy night. I said yeah, that was my boyfriend. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. Sometimes, in a matter of seconds, just one unsuspecting moment, you can enter into “bizzaro” world.

21 comments:

BeckEye said...

That's crazy. Maybe these people had a very traumatic experience in their lives, but that's no reason to treat everyone like dirt. There was no call for any of that. You had it right when you said they were bitter. Sometimes there are people who feel like the world owes them something, especially if they feel something was taken from them. I can feel bad for the guy too, but the way he and his wife acted was absolutely wrong.

Fred said...

To think the whole thing could have been settled and over in five minutes or less. These people had a huge chip on their shoulder; that's a terrible way to go through life.

ticharu said...

Like a bucket of cooooool water. It's the best way to be. If you face hostility with more hostiltiy you get, duh, more hostility. Not that you should back down, holding your own and staying calm, that's a rare gift.

Lee Ann said...

BeckEye - I hope they have some resolve in their situation now. It is a shame if they stay bitter their whole life.

Fred - Yes, it could have been completely remedied in just a matter of minutes. The situation took me by complete surprise.

ticharu - I am normally the calm, cool bucket of water. Not much gets me worked up. I really tried to remain calm in the situation. I can tell you, that I was shaking inside when I fired back at her. Thankfully it didn't get too hostile.

The Zombie Lama said...

Wow. That is nuts!

I've known a couple of people that had traumatic things like that happen to them, but they went to the other side of the behaviour spectrum. Instead of being bitter, they relished life and were pretty pleasant people to be around.

You kept your cool, thats not always easy to do. Good for you!

Rob Seifert said...

I'm not certain I would have been as graceful. Bitterness is like a cancer. It will consume and destroy you if you're not careful - see your neighbors. I came via Dave's Window, I'll be back!

RCS

Lee Ann said...

Zombie - I think it is great that the people you've known have kept a good attitude towards life. I know it must be tough. As far as keeping my cool, it is not always easy in certain situations, but the end results tend to be better with a cool head.

RCS - Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your comments, you are absolutely right.

Edge said...

First, what she did was totally illegal when she recorded your boyfriend. I HAVE talked to an attorney about it.

Second, what is it with entitlement and people? Just because you have some condition you need to abuse your power?

Some people's kids ...

~Jef

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Lee Ann said...

Jef - I totally agree.

Barty - Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments.

The Husband said...

thats insane. you want to feel bad for the guy becuase of what happened to him but he needs to control his wife. its funny how people blow things way out of proportion. another reason why living in an apartment can sometimes be a big pain in the ass.

Lee Ann said...

Carl - yes, his wife was definitely losing it. But I still can't believe that he taped my conversation! Apartment life is definitely interesting.

Becky said...

Wow, recorded you, I don't know that sounds like it really can't be legal... I would have gotten mad too! Good thing you kept your cool though! I hate it when people are just looking for a fight, I'm naturally very unconfrontational, and hate it when people do that.

Lee Ann said...

rebecca - you and me both! Thanks girl.

Dave Morris said...

You can tape anyone in a public area, just like photos. Any ambient noise - voices, dogs, trains, etc. - can be recorded. Using that tape in court, however, is another issue... and in this case, he was just looking for trouble. I always say, if people are looking for trouble, chances are they'll find it.

That's just insanity. And the dog poop... ew.

Lee Ann said...

Dave - yeah, we found out what he had done wasn't illegal, although it was still wrong. That is exactly what I told him. That he was just looking for a fight. I will say they were a little more diligent in keeping that dog away from my windows after that. (yeah, nasty nasty stuff)

allison said...

that is the weirdest thing i've ever heard. who was he going to call the "parking on the line parking lot patrolman?"

its a shame what happened to him but he doesn't need to be so bitter about it

BadGod said...

I would have just puched tom in the face. And then asked if he got that on tape.

Lee Ann said...

Allison - I guess since he was looking for a fight, if we had reacted differently, he could have said that my comments that he recorded didn't mean that I would take care of moving the car, but take care of something else, like maybe slashing his tires or something. I don't know... with the pictures she was taking and the recording he took, I think they were prepared to go to their lawyer. I think his mindset was that everyone was out to get him.

Badgod - I think he was hoping for a little more drama. He apparently knows the system well enough by now. He could have played up being the victim with me and possible gotten somewhere with it. Crazy huh?

mojoala said...

whoa now back up and take a look at things. Look at how things are being done since 9/11.

Not to defend tom and his wife, the aftermath of 9/11 is atypical.

You really can't judge tom wrong until you have stood in his shoes.

confrontation is neccessary otherwise they would run over you.

If the other party is headstrung then confrontation is neccessary or you better leave with your tail between your legs.

Just look at all the people that are bitter about Islam because of 9/11 and the daily deaths of Military men in Iraq reinforce that atttitude.

Ask a woman who has been brutally raped how she feels about strangers.

Just given a different aspect.

Lee Ann said...

Mojoala - you have a point, but I have to tell you that I have been through some stuff in my time. It still doesn't give you the right to treat people that way. I definitely sympathize with him, and even told him so. However, I felt he was out of line with his approach.