I live in the city on the second floor of a three-flat apartment building on an apartment building crowded street. Parking would be a problem, but low and behold, we purposefully got this apartment because it came with a parking space. Well, actually two. We only have one small car (a 2001 Ford Focus that used to belong to a nun named Honorata. We call the car Mary.) We park Mary in the middle of our two spaces. They are head to toe spaces, not side by side, so if everyone in the building had all their cars parked back there, we would have 6 cars parked in a 30x15 space. It is tight.
There was an incident where we were accused of hitting the car on the right hand side or ours. We didn't but my insurance couldn't prove we didn't and to avoid small claims court, I paid for the repairs. $300. Fine. That is city life. That is why I am well and fully insured.
Someone smashed our passenger window, and took nothing. I hope it wasn't the neighbors but since I can't prove anything, I paid $75 for a new window.
Then the notes started.
There were a few. I only took pictures of the last ones.
This notes seems to be a compliment, but probably isn't. You just don't get the compliment vibe off of this, right? My bf wanted to write, "Thanks! Your momma taught me!" but took that higher road instead.
Then they got worse.
No one hit anyone's car, of course, but you see the problem here right? Unsigned note. Four cars around us. No idea who thinks we hit their car. This is totally girl hand-writing but the guys upstairs have female visitors all the time. And why lazy? I totally get piece of shit, but lazy? Are we lazy for...needing to park? Not reporting the alleged hitting? Being alive and using up their much needed oxygen?
I regularly fold back the mirrors of the cars around us so I can walk between the cars. The other residents park generous portions of their automobiles into Mary's parking space. They have to park next to a wall on one side and a fence on the other, so I understand, they need room too. But enough was enough.
Mary is a compact. The other four cars are SUVs or full-size sedans. Mary has been repeatedly scratched and dented but since it is the city, and she is a hoopty, I don't really care. I don't want people hitting my already abused car, but I also don't want to pay for private parking and still have to park on the street around the city. It is inevitable. IT IS THE CITY!
So we responded. I don't like this situation. I don't like to live with tension with my neighbors. Such as they are, they are my community. If there was a fire, I would want them to think enough of me and my life to bang on my door. I would want someone to call the police if it sounded like I was in trouble and I wouldn't want to think twice about offering to help someone up or down the stairs with something cumbersome. I don't need to be BFFs and braid their hair, just not hate them.
I posted all the notes on Facebook and got a great response from my friends, a sympathetic audience. Some of the Facebook responses, "The Dugan is my new favorite. You've also just been given the title of "The", which is as close as I can get to knighting you. You've been right properly pronouned, if you will."
And, "This, my dear, is made of nothing but pure magic. I didn't think it was possible, but I might love you just a bit more now."
And a little less coherently, "I read that note and I wanna break shit. Fuck. I've read all the responses to your post and they're all PUSSIES! Mean it. For real. I am."
But I felt terrible. I had sunk to their level. I had neighbor anxiety. Bah! It made me itchy. I wanted to handle the whole thing in person, but notes seemed like the medium of communication chosen. Well, someone ripped the note down the next day. We have received no more notes, so I guess it worked. Half the residents are moving out in September, which is awesome, but it is a devil you know scenario. We have these shitty neighbors trained pretty well now.
How would you have handled this? Personal visit? Bazooka? Ignore it?