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Dear Person Who Left a Note on My Windshield,
You wanna response? Fine. Here's your response.
First off, let me reiterate your message for clarity:
Please watch where you park!! You parked in front of a trailer! We needed to get our boat out! Please be aware of your surroundings. Your actions affect PEOPLE!!!
WHAT? Aware of my surroundings? Your boat? Other people? Seven exclamation points?
I parked in a parking space in a public parking lot, for pity’s sake.
Do you actually think that just because I was in the parking lot for the boat launch at Edgewater Park and just because I parked in one of those long spaces in front of your trailer that …
You know what, Person Who Left A Note on my Windshield (PWLANOMW)? You are 100 percent right. I should have realized I’d parked in front of the business end of a trailer, but I obviously did not.
Granted it was just an empty trailer in a parking spot, but such an object has only one eventuality: to have a boat loaded up on top of it and to carry that boat away to its next adventure. So yeah, my bad.
There were more vehicles in that lot last week than I expected, and I guess there was a couple of trailers. I pulled up in front of yours thinking it didn’t look like it was going anywhere for a while (I have no idea why I thought that, but I did). My associate and I planned to walk for maybe an hour or two. I never thought for a minute my parking choice would impact anyone.
To be honest with you, PWLANOMW, I just parked where I parked thinking there was plenty of room for other parkers and boats and trailers and whatnot. I thought the V-Dubs (as I like to call my 2013 Beetle) wouldn’t bother anyone, but it did.
I was wrong. Please accept my apology.
Since you were gone when we returned, I’m glad you were able to maneuver your trailer, get your boat on it, and head off into the horizon. And while you may have wondered if taking the time to write me that note was worth it, you can rest assured I’ll never take up half a trailer spot again. Lesson learned.
As for my associate and me, we had a pretty nice walk, and I’ll bet in a different universe in which all of us were friends, we’d have walked and walked and talked and talked and just had the best time. We could have talked about the lake and all the cool bridges and freighters. We could have talked about your boat—does it have a kooky name like Mary Arts or Fascination! or Gal O’ The Seas? I really hope so.
We could have talked about the taconite mountains.
And Wendy Park.
And the cool path that meanders through the belly of the Flats.
I would have showed you the secret weirdo old-flow section of the Cuyahoga.
And the bridges and the structures … and … and … and … PWLANOMW—you would have loved it!
Yeah, all that would have been great, but mostly PWLANOMW, I’m thinking about how you didn’t swear at me or call me names. You didn’t key my car. And while it’s true you used seven exclamation points, you also included the word please not once, but twice. Essentially, you had a legitimate beef and you handled it in a appropriate way.
It seems to me, PWLANOMW, that while you’re in good company when it comes to windshield notes, a lot of our fellow human beings could learn a thing or two from you. Because these days, peeps have complete meltdowns over the simplest things, like getting an order of fries or encountering some tourists, or even a bunch of silly tweets.
Granted, my nice-fest over here ain’t going viral anytime soon, but wouldn’t it be great if the world was different and people handled things with just a little less outrage?
There is one enormous obstacle to that, PWLANOMW. The human animal is capable of unimaginable feats, but the humble act of murmuring I was wrong often escapes the strongest, richest, and most powerful among us.
Our species is weird, but you and me? We’re okay. While we’ve yet to meet, we’ve already established some simple rules for this relationship—a base level of respect and decency.
Now then, if you’d rather not have a walkabout with me, I’ll wait patiently for next summer. We can meet right at the Edgewater boat launch (I promise to park appropriately), climb aboard Fascination!, and zip around Lake Erie for an afternoon.
Maybe we’ll end up as friends for life.
ps: I love that you wrote this note on a UPS label stub.
pps: If your boat doesn’t have some funky name and it’s just a fishing skiff with the state registration number, it’s totally cool. I’m totally down with that.
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