This just happened tonight, and thinking back on it I am not sure if we were the rude ones in this story.
The back story is that my mom has recently moved to a townhouse in a gated community on a golf course. Across the street from her house is a green space with open parking all along that side of the street. Generally when I visit her, I park directly across from her house as that is most convenient for me.
However, today I was helping my brother move in, and as I was the first one at the house, I pulled my car forward so that we would be able to move things easily out of the moving van and my brother’s truck. I was not parked in front of anyone’s house since that side of the street is green space, but I was across the street a neighbor, since the townhouses are close together in sets of 4. Really I was between my mom’s house and the neighbor’s. One of our friends ended up parking in front of me, again so as not to get in the way of the moving.
My mom had made dinner for everyone who helped move today, which was me, my husband, my brother, and our friend, and as we were getting ready for dinner our friend stepped out front to take a phone call, and the neighbor came outside and started talking to him while he was on the phone, saying that he needed to tell my mom not to ever have her guests park in front of her house and that he needed to move the cars because she needed that exact spot for her friends to park. No please, no excuse me, while he was on the phone. There was a ton of space both in front of and behind our cars, but that was not good enough for her.
My friend finished up his phone call and came inside, and as we all sat down to dinner told us what the neighbor had said. I said that she probably should have came to talk to my mom instead of randomly expressing herself to a guest, and wondered if her friends were elderly or disabled that they couldn’t walk a few extra feet, but we agreed that we could move our cars after dinner, since we were done moving.
Then maybe 10 minutes later the doorbell rings and it is the same neighbor. As I was sitting closest to the front door, I was the one who answered it. I explained that we were in the middle of dinner and not able to move our cars at the moment, but she just wanted to complain that her friends had to park “all the way” farther up the hill and that it was really rude for my mom’s guests not to park only in front of her house. I tried to explain that we had been moving and had needed the space, but she kept insisting that she had a right to have the parking spots across the street from her house free for her guests, whether or not she had any, and that we were very rude, especially the friend she had talked to because he had not immediately jumped in his car to move it for her. I finally got her to leave by saying that we would keep her request in mind in the future, and that we had to get back to dinner.
After she left, we all generally agreed that she was being very rude, and that we wouldn’t have minded moving the cars if she had been nice about it in the first place, for example instead of berating my friend while he was on the phone, if she had come up to the door before we sat down to dinner and asked my mom, “Please excuse me, I live next door and I noticed that your guests cars are pulled up. I don’t want to bother you but I have some guests coming and it is much easier for them if they can park directly across the street, so would you mind please having your guests move back a few feet?” it would have come across a lot better.
Now that it has been a few hours, I wonder if we should have just delayed our dinner to move the cars, even though she wasn’t very nice to my friend. The HOA says than any visitor with a parking pass may park anywhere on the street as long as it is not in front of a driveway or a mailbox, and I am very conscious of parking courteously because in our old neighborhood sometimes people would park in front of our house without pulling all the way up, effectively halving the number of cars we could park there, and it was very annoying. But this wasn’t in front of anyone’s house, it was adjacent to green space and there is plenty of room. Even if there is an unwritten rule for people who live across from open spaces, you should still be nice about it, right? 0530-14
The neighbor was establishing her territorial rights to certain common parking areas before the new neighbors (your mother and brother) got too entrenched in the habit of parking where she did not want them to. On one hand you can almost understand her angst because a new neighbor moves in and a boatload of vehicles take over most, but not all, of the common parking spaces she is used to having available for her friends. It’s still rude of her to assume that the common parking spaces are hers and she certainly could have worded her request a bit more courteously.