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I Like To Move It, Move It.

I was reading one of the comments of a Road Rage entry, and it reminded me of this story my friend told me.  When we were in high school, my friend lived either next door or a few doors down from a single guy who was in his early 20s and threw parties all the time.  The neighbor was friendly, well-mannered, and kept the noise down, etc., but parking did get kind of crammed because it was a short street, so late guests would often have to park a block over and walk to the house.  Apparently, this was not good enough for one guest.

One summer afternoon my friend’s mom comes home from grocery shopping, pulls up to her house, and sees a car she doesn’t recognize parked in her driveway.  Seeing all the other cars around and smelling the scent of barbeque, she suspects this is one of the neighbor’s party guests, so she just pulls into her driveway behind him and brings her groceries in.  Lo and behold, about 45 min later she hears a knock on the door.  A sheepish-looking guy tells her that his car is blocked in her driveway and asks if she could move it.  My friend’s mom informs him that, unfortunately, she doesn’t have a reason to move her car because she isn’t planning on going anywhere any time soon.  The guy tries to reason with her to move her car, but she politely informs him that it’s her driveway and perhaps he shouldn’t have parked there if he was going to be in such a need to leave. The guy gets this I’m-kind-of-annoyed-but-I-probably-deserve-this look on his face, apologizes for parking in her driveway, and returns to the party to wait.  An hour or two later, she decides she needs to go out to the store for something, and when she comes back the car is gone.  It never happened again. 0418-11

This isn’t an example of cleverness but rather retaliatory rudeness in response to an admittedly “sheepish” guest who makes a polite request to rectify the situation he got himself into.   Graciousness is extending the hand of kindness to the undeserving and this case, while the guest goofed parking where he did, his attempt to move his car was matched with an appropriate level of chagrin and deference that did not justify the ungracious declination to move a car so he can reposition his vehicle.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Maitri April 20, 2011, 8:58 am

    Yeah, enough is enough. He realized his mistake, let him fix the situation and move on. That was taking it too far, IMO.

  • WithMyEyesOpen April 20, 2011, 9:03 am

    I suppose the need of graciousness and kindness in ordinary and offended people is lower than the need for revenge and I personally will NOT move the car as the friend´s mom did. Case of bad manners can be sometimes cured only by hard wake up call.

  • Bint April 20, 2011, 9:12 am

    I understand her frustration, but as soon as the bloke apologized she should have moved her car. Not doing that made her look childish and invites escalation. Besides, why would you want a total stranger’s car trapped on your property? What if he’d got some party guests to come and move her car by force (I’ve heard of this being done)?

    She should have told him at once that he had no right to park there and that next time she wouldn’t move her car, and then let him out. The smugness in her retort comes dripping off this post but agreed with Admin; she did herself no favours with that one.

  • Allie April 20, 2011, 9:14 am

    I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, had she been nice about it and moved her car, it might have happened again and kept on happening. On the other hand, he was apologetic, and obviously wasn’t intending to stay at the party very long. He probably planned to stop in for 10 or 15 minutes, thought he could be in and out without anyone being the wiser, and ended up there for 45 (you know how that can happen). Should he have parked in someone else’s driveway without their permission? Of course not. Did the punishment fit the crime? I don’t know. I probably would have let it slide, given his attitude. Then again, sometimes I let people walk all over me. Perhaps the best thing to have done, from an etiquette perspective, would have been to move your car and have a frank talk with your neighbour about it the next day. Put the onus on him to ensure that his guests park appropriately.

  • Jillybean April 20, 2011, 9:16 am

    Admin – The guest didn’t “goof” – he intentionally parked in someone else’s driveway without permission. Not because of some sort of emergency, but to make it more convenient for himself to attend a BBQ. I’m not saying I agree with the tactics mentioned by the OP, but quite frankly, I feel no sympathy for the offending parker.

  • Shalamar April 20, 2011, 9:16 am

    I agree with Admin. If the guy had been all “Hey, lady, move your damn car”, I would understand the OP’s mum politely refusing to do so. The courteous thing for her to do would have been saying “Okay, I’ll move it – but please don’t park there again unless you have my permission, okay?”

  • Marlene April 20, 2011, 9:18 am

    That was unnecessary of the woman. It’s not as if the fellow came banging on the door demanding to know why he’d been parked in.

  • DGS April 20, 2011, 9:18 am

    I agree with admin; the friend’s mother was very rude and not at all clever. Certainly, the guest should not have parked on her driveway (it is private property, after all), but the appropriate thing to do would have been to walk over to the neighbor and politely, but firmly ask the host if the guest who parked in the driveway could move his car. Engaging in retaliatory rudeness is even more rude than initial rudeness; it’s rudeness multipled by self-righteous holier-than-thou judgment.

  • Vicky April 20, 2011, 9:18 am

    I agree with the admin on this one. It is an example of retaliatory rudeness. I had a similar situation once while living in a small house with multiple apartments. We had assigned numbered spaces and parking was extremely limited for those without a numbered space. One Saturday, I arrived home to find someone in my space due to a party at the house behind ours. I double parked and went and knocked on the door of the party house and asked whomever was parked in my space to kindly find another spot (as difficult as that may be). The guest apologized profusely and moved their car and the host invited me in for a drink. I ended up meeting some lovely new people. Who knows – had the friends mother gone over and made the same request, she could have had some lovely BBQ.

  • Jay April 20, 2011, 9:20 am

    I’m with Admin on this one. The guy did something wrong, and presumably was polite in his chagrin and sheepishness. She should give her strongest, “and I hope you’ve learned your lesson” look and move her car for him.

  • Kitty Lizard April 20, 2011, 9:24 am

    While it was annoying to find the car parked in her driveway, I think it was decidedly ungracious, and bordering on rude, to decline to move the car. It would have taken a few seconds, and it seemed he did ask politely. I would have made him squirm a bit, which she did, but come on, move the car.

  • --Lia April 20, 2011, 9:43 am

    I must disagree with our usually-spot-on administrator. I’d say this was a case of maybe right, maybe wrong. I’ve known too many people who will approach sheepishly when what they really mean is “get out of my way.” They’ll continue taking advantage until it inconveniences them, not the other person. I’d say an hour or two is about the right amount of time to make the point. She must have done a good job of educating the young man because he never did it again. Perhaps the host of the barbecues said something to his guests about being considerate of the neighbors, and this particular guest decided never to visit again if he couldn’t get front row parking. I’m taking the mother’s side because there’s something about “the guy tries to reason with her” which rubs me so wrong that it makes up for all his sheepishness. Also note that he doesn’t apologize until after he’s lost the argument and returns to the party to wait. Wouldn’t you think that an apology would be the first thing off his lips the second he knocked on the door instead of trying to reason with her?

    I’m thinking of a friend’s story. She lived in an apartment with assigned parking. There was plenty of guest parking a block away. The first time she came home and found a neighbor’s guest in her spot, she thought it was an odd case, parked down the block, and relaxed after a hard day’s work. The 2nd time, she knocked around the doors until she found whose car it was, politely explained that the lady was in her convenient assigned space, listened to the excuses and waited while she moved her car. The 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th times, the explanations got only slightly more heated. She didn’t want to walk a block when she got home, and she was paying for that parking space with her rent. Then the manager got involved. Nothing changed until the manager gave her permission to block the offending car. (She parked, then went out with a friend so she wasn’t at home to hear the wailing protests.) At that, the problem was solved, and she wished she’d done it from the start.

  • Gemma April 20, 2011, 10:03 am

    I agree with the admin. If it had been my driveway, I would have moved my car, but first would have said something to the affect of, “I’ll move my car, but please don’t let this happen again.” Since he seemed appropriately apologetic, I think the point had been made, and he’d learned his lesson.

  • Anonymous Works For Me April 20, 2011, 10:04 am

    I have to agree. I think the lesson was learned when he had to gather his pride and knock on the door. Depending on the set up, it’s entirely possible that he thought he DID park in the correct driveway.

  • Threepenny April 20, 2011, 10:19 am

    Wow – the partygoer was definitely in the wrong to park where he did, but I honestly feel the OP’s mother gets no passes from me. She was intentionally rude. He was apologetic, admitted he shouldn’t have parked there, etc. What bothers me is that the OP seems a bit smug about her mother’s behavior. Two wrongs do not a right make and it really would not have hurt the OP’s mother to just move the car and consider it a lesson learned for the illegitimate parking guy. Keeping him trapped in like that was not only rude, it could have been a real problem – what if (yes, I know… what if…) he had to absolutely be somewhere important?

    I am definitely NOT giving him a pass on parking in someone else’s driveway, but I do believe that considering he was not hostile, admitted his wrongdoing, etc., then the OP’s mother was MORE than a little PA about the situation. Had it been me, I’d have said okay, I will move the car, but DO NOT EVER PARK IN MY DRIVEWAY AGAIN! Possibly approaching the neighbor after the fact and explaining that while the parties are not a nuisance, the one guest was (ONE time), so please ensure it does not happen again.

    Keeping his car hostage like that was just, IMO, immature and petty.

  • LBC April 20, 2011, 10:21 am

    Respectfully disagree: It’s absolutely rude to park your car in somebody else’s driveway, and it’s absolutely foreseeable to anybody with any sense how the owner of said driveway might feel/react. It’s never even occurred to me that this might be OK, even if I was just stopping for a short time. Driveways are private property: You might just as well park on someone else’s lawn.

    Rude would have been not leaving the house for three days and making him come back then to get his car.

  • AS April 20, 2011, 10:31 am

    I agree with the admin. It guy was wrong about parking in someone else’s driveway. But it seems he was polite and “sheepish”, and didn’t act entitled. He even apologized for parking in the lady’s driveway even though he has to now wait for hours before he can get his car out just because someone wasn’t gracious enough to forgive his error. There was no need for your friend’s mother to retaliate his error with rudeness. Probably letting him or the neighbour know that you don’t want cars parked in your driveway would have sufficed in this case.

  • Wink-n-Smile April 20, 2011, 10:34 am

    This sort of situation is exactly why I usually park down the street when I go to a party, so I don’t get blocked in by people who are inconsiderate parkers. If I can’t walk a few hundred feet to get to my car, I have no business driving, anyway.
    Also, the further you park from the party, the easier it is to get out. This goes for mall parking lots, too. You know those crazies who scoot up behind you, waiting for you to pull out so they can have your spot? They do that close to the mall, but not in the back 40 of the parking lot.

  • slythwolf April 20, 2011, 10:43 am

    What I don’t understand is why wouldn’t you want to get someone else’s car out of your driveway as soon as possible?

  • beckstar April 20, 2011, 10:44 am

    Nope, there’s no way I’d have moved my car until I was ready. Way to go OP’s friend’s mom!

  • Wheelchair Bling April 20, 2011, 10:44 am

    Actually, I have to disagree that this was “retaliatory rudeness”. When someone trespasses on a stranger’s property, and blocks the drive, they should be grateful not to find the car towed. A healthy young man can walk a couple of blocks more for a party.

    Sounds to me like the young man was gently taught an important lesson. He cannot expect people upon whom he has imposed to go out of their way to accommodate him.

  • Leslie Holman-Anderson April 20, 2011, 10:46 am

    OK, the mom was rude — but boy, can I relate! I used to live near a large church with insufficient parking, and they’d park anywhere — not in people’s driveways, but in the street blocking the drive, or sticking way into the intersection, even occasionally up on the curb in the (misnamed) parking strip. Asking the pastor to tell his flock not to block the neighbors’ drives got me nowhere. Calling the police got me told off; churches evidently weren’t required to obey the law in that city, much less be considerate neighbors. I wish I’d thought of a similar rude-but-clever tactic!

  • Dawn April 20, 2011, 11:07 am

    I beg to differ. The homeowner should have called the police and had the car towed. That kind of parking behavior is inexcusable. I’m sure we’ve all been tempted – when faced with a complete lack of parking, to park in front of a fire hydrant, in a loading zone, in a handicapped spot, etc. But one doesn’t because the possible need for that space exceeds our convenience. Anyone who ignores the rules and parks in one of those places needs a sharp lesson in civic responsibility. I’d advocate for them losing their license for a year, but getting towed is the current maximum penalty.

    I used to live near a local train station. One day I was home with a migraine and finally managed to get an appointment with my chiropractor, the one thing that was going to make the horrid pain go away. When the blessed time came near, I discovered that some miscreant had parked in front of my driveway. I called the police and had the person towed immediately. I did have some pity for them, has I’ve been in the position of not being able to find parking. But I would never, ever park in front of someone’s driveway. You just don’t know what’s going to happen – what if someone inside had a heart attack, or there was a fire – and your car created a critical delay that cost someone their life? Getting a fat ticket and towed is the least appropriate penalty.

  • Kat April 20, 2011, 11:22 am

    I agree with the Admin – this was an overreaction on the part of the homeowner. The party guest knew he’d been wrong and apologized. Time to be the bigger person.

  • vanessaga April 20, 2011, 11:28 am

    I agree with the Admin. If she was that upset she could have talked to her neighbor to find out who’s car it was. I might have even said “In the future I’d appreciate it if you didn’t park in my driveway.” But she should have taken the high road and let him leave.

  • nicolecj April 20, 2011, 11:37 am

    I think this was just plain mean. At a previous, rented, home we had a white house and the home next door was also white. the neighbors had a similar car to ours. The driveway between the homes belonged to the neighbors, and the other side was ours. The garages were detached and the back door was on the rear of the house so there were no outward signs of which house belonged to which garage. We had more than one instance where a friend would pull into the wrong driveway and when we noticed we would politely send him out to move it. Our neighbor was a sweet couple and they would NEVER refuse to let someone leave because they made a simple error. What if that man needed to pick up his kids or let the babysitter go home?

    I think that the mother’s actions were the height of rudeness. Perhaps the man had just arrived, gone over to the BBQ and then was informed that his car was at the wrong address but he was parked in before he could correct his mistake. Perhaps he had waited as long as he was able prior to knocking as he did not want to disturb her. To not let him leave was just a nasty act by a rude person.

  • AKatC April 20, 2011, 11:38 am

    I have to disagree with the Admin here. I think it is an example of cleverness considering she could have had this unidentified car towed for parking on her property. Sheepish or not you don’t take it upon yourself to park on someone else’s property and I fail to see how that is considered a goof on his part. The OP mentions that they were barbecuing which leads me to believe it is summer during the story, if this man can’t walk a little ways in the summer then that is just laziness and not at all a “goof”.

  • Enna April 20, 2011, 11:43 am

    I can see where the OP’s firend is coming from: he shouldn’t have parked there in the first place as it was clear it was in somene else’s driveway: this reaction is only excpeatable if the same person does it again after being warned by the drive’s owner or the party host not to disrespect the neighbours.

    However on the “first offence” the owner of the driveway should have knocked on the party host’s door to find out who the owner of the car was and get him/her to leave and move it at that point in time. Or the car owner will risk it being taken away by the Highway Agency or the police as it is an abanoned verchile.

  • Ashley April 20, 2011, 12:00 pm

    I am torn on this one, since we don’t know the whole story. We don’t know if this young man has been to any previous parties, so we don’t know if he knew if it was someone elses driveway or not. If he knew and parked there just because he was too lazy to walk a bit, then I think what the woman did was just fine. Had she moved the car right away when he asked, he may have taken it as “She will move if I ask her, so I am free to park there”. Just my thoughts anyway…

  • Margaret April 20, 2011, 12:05 pm

    I’m with the mom on this one. The guest could have parked a block away and walked. Instead, he chose to trespass and park his vehicle on private property. This wasn’t an eight year old whose ball accidentally bounced into a fenced yard. The mom found a reason to move the vehicle an hour or two later so he could leave the party. He wasn’t stuck there for an unreasonable length of time. It wasn’t an emergency situation. She didn’t have his car towed.

    What if this wasn’t the first time her driveway had been used as a parking lot?
    What if she had needed to park her vehicle and then leave with someone else (friend, spouse)? Should she not have used her own driveway because it would have inconvenienced the trespasser?

  • lnelson1218 April 20, 2011, 12:09 pm

    Like others I am of two frames of mind. The petty part of me, loved it. The good manners in me thought that the mother should have moved the car.

    One can only hope that the original offender learned his lesson about parking in other people’s drive-ways vs thinking “what a b****. I’ll do something to her next time.”

  • Jillybean April 20, 2011, 12:33 pm

    For those saying he was polite, etc., I’d have to disagree. Polite people don’t park on private property. He got caught, and then acted in the way he felt would indicate that he was remorseful. I doubt he actually was. And for those saying he didn’t act entitled? He parked in a complete stranger’s driveway. If that’s not entitled, what is? He didn’t make a mistake (unless the OP is leaving out critical info like a shared driveway or such as others have mentioned), he made a deliberate choice that his convenience outweighed the risk of trespassing on her property.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t believe how many of you think she should have happily said, “Please don’t do it again.” Anyone who is obnoxious enough to park on someone else’s private property, clearly shows a lack of respect for others. They shouldn’t have to be told (not asked, btw) not to park there. And for those saying, “What if he had to pick up his kids…” or whatever, I’m quite certain that had that been the case, it would have been mentioned and the OP’s friend’s mom would have obliged.

    And finally for those saying that she should have spoken to her neighbor, quite frankly she shouldn’t have to let her neighbor know that she doesn’t want cars parked in her driveway – that should go without saying.

  • samihami April 20, 2011, 12:42 pm

    I just can’t work up a lot of sympathy for the guy. He is the one at fault here; had he not parked in a stranger’s driveway, this never would have happened. Could the woman have been more gracious about it? Sure, I suppose so. But I don’t think she was obligated to-it was HER driveway and she was the offended party, not him. Realistically speaking, the offender should have just been grateful that she didn’t have him towed.

  • M.Amanda April 20, 2011, 12:54 pm

    For a first offense, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, especially as the host was “friendly, well-mannered, and kept the noise down, etc.” and the offender wasn’t a jerk about it. From the letter, it sounds like there were often a lot of cars, but this instance of parking in the neighbors driveway was a very rare, if not one-time, problem.

    People make mistakes. While there are some people who would take advantage of a gracious response, I find those kind more often exhibit an entitled attitude over sheepish. It may have been that he learned that he parked in the wrong spot as soon as he got back to his car and would not have made the mistake again regardless, but we don’t know because the homeowner chose to assume he needed to be taught a lesson.

  • Allie April 20, 2011, 12:58 pm

    Wink-N-Smile, I’ve never understood people skulk around looking for spots as close as humanly possible to the mall entrance and then pay good money to go to a gym and walk on a treadmill.

    beckstar, while I might not agree with your opinion, I applaud your correct use of successive possessive apostrophes. Ditto Wheelchair Bling and your correct use and placement of whom.

    Dawn, I don’t necessarily disagree with your suggestion. Having the car towed is one option when someone has illegally parked on your property. However, in my area one would have to pay the tow truck in advance to tow the car. They won’t do it for free and police/parking enforcement won’t even bother to come out at all to ticket a car on private property. They will say it is a civil matter between private parties. Thus, you would be out of pocket about $80, and left to your own device to collect it from the offending party.

  • DGS April 20, 2011, 1:02 pm

    I am baffled by the posters who justified the mother’s behavior! From the OP’s point, it sounded like the offender was sheepish and apologetic, as opposed to entitled and dismissive, so I would be inclined to cut him a break and assume that this is not the behavior that he engages in normally unless proven otherwise.

    I had been in a similar situation. About ten years ago, I moved to the (large Northeastern busy) city I live in now after living in a (smaller, quieter Southwestern) town. I had parallel-parked on a street, intending to run into a shop, and I did not notice a sign on a fence that was small and not very visible that demarkated that area as private property. I returned to my car twenty minutes later to find the front windshield covered in stickers with all kinds of cursewords, my out of state license plates bashed in and my back window cracked. There was also a car behind me with an elderly couple sitting in it, and when the driver saw me, he started screaming at me, calling me an entitled rhymes with witch(the irony is that there were stickers all over his car about “world peace”), and threatening to beat me up. I was very young and very frightened, so while I was apologetic for parking in the wrong spot, I did not stand my ground, but simply got in the car and drove away, sobbing, pulled over a few blocks away and called my insurance company (I know, I know, I should have called the police; I am a little older and more confident now). Obviously, this story is not the same, but rather than reading into all kinds of nefarious motives behind the unwitting parking mishap perpetrator, perhaps, we might consider the possibility that the kid simply made a mistake, apologized for it and could have been simply asked to not do it again, rather than inviting a display of retaliatory rudeness?

  • Cleosia April 20, 2011, 1:06 pm

    I’m sorry but I don’t see how was the homeowner was being rude when she was noncompliant with the request of someone who committed an illegal act. nicolecj’s story is different. People would mistake which driveway they should be parking in. This guy knew he wasn’t supposed to be parking there. He intentionally ignored that fact and felt he could inconvenience the homeowner. What if she was in the middle of doing a few things and didn’t want to be interrupted to go out and move her car because he felt he was entitled. A person has a right to do what they want without having to worry about being inconvenienced by someone who did something wrong for their own convenience.

    And I agree with Lia. I find it strange that he didn’t lead off with, “I’m sorry… That implies to me that he wasn’t really but felt he should say it as a way to get his way

  • --E April 20, 2011, 1:18 pm

    Am I the only person who would have said, “Sure, I’ll move my car, but first you must pay the parking fee. It’s $50.” I might go higher if it’s a fancy car, or lower if it’s a beater. The idea is to set a price that will sting the miscreant.

    I don’t believe in reinforcing bad behavior by letting people suffer minimal consequences. (Sheepishly apologizing when you knew at the start you might have to is hardly a punishment.) Collecting a parking fee isn’t retaliatory rudeness; it’s setting a value on what the person has taken from you: time, effort, and property rights.

  • Jen April 20, 2011, 1:27 pm

    Given the context, it kind of sounds like this woman was using this opportunity to fire a warning shot across the bow. How many times have we seen one incident of rudeness escalate over time? If someone’s rude and clueless enough to park in someone else’s driveway, odds are that a gentle reminder won’t be enough to keep it from happening again.
    Count me among the others that would have had the car towed.

  • Chocobo April 20, 2011, 1:31 pm

    Yeah agreed. The guest was obviously rude in parking his car on someone else’s property out of person convenience, but then he admitted his mistake. Retaliation is the *worst* way to “teach a lesson” — all it does is turn the offender into a victim, which makes them feel justified, or at least less wrong, in their actions.

    The woman got her point across in forcing the parking offender to come to her with his tail between his legs by trapping him in; I think that was quite clever, actually. But to refuse to help him when he shows remorse only teaches him that even if you apologize and feel sorry for your actions, you won’t be rewarded for it. If that’s the case, why bother to apologize the next time a mistake (even an honest one) is made?

    Next time, a stern “next time, don’t park on my property” and perhaps a threat to call the tow company would suffice after his apology.

  • Asuyuka April 20, 2011, 1:33 pm

    While the guy probably shouldn’t have parked their in the first place, what would have happened if it were a family emergency he needed to attend to? Things like a parent suddenly going ill or some other important need of matter? If their mother just keeled over, and the only thing preventing him from seeing his mum’s last wishes was your mom’s retaliatory rudeness, would that still have been right?

    Not knowing the full situation, though, she should have just moved it.

  • I agree with the OP April 20, 2011, 1:35 pm

    I lived in a multi family home with 3 apartments in it. There were 3 parking spaces. One for each apartment. I had one car, people on middle floor had 2 cars, people on last floor had no cars. Every single day I would come home and people on 3rd floor would have friends who decided to park in my space because their spot was filled with 2nd floors cars. Every single day I would go up and nicely ask their friends to move their cars. When I was met with a door slam in the face for the 3rd time that week, I parked behind them in a T fashion. When they decided they wanted to leave they came down and knocked on my door. Too bad I was outside and didn’t hear them. I have no idea how they moved their car with out a scratch on mine because the side they were on had a retaining wall with about a 3 foot drop.

    After that, when they saw me come home from work, they always signled that they were moving their car.

    Nice? No. Polite? No. Civil? No. Did they ever do it again? Nope. That wasn’t the only problems I had with their friends and cars (like not leaving enough room for the other cars to park) but it was a different person who was that jerk… and I don’t live there anymore!

  • Squeaks April 20, 2011, 1:38 pm

    And what proof did mom have it was rudeness and not an honest mistake? (allbeit a stupid one, but a confused mistake is still a mistake).

    I think I would have actually preferred to be towed. At least that is more clear cut.

  • Mariela April 20, 2011, 1:50 pm

    No way is the homeowner at all in the wrong here! Read the story–your poor little apologetic partygoer only became so AFTER he tried to reason with her. He got a very logical & natural consequence, and is lucky the car wasn’t towed instead of just being blocked off for a while.

    She *could* have been more gracious & accepted his delayed apology and then moved her vehicle, yes, if she was feeling especially magnanimous. But as long as she didn’t respond fliply with “Tough luck, suck it up!” (which it doesn’t sound like she did), I think she’s perfectly within her rights–it’s her own freakin’ driveway!! She was NOT rude, just firm (as far as I read…), and I bet that guy learned a lesson.

    Having manners doesn’t mean you have to be a doggoned doormat.

  • Caper April 20, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I kind of feel the party-goer deserved it, although the woman’s actions were a bit petty.

    TBH, if it were me coming home to find a random car in my driveway I would just call the police and have it towed, ASAP. That’s a way to get your point across.

  • nannerdoman April 20, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Much as I respect our esteemed Administrator, I’m not sure the woman was guilty of retaliatory rudeness. Parking in a stranger’s driveway isn’t rude; it’s *illegal*. It’s *trespassing*. How did the party guest know he wasn’t blocking the homeowner into the garage? Suppose his car had been there, blocking the homeowner (who also owns the driveway) and making it impossible for the homeowner to get to work?

    I suppose the most polite thing to do would have been to go to the barbecue and ask that the car be moved. But, as others have pointed out, the woman would have been within her rights to phone the police and have the car towed.

    In that situation, I don’t know whether I would have held the guest’s car “hostage”. But I would certainly at least have said, “I’m blocking your car? You mean the one you parked illegally and without permission in my driveway?”

    (In my town, we have a big Memorial Day parade every year on a major street right near my neighborhood. There is a large police presence from several towns, in part to prevent just this sort of offense.)

  • Sharon April 20, 2011, 2:11 pm

    I agree with the Admin.
    If someone is rude enough to park in a stranger’s driveway, they just might be rude enough to do mischief to your car, your house, or you. Getting one’s point across is just not worth it sometimes.

    Besides, the guy knew he was wrong. As she was walking out to move her car she could have told him, that while she understood it was hard to find a good parking place, maybe her driveway was not a “good parking place”.

    Now, if this happened at my house and my husband was the one to drive up and find some stranger’s car there… his first act would be to call the police. **sigh**

  • Amanda Kate April 20, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I might have parked behind him, especially if there was nowhere else to park. But I would have let him out when he asked. After all, I don’t want his car there any more than he does. The guy already learned his lesson, hopefully, and at least he was polite.

  • CatsWithThumbs April 20, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I say yay mom. I would have had the car towed as well. We used to live in a house behind a larger house, and the shared driveway belonged to the larger house but we had legal rights to it, which meant we needed a clear path at all times. The landlord never informed his tenants about this (although anyone with eyes could see there was a gate and house at the end of the driveway) so we always informed any new tenants that moved in. One evening I was preparing to go out, and found a car parked directly in front of our gate, with all 4 unmarked parking spots empty. Those people got a nasty note from us and never did it again. It was the responsibility of the neighbors to make sure their guests are parked appropriately so they don’t inconvenience others (looking out their window would have done it). I just can’t and won’t abide outright ridiculous, preventable stupidity or carelessness, particularly when we went out of our way to make sure everyone knew the deal (which was not even our responsibility, but their landlord’s).

  • QueenofAllThings April 20, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I don’t think Ehellions would find it ‘clever’ of the homeowner if there had been a different outcome. What if they partygoer had come back with a sledgehammer? Or let the air out of her tires? Or threatened her in some way? Or got in his car and driven across her lawn/garden?

    I have to agree with the Admin on this one. He knew he was wrong.