Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sorry neighbor

Happy Veteran’s Day everyone. And a huge thank you to all the veterans out there.

Maggie is off school today. The two of us are hanging out together. It’s nice outside, so we will walk over to Golden Gate Park with the dog. Maggie loves to hold the leash when the dog is on it. Brisco, who prefers to be off leash (and is very well behaved), is actually compliant when Maggie is holding the leash. He does not take off pulling the wheelchair behind him. That is a good thing, because I would have a hard time explaining myself otherwise.

I was up earlier than usual this morning. The nurse needed to leave at 6:00AM so I was on duty. She had to wait with Maggie for a minute while we did the car shuffle. It is just part of the reality of living in San Francisco. I had to run up the street and get the car out of its illegal space. We leave the driveway for the nurse at night and sometimes the parking is so difficult that we have to use some…creativity. Parking in a passenger zone from 11:00PM to 6:00 AM is pretty harmless. Unless they are running a brothel up there, they are likely not receiving passengers in those hours. It is not a business, but a community center of sorts. I never block driveways, that is just wrong and will likely get you towed. But I will say a lot of parking rules are open to interpretation, especially at night.

Parking tickets are just part of life here. One day last summer, we got three in one day. That is $150, thankyouverymuch. We have the handicapped parking placard for Maggie, but so do about 1 million other people, so it’s not that helpful. We cannot park in the garage because it’s not big enough to get through with the wheelchair and we could never get the ramp down to load Maggie in anyway. Oh, and the garage is full of crap and we could not fit a car in there on a bet. I have to fight to keep a space wide enough to get her chair through to the back of the house where the elevator is.

The van is bigger than many of the spaces on the street, but generally, I can find a space that works. Growing up here, means I can parallel park just about anywhere. My parents sent me to St. Rose, a (now closed) girl’s high school located on a busy thoroughfare headed downtown. You had to park that car right the first time to avoid being killed. The education was good, but this was an extra benefit. St. Rose girls are always the best parallel parkers. However, there has to be a space at least close to the right size. Last night, there was just nothing.

As I ran up the street at 6:00AM in my pajama pants and hooded sweatshirt, I was hoping against hope that I would not see a ticket on the windshield or, worse, a cop actually writing a ticket. Oh, sorry officer, no your right, I should not park here. Yes, I realize it is a white zone. Yes, that is my dog. Yes, he should be on a leash. Yes, these are my jammies, are you also the fashion police?

No ticket. It is the start of a good day.

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