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Parking Problem
updated: Jul 07, 2012, 9:00 AM

Dear Edda,

I was in Gelson's parking lot the other day.

My wife was driving and I was in the passenger seat. She parked in the spot and ran into the store while I leaned back in the seat and waited. Just as I was starting to doze, a big white SUV pulled into the spot in front of us. The driver came up too close and tapped the front of our car. I knew this because the car jumped a bit when he hit us, and woke me up. The driver got out and walked toward the back of his truck so he did not have to inspect the front or walk by my window and apologize.

When my wife returned to the car I told her what happened. There was no damage. Ironically, there was a passenger in the front of SUV who looked like he was asleep. I told my wife that she could "accidentally" pull forward and tap the SUV and wake up the guy in the passenger seat, just like I had been woken up. What a great opportunity for retaliation! Instead, my wife backed up carefully and did not do that. What do you think Edda? Should we have been petty and tapped his truck? Or did my wife do the right thing?

Signed, Dozer


Dear Dozer,

As a general rule, your wife is probably always right. I know this is the case in 9 out of 10 husband vs. wife issues. And how do you know the passenger was asleep and not just waiting for someone to get into an altercation with? Trust me Dozer, there is a lot of trouble just waiting for you out there. No need to go looking.


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Edda Hatte is a loving and sympathetic advice columnist who helps Edhat subscribers navigate through their complicated and stressful lives. Send your questions to askedda@edhat.com.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 295036 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 09:19 AM

No harm no foul.


 COMMENT 295052 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 10:03 AM

...it is a fine line between an unfortunate bump, and carelessness which damages someone elses property.
I once had a guy parallel park behind me and made contact 3 times as he was situating himself. I asked why, and he said...that's why cars have bumpers...
For me I felt assaulted on many levels, but it takes a village and it boils down to how much social static you chalk up to questionable breeding...and when you stand up for yourself and the future bumpers you save.
Sometimes you come across a situation where it is good to air it out to educate the ignorant....just don't have a stroke or get beat up doing it!


 COMMENT 295082 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 11:00 AM

A tap is a tap, but he should have apologized for startling you. Took the coward's way out.


 COMMENT 295086 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 11:06 AM

One of my friends calls this "parking by feel."


 COMMENT 295130 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 01:31 PM

Or parking by Braille. (no disrespect of any kind meant nor intended)


 COMMENT 295153 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 02:59 PM

That sucks. I usually have the issue of morons flinging their vehicle doors open and hitting my car. Park in the lines and be considerate when entering/exiting your vehicle.


 COMMENT 295170 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 04:36 PM

Ha.... an SUV driver pulled into the spot next to mine, opened her door and it dinged mine pretty hard. I asked her why she had hit my car so hard and she adamantly denied it. The more I insisted that I was in the car and not only heard but felt the hit the more adamant she was that she did nothing wrong. The best part: she had a Jesus sticker on her bumper.

I had to chalk it up to what a great country I live in and the demise of western civilization as I had come to know it!! LOL.

The best you can do is thank them for their mindless and cavalier attitude of negligence and disregard for others.... a new family value, btw.


 COMMENT 295171 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 04:42 PM

Best to just to go on with your day. The person may have been careless and it may have been an accident. Better to take the high road and enjoy life.


 COMMENT 295225P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 08:51 PM

I just love those people with the "Got Jesus" bumper stickers. Do whatever you want, and then go to church on Sunday! I have one for a neighbor.


 COMMENT 295230P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 09:10 PM

Hooray, Edda's back. But Edda, don't you mean "empathetic" rather than "sympathetic"? There's a difference.


 EDDA HATTE agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-07 09:42 PM

Thank you for the welcome back! I know the difference and I know what I mean. Edda


 COMMENT 295242 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 07:36 AM

You have enough money to drive a big SUV and shop at Gelsons, and you have your wife trained to do the shopping without you? Lucky guy.

Now THAT is the Edda response I expected.


 COMMENT 295244 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 07:44 AM

Or you could have that cop (Tudor?) come and beat the crap out of him.


 COMMENT 295252 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 08:51 AM

Welcome back, Edda. Now my Sunday is complete.


 COMMENT 295255 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 09:02 AM

That parking lot is a nightmare but so are many of the drivers. I lost my brother to Road Rage... Don't let a minor incident get to you. They might have a reply you can't defend against...


 COMMENT 295275P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 09:59 AM

255--so sorry for your loss.

You are right, so right. Too many crazies out there. I am too quick to fly off the handle at a perceived injustice.


 COMMENT 295281 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 10:18 AM

This has happened to me as well. The indifferent response of, "well this is what bumpers are for," might have worked when bumpers were chrome and rubber, like those on a 1978 Toyota pickup. However, today's painted fiberglass bumpers can sustain scratches, scrapes and indentations. So, such a blase response is ignorant and inconsiderate.

Even worse (to me, at least) are the door dingers who give the sides of cars dings. Yes, I know it's only a car, but it's my car and I want to keep it looking good.


 COMMENT 295284 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 10:22 AM

What's worse than "parking by feel"? Parking by beep. I was snoozing in a parking lot in SLO while the better half shopped. An Escalade parked opposite me backed up at high speed and slammed my car hard. The woman said she was backing up using the ultrasound proximity detector, which she said didn't go off so she kept on backing!


 COMMENT 295323 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 01:58 PM

I have a 67 VW bug and I'm continuously surprised by the number of drivers who open their car door into mine without looking first and w/no apology to me afterwards :( When did, "all I have to do is make no eye contact and I'm not responsible for any of my bad behavior" become the rule ?

My "retaliation" is to "wordlessly" get out of my car w/a notepad & pen and take down their license number, date & time. THAT get's their attention !


 COMMENT 295325 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 02:14 PM

O, Edda, how we have missed you! Welcome back!!!


 COMMENT 295336 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 03:34 PM

That two people are in the same car doesn't make them the same person ... your retaliation would have been against the wrong guy. Aside from that, retaliation doesn't erase the other person's wrong, it just makes you (or your wife) wrong too. Actually, in this case it makes only you wrong, since the SUV driver didn't intend any harm.

It really shouldn't be necessary to explain such basic points about morality.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 08:15 PM

Yippi, Edda, so glad you are back! Right-on advice today.


 COMMENT 295385 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-08 08:50 PM

I was in my truck with my son in the Trader Joe's parking lot in Goleta writing out my shopping list when a man in a white truck pulled up behind me and hit my truck pretty hard, jolting us. I got out, checked my bumper - it had no damage - and waited for the man to get out. When he did I said "well, no harm done". He said "I didn't hit you!" and walked in to the pet shop quickly. I got back in my vehicle to get my bags, which I'd forgotten, and the man returned and carefully inspected his bumper - not knowing I was in my truck. I got out and he very quickly drove away.
This was really surprising and disappointing to me - especially with my young son along - that this older man actually lied to our faces.


 COMMENT 295462 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-09 09:20 AM

I could care less about the dings. I have too many. All I care about is my car being dependable. It's a 1988 Acura Integra with 190,000 miles and is extremely dependable. Ding on!


 COMMENT 295524P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-09 11:28 AM

if someone hits you with their door or bumper in a parking lot and you'd like to pursue the matter immediately note the date and time, snap a pic on your cell, take down their license plate # and ask for their drivers license # and their insurance carrier/policy #. if they refuse or try to escape like in 385's case you simply call the non emergency line for sheriffs/chp/police and report a hit and run. it doesn't matter if the driver who hits you feels like they didn't do any damage, their job is not deciding what constitutes a traffic accident. there are collapsible structures inside the bumpers of new vehicles that are there to protect you in an accident that can be damaged by low speed accidents but appear intact on the outside. sort of like a motorcycle helmet, you're supposed to throw them away even if you drop it on the ground because the impact absorbing materials inside may be damaged.


 COMMENT 295560 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-09 01:08 PM

This is a variation on the old scam of writing a fake note so that bystanders assume you are leaving your contact info for the driver of the car you hit.
After someone pops you and runs into the store without talking to you, you leave a note on their windshield saying,
I am very sorry for hitting you and damaging your car and would be happy pay for any damage I have caused.

But you don't leave any contact info.

Guaranteed the driver will spend a long time looking hard for any damage even if, or especially when, you didn't really do anything to the car.

This is even better if you can have a cool drink on the patio of a nearby bar and can watch the fun.


 COMMENT 295699 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-07-09 08:02 PM

@560 This is why I read the comment lines----to learn new things. Thanks for the laugh and good idea.


22% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.


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