10.25.2012

Car-ma


Karma is a funny lady.  Some even say she can be a bitch at times.  Sneaking up out of nowhere and smacking you in the face with a lesson in morality.  The fools get frustrated and rue their bad luck.  The wise pay attention and course correct.

Last week, The Boyfriend and I went out to play for the afternoon.  We had lunch at our favorite food truck then wandered around the city looking for great photos and undiscovered treasures.  While walking back to the car after lunch, we noticed a couple of cars being towed from their parking spots.  We had the typical response of any city dweller: "Man, that sucks."  After a brief moment of sympathy for the unsuspecting car owners, we followed it up with giving props to ourselves for paying attention to street signs.

"People just don't know how to follow directions.  Just read the signs!  Duh."

We got in our own legally parked car and headed off to another neighborhood to find a new view of the skyline.  I'd done shoots in the neighborhood before so I had a good idea of streets that might have parking.  We found a tiny spot just a few blocks from our destination.  The street was packed with cars but The Boyfriend worked his magic and fit us in.  Lucky us.

We wandered a bit, marveled at the architecture, then headed off in search of a better view.  We stumbled upon the Intercontinental Hotel and headed up to Top of the Mark.  The views took my breath away.  Fog hid the Golden Gate Bridge but Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, and the Transamerica Pyramid were all visible against the overcast skies.

As we wandered around the bar to soak in the full 360 views, The Boyfriend spotted our car.  It was the only one on the street.  Hmm...  I immediately became suspicious.


We decided to head back and, on the way, we saw another car being towed.  Was no one reading street signs that day?

"Geez!  What's going on today?  People must be distracted by the Giants game or something.  It's not that hard to just read the signs!"

The tow truck pulled away and headed up to the next block, with the parking cop following closely behind.  They started to slow down as they approached our car.

"Wait.  Babe, I think they're gonna tow the car."

"No way.  Why would they tow me?"

"Babe.  I think you need to run ahead and get to the car,  just in case."

"Oh, shit."

Sure enough, the tow truck pull in front of our car just as we approached the parking cop.

"Is this you?"

After a lot of apologies and "please, please, please," he let us leave on our own, without being towed and without a ticket.  We breathed a sigh of relief as we drove away.  We thought we were so lucky getting away with that.  Oh man, we must have really earned some good parking karma.  That was a close one.

At least, that's what I first thought.  I was smug enough to believe that I'm such an awesome driver there must be some karmic force working to protect us from the negatives everyone else has to deal with.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized what a horribly self-centered view that was.  Maybe instead of rewarding me, karma was teaching me a lesson of my own.  I fully admit I was a little judgmental of the owners of those towed cars.  I mean, obviously they were dumb and didn't read the signs so they deserved to be towed, right?

Whelp, it's time for me to swallow a big ol' chunk of humble pie because the truth is, we didn't get lucky that day.  We got smacked in the face with a lesson about being judgmental a-holes.

Instead of Karma saying, "You're such a smart driver, I'm going to let you off the hook on this one" maybe she was really saying "You're such a judgey beezy I'm going to show you how easy it is to be in that position yourself."

Next time I see someone being towed or getting a ticket, they'll get no judgment from me.  Only sympathy.  I mean, it can happen to anyone even the most cautious and careful.  Lesson learned.
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7 comments

  1. What a wonderful post (and message!) You're definitely not the only one who has been in that exact position before :)

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  2. They never let people go!! I think karma is to call off your wedding only to tear a bunch of things in your knee at a wedding you weren't supposed to be at because you were supposed to be on your honeymoon and now you have to have surgery and you're going to miss all of ski season.......not that I know anything about personally.... it happened to my "friend". :-)

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  3. I got towed once in DC. I was parked right near the mall, and they actually towed me on to the mall! I freely admit that I misread the sign (which said something about paid parking until 4 pm, so I figured I just had to pay until then -- whoops). I definitely panicked when I walked back and didn't see my car.

    I got a $100 ticket, but, amazingly, it got lost somewhere. It never showed up in the online system they use. I called the number, and the lady on the other said "well, it's your lucky day! Don't worry about it! If it's not in the system, you don't have to pay." I'd like to think someone took pity on a spring break traveler from Michigan visiting our nation's capital.

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  4. Oh man. Sorry about the rough lesson. Karma is a BIG bitch. I catch myself being super judgy sometimes and think to myself, "wow, I'm such a bitch" or "where the heck did that thought come from?"

    Thanks for sharing!
    Hope you're doing well. xo

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  5. In all fairness, parking in the city can be a real biotch! After getting my window smashed and a bunch of crap stolen near the wharf a few weeks ago, I will always be more cautious (and ask everyone if they left any valuables in my car before we leave).

    *Erin

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  6. A very interesting way to see things... But love that you found the hidden lesson of the whole thing... Have a great weekend!!!

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  7. wow that is so lucky!! lesson learned!!

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