Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rosa Parks

Tonight I was lousing about in my office (where else?) getting nothing done. Sitting across from me was my incompetent employee/ex-boyfriend. I remember him, years ago, making the comment that he didn't believe in paying to park in order to come to work. Henceforth, he began to brazenly flout the rules of Diamond Parking Services, by taking a ticket to pull into the parking garage, but scanning his ID card out. Now, should the idiots at DPS discover this malfeasance, then I'm sure the entire charade would come to a rapturous end and I would deliciously cackle in delight at the dismay of my ex, but alas, it was not so, and he continues to abuse the system.

I, however, have always been a rule follower. I didn't realize how this had worked to my advantage until a couple of months ago when I found out that my credit score is in the low 800's. Turns out, paying my bills on time and following my parents rules when they demanded to pay off my college loans is turning out in my favor. You learn something new every day, don't cha? Anyway, I've chosen to park in the correct structure and pay the fee despite how much I hate DPS for the dozens of parking tickets I've ignorantly brought onto myself, but something finally happened about a month ago. I was pulling into the parking structure, and my baby, my darling 2001 Honda Prelude, Betty, with the suckiest turning radius since the 1991 Dodge Spirit I drove in college, ran into a concrete barrier while it was maneuvering into one of the miniscule parking spots. These parking spots were cleverly devised by DPS to be miniscule in order to fit ONE MORE FUCKING CAR INTO THE PARKING GARAGE so they could cash in on a whole five more spondoolucks a day. As I heard the horrifying crunching sound and the resulting collapse of my bumper, I let out a scream of horror. At that precise moment, I remember my brain declaratively shouting, "I will no longer allow Betty to be sacrificed for this system!" (Specifically, DPSystem.) Thus began my transformation into an urbanite.

My fender-bender occurred on a Monday, and for the rest of the week I continued to drive to work, but avoiding the DPS lot. This included acquiring another parking ticket despite the use of a permit (the wrong permit, I guess...assholes), parking at the fairgrounds and riding the bus, which used as much gas and caused almost as much hassle having to ride that bus with the two employees I'd pissed off the worst, and parking 10 blocks away and still having to move my car every 2 hours. Nothing satisfies me. Not even a Snickers.

Then, Monday, it happened. I'd woken up, and my sweetie and I were forced to detangle ourselves from one another and begin another work week. He was gracious enough to make me breakfast, give me useful advice on appropriate timing to take dietary supplements to avoid stomach crankiness, and take me to work. There is nothing I drool over more than a free, guiltless ride to work. Well, maybe the Krispy Kreme section at 7-11. That evening, as I got ready to pack up, I realized I didn't have a ride home worked out, and should I automatically assume that because he dropped me off he was responsible for picking me up and schlepping me all the way to south Eugene? Out of his way? No! The operative word was guiltless. I decided to take the bus.

Public transportation is something I've avoided like the clap ever since I was first exposed to it. Briefly in college, I was relegated to public transportation, but merely because I lived six blocks away, couldn't park any closer, but didn't want to walk that far to class. (The only reason I was thin was because I was smoking a pack a day.) I despise that five minute window of anxiety when you question whether or not the bus is coming. Has it already left? Am I on the right corner? Am I wearing something that doesn't blend into the storefront behind me so the bus driver might miss me in my chameleon-like camouflage and drive away? It's just disgusting.

I finally decided that, being forced to choose between LTD and DPS, LTD was the lesser of two evils. I took my chance. I made my way to the bus stop across from my work...

...to be continued...