Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just Put It On My Tab

My little chapel is right smack dab in the middle of a lovely residential neighborhood. So every Sunday I feel really guilty that I have to park in front of somebody's house. The parking lot only has about 20 spaces, which means that the other 500 of us that come to church between 9 and 2 have no other choice than to invade the neighborhood.

Poor neighbors. Its gotta be a trial to have all of your discretionary parking taken over by a fleet of minivans and Honda Accords every single Sunday. I feel for them, I really do.

This past Sunday, they made an announcement from the pulpit reminding us to be considerate of our neighbors and to not park illegally. They will do this when the cops are seen in the neighborhood writing up tickets, its the church friendly way of saying, "if you parked like an ass go fix it before you get a ticket, idiot."

I thought back to my own parking job ... close to a driveway, but not blocking it -- wasn't as close to the car behind me as I'd thought and so I probably could have moved further back but was too lazy to get back into my car, start it, and reverse 5 feet ... and concluded that I was not in violation.

If you are ever parking in Residential DC, let me share with you a little fact that I learned when I returned to my car. You need to be five feet away from any turn out (including driveways) or else you will get a $50 parking ticket.

Le sigh .... If I had a boyfriend for every ticket I've gotten I would be Pam Anderson right about now.

Two other points of (mild) interest:

1) They made the original announcement about parking (which I suspect meant "there are cops out there") at about 9:30 AM. I didn't get my ticket until 11:50 -- TEN minutes before I left. grrr. Were they just out there handing out tickets for two hours I wonder? Perhaps they ran through a whole pad of tickets and had to come back to make sure all of us serial parkers got what was coming to us.

2) I turned in my monthly tithing check that day too. Made it quite an expensive day to be Mormon.

(Do you think I could deduct it from the next tithing check? Seems like a grey area that should be explored. What if I just deduct 10% of it? Would that work?)


Anonymous said...

One day I was having a particularly long day at church (the meetings kept going over the alloted time and we didn't get out till like 2:30 PM, one of my biggest pet peevs) (oh, and plus I was starving and they had pancakes for Munch & Mingle, so I stayed until they told me they were out of batter and wouldn't make me any more) (anyhew... where was I?), and during the time I was in the building the city, without warning (there were NO signs when I showed up people!), decided to close the street that I parked on and ticket my car. That's when I started calling Maryland Crappyland.

Camie said...

I was just talking about parking tickets with some people who live in the city and they said they have friends who just budget in $5000 a year for parking tickets. Ha! I'm feeling much better about my tab right now.

Joseph said...

I received my first DC parking ticket a couple weeks ago at April and Cord's. I'm surprised at how little I cared. I don't want to become like Gretchen and Camie.

Gretchen said...

@ Micah - I hear ya, Who among us hasn't been ticketed in the name of pancakes?

@ Camie - is that 5 THOUSAND?? Cuz for that kind of change you could park as you pleased anywhere you pleased. That'd be nice.

@ Joseph - Are you saying that Camie and I care, or that we don't care? And why would you not want to be like me??? You're in danger of hurting my feeling. I'm great!

bethany said...

Gretchen, I just stumbled upon your blog and it is now a fav of mine. I just wanted to give you some props!

Sandra said...

I used to hate parking 10 blocks away from the church and then hiking back to my car in heels, so I decided to park illegally at the church's parking lot (I know, this is not good either). You know the spot near the back entrance... that was my spot. Once I got a parking ticket there too... $50, but come to find out it was one of Allan's pranks. I fell for it.