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Sunday, June 13

two steps back to grumpy

So the past few days have left me feeling the love, appreciating the vagaries and surprises of life.

( Cue the bluebirds and rainbows.)

And then the Allentown Art Festival came. You know, the one that finds me unworthy 50% of the time so that instead of making a paycheck this weekend I have to actually watch people walk past my house with their pockets full of cash that will not be spent on my artwork. When you get juried out of a show in another part of town or, better yet, of the state, you can pretty much forget it's happening and go about your business. When it happens right in your neighborhood, it can be sort of like having someone poke your butt with a knitting needle every few minutes.

So, I faced the irritation head on, spent a lot of time on my porch greeting visitors with a "Good Morning!" as they walked by gawking at the city dwellers. (Yes, people, we actually live here. And we like it!) I made calls for the Artists in Buffalo guide, read my newest library book, tried to have a peaceful, happy afternoon. Then I got antsy. I decided to go out.

I hooked up Q, grabbed my keys and headed for the driveway. We don't actually have a driveway. The house next door is for sale and the owner told us to use his. Works for us, our back door opens right out onto it, and it makes it look like his house is occupied.

Except that day, it apparently was occupied because there was another car in the driveway. Right behind mine. Not only that, but it stuck out onto the sidewalk which really makes me seethe because it is so inconsiderate of people in chairs, pushing strollers, using walkers. It screams discourtesy and a total inability to think of anyone but you.

OK. No problem, Someone must be working on the house. I went over, rang the bells. Nothing. A woman catching sun in the yard next door said she heard music coming from the upstairs earlier. Other than that, we were without enlightenment.

So, what do you do? If it was my driveway I would have had the thing towed. Not my driveway. I hovered about the offending and offensive vehicle, trying to figure this out. While I waited, a guy in a wheelchair came by and had to navigate through curbs and flower beds to get by. I apologized and said I was trying to find the owner. He smiled and said it happened all the time, not to worry. That made me even more grumpy. I couldn't find the phone number of the owner of the house to ask if someone had permission to be at the house. Frustration ensued. I checked every so often, still there. At one point I half sat on the front bumper, watching folks walk by, hoping one would say "Hey! Off my car!"

When the whackamole who did own the car finally walked by, there was no reaction to me lounging on the chassis. The pair, a man and a woman, just walked by and up the stairs to the house. "Hey! "I called. "This your car?" The man gestured to the woman behind him with his thumb. "You're blocking me in!" I said with just a touch of incredulity and scorn. She eyed me, determined I was harmless, and said without expression or apology that she would get her keys.

Excuse me? No apology? No sheepish expression? You pull your car into someone's driveway, behind one that will have to stay where it is until you get your behind back from the art festival (for that is where they were- I could tell by the kettle corn). Let's not even mention your total lack of concern for those using wheels to navigate the sidewalk you blocked. And your total response is that you will get your keys? Grrrr..

I decided to just go in the house, hook up Q, and get ready to go. There would be nothing to be gained by confronting the twit. For most of us, the immediate reaction to "Oh, just park here" would be to ask what about the owner of that Beetle in the driveway. You can't give someone common sense or courtesy by scolding them. She would have to go about her rude little life without my wisdom.

And so, Q and I took a bit of a ride, away from the chaos being visited on our usually quiet Avenue. I wasn't able to actually go anywhere. It was too hot to leave the dog in the car and I didn't really have a plan except to get away for a few minutes. Clear my head. Put distance between me and the knitting needles and gawkers. And it was good.

I have no words of wisdom for the driveway blocker except this: That trend of letting your bra straps hang out past the straps of your tank top is so 90's.


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