As we walked back to our car, we made comments on how packed the streets were and how living at the beach would be tough this time of year but at least people couldn't park in your driveway. Jake told me that if people parked in your driveway you could have them towed, but you'd still have the inconvenience of doing so. The idea that people would find it appropriate to block a private driveway blew my mind, it just seemed so inconsiderate.
Maybe a minute after this short exchange we crossed the street only to see a busted old rodeo parked perpendicularly behind my car and the car beside me. I looked at Jake and something along the lines of "seriously?" was all that came out of my mouth. We'd literally just been having this conversation and now found ourselves blocked in our space for no reason other than this person clearly didn't want to go a little further to find an open space. Immediately I became annoyed because it was well over 100 degrees and I was certain with how crowded the beach was that we were not going to find the owner.
My next move was to call a towing company who directed me to the police since it was public property. Apparently they can only tow illegally parked cars and this car was not illegally parked, just inconveniently. I called the non-emergency line and had just requested an officer come out when I see two older women approaching- one shaking her finger and yelling. I tried eavesdropping on what she was saying to Jake and quickly discovered she was the owner of the clunker blocking me in. I let the operator know the owner had arrived and that I would call if an officer was still needed. Wait, the story gets better.
Once I was off the phone I could hear her better and everything about her and what she was saying was r.u.d.e. She basically told us that we had no right no park in front of her property and that gravel area was parking for a private residence. I politely explained that before parking I checked for private driveway signage but there wasn't any nor was there a house # or visual of her home for me to know that. She said that her signage was ignored in the past so she took it down and the police would never tow anyone so she just started taking matters into her own hands. She let me know that she was sick of people doing this and she could easily go back down to the beach and leave me hanging there unless I paid her $20.
Now, I started to get fired up. I had been apologizing and telling her I honestly wouldn't have parked there had I known it was residential parking and that while I understood her frustration, I wasn't someone who had parked here before and she was treating me like a repeat offender. While it made sense that she was frustrated, I wasn't going to pay her to move her car. I explained that if she wouldn't please (yes, I was sure to say please) move her car that I had already requested an officer come out and I was sure they would ask her to do so. She responded that she knew for a fact that they wouldn't make her do a thing because she wasn't parked illegally. This got my wheels turning...
How is that she could be blocking a car in a private drive and not be illegally parked? Also, why wasn't she able to have cars towed or receive help from officers in the past? Well, probably because technically it was public property. There wasn't a mailbox or house # because I think her property was a guest house of some sort in the back yard of another beach home. So in reality she had no driveway. Should she? Probably. But she made no effort to deter folks from parking there. Surely a cone or no parking sign (even if i wasn't legitimate) would deter some people. Then if someone consciously disregarded it surely that isn't someone you would feel little sympathy for when blocking them in. It's a risk they took, right? Regardless, I continued to apologize and tell her that nothing was done maliciously on my part, but her behavior was intentional and I refused to pay her for simply turning her car on and moving a few feet forward.
So what'd she end up doing?
She moved (hesitantly and complaining, of course). Did she pull into my spot? Nope. She reversed just enough to let me out and blocked the other two cars parked to my right. She got out and said she hoped I didn't know the people who owned those cars because she wasn't moving again.
Oh, and I forgot to mention her friend's commentary during the breaks in conversation. She went on an on about how if we're from the beach we should know better than to park in front of people's homes. Again, I'm still wondering where said home was... but that is neither here nor there at this point. Jake explained that we were very familiar with parking which is why we've never had this issue before now. He also told them that they should know what to expect during summer and that any type of signage would be better than nothing and responding the way they had.
We ended up finally leaving. No police or cash was involved. Maybe a few sassy comments ensued on the ride back, but can you really blame me? Seriously.