Monday, July 9, 2012

This Open Letter to People who sit in their parked cars

Dear People who sit in their parked cars.

Look, I know that sometimes we have things to do after we park. Perhaps we need to check a voice mail or a text. Sometimes a song is playing on the radio and we want to finish listening to it. Perhaps now is the time to finish that snack. Or the other people on the road were such idiots that we have to take a few minutes to let the rage die down before we're fit to be around other humans.

Those are all understandable reasons to sit in your car. I have no argument with them. However, that should only take you a few minutes at most. However, if I park next to you, go inside my destination, come out thirty minutes later and see you still sitting in your car, I want you to know something. You're really creeping me out.

I get that it's probably me. I don't know you; I have no idea what you are doing or why you are spending long stretches just sitting in your car. There could be a lot of very plausible explanations for this behavior, and I would probably feel like such a jerk if I tried to make fun of you for it and found out that you have a very good reason. This is why I'm keeping my mouth shut and letting you go about your business.

You still creep me out, though. Especially if I can see you on your smart-phone and I know you're playing Angry Birds or some other awesomely addictive game. You can't do that inside? Aren't you getting hot out there? And if you have your engine idling and are running the AC (or heat) then I have to wonder how much money you're spending on gas. I also have to wonder why you're not doing this inside.

I get it. Sometimes you just need a break from people. You don't want people around you, and your car gives you a humanity free bubble of protection. It is your castle, and in it, you are king. You are free to listen to what you want, expel what you want and in whatever quantities you tolerate, and pick your nose with impunity. I get the appeal, I really do.

Still, when I pull up next to a car and get out, I don't expect to turn around and see a person sitting in the car next to me. It's just plain startling and completely throws me off my game. Suddenly I get self-conscious because I start to ask myself "How much did that other person see?" It's just like turning around on a long elevator ride to discover that someone else was sharing the car with you. You think back on what you did and wonder if you looked insane.

But it's not like you come across any better. I know you feel the eyes on the back of your head. As we're scanning the parking lot trying to remember where we parked (and pushing the horn button on our car remotes) we never fail to notice you, the car-sitter. You stick out and we just have to know what you're doing. Are you waiting for someone or do you go to strange parking lots and just sit in your car for hours? Is this a game you're playing? Are you deliberately trying to freak us out?

Perhaps this is all some evil conspiracy. You all might be laying the groundwork for an invasion. We get used to seeing people all over sitting in their cars. We become so accustomed to the sight that we pay it no mind until every street corner is filled with parked cars full of people. Then, when the time is right, you all leap out take over. You were hidden in plain sight the entire time, and we never saw it coming.

I just want you to know, though, that I am on to you. If that's your plan, consider yourself warned. You aren't going to get away with it. I'm blowing this conspiracy wide open, so you might as well pack up and go home.

For the rest of you non-conspiratorial car-sitters, just know that you're creeping me out when you do this, and I'm not the only one. We wonder what you're up to, and when we let our imaginations run wild, well, you saw what can happen. So think before you car-sit. If you could, please post a small sign on your dashboard explaining the purpose of your sit. That way we won't think you're up to something, and we'll be able to go about our day.

Suspiciously yours,

Charles B. French


More Open Letters

16 comments:

  1. As a car sitter I can tell you exactly what I'm doing: waiting for my baby to wake up in the back seat. It's easier than trying to either lug around dead weight if she doesn't wake up, or lugging around a screaming tired baby if she does.

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  2. OMG, I am soooooo with you on this one! Some of these people are frea-ky! For example, on my street, there are at least 3 different people who drive to the street and then sit in front of strangers' houses for 1-2 hours at a time. Who does that? Then *I* feel weird if I go sit out on my own front porch or work in my garden. I see them arrive, and I see them leave, and they never have any legitimate business here.

    I have, however, sat for BRIEF stretches of time to catch the end of an NPR article. But I have always been very mindful of the people around me, and I have never driven to someone else's street and sat in my car on their street for a regular basis. That is just WEIRD and RUDE.

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  3. There is nothing rude or freaky about people minding their own business, in their own cars. You've made this more about you than them. It's not about you. Nothing is about you. Go to the doctor and get some anti-anxiety medication, and get over yourself. And park somewhere else.

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    1. Well said. I think who ever wrote this letter sounds like the strange one.

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  6. As a car sitter, sometimes you have no other place to be alone except in your car in a parking lot. A parking lot is a good place to park, it's not so isolated to where you could get attacked, but you can also remain "somewhat" anonymous, it would be totally annoymous if it wasn't for people like you. People like you are what makes this world hard. You are judgement, you are the reason it is hard for people to be themselves, you are that bad vibes feeling. You're right that you have no idea what that person is going through and it shouldn't make you "think" anything, it's none of your business. You're so basic in the fact that something like this even sparks your imagination. Let people do what they want to do, and sit wherever they want to sit. Everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about, so try not to add to the battle by calling people who are sitting somewhere minding their own business "creepy." You're the weird one for writing something like this. You call yourself a writer HA, good luck with that. Basic bitch.

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  7. I sometimes sit in my car for over an hour reading a book or eating, listening to music and painting my nails before work. Good thing my windows are tinted to keep nosy people like you from reporting my car as "suspicious vehicle" Why do you care if people are just sitting in their cars? It's a public lot!

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  8. I sometimes sit in my car for over an hour reading a book or eating, listening to music and painting my nails before work. Good thing my windows are tinted to keep nosy people like you from reporting my car as "suspicious vehicle" Why do you care if people are just sitting in their cars? It's a public lot!

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  9. Well, I would like YOU to know that YOU are creeping ME out by being so interested and focused on what I'm doing instead of minding your own business. I'm sure you are that type of person who openly, blatantly, rudely, and tastelessly stares at me as I'm trying to kill time between classes, eat my lunch, wait for a family member, make my grocery list, text a friend, or whatever! None of it is your business, seriously! Am I sitting on the hood of your car? Am I sitting on the roof of your car? Have I broken into your car? Have you found me waiting in your backseat? Has any person in a parked car EVER approached you and intruded upon your personal space? I highly doubt it. But your glaring eyes and negative, hostile vibe ARE IN FACT infringing upon my day. Consider that you are the person who is doing the bothering - not the other way around. Mind your own damn business and focus on your life...not mine. I'm sure your energy could be put to better use elsewhere.

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  10. Wow. I was looking for an article for people who get peace by sitting in their cars. My house is loud and noisy. My car is queit and relaxing. Especially so on really rainy days like this one. After I teach my class and before I go to the next class I teach in another place, I recharge. I'm an introvert and teaching yoga takes a lot out of me! I sit,drink my coffee and in days like today I enjoy the sound of the rain. On occasion, someone like you will be staring into my car as if I have no right to sit in a car I pay for.

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  11. Lmao maybe you're the creepy one with your statement wondering how much did they see? What are you doing that you're so concerned with other people seeing? Yes while I've sat there in a parking lot after a long day of work needing to wind down (I am a single dad of two beautiful daughters who as much as I enjoy the 5 days a week I have with them. I'd take 7, 13 year combat vet with some sometimes let's say difficult ptsd. It's just nice to not ashamed to say it. Take a toke, listen to howard stern or music, or whatever before getting cleaned up ready for bed, pay my bills, watch tv, go to bed, repeat.

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    1. To add yes I've seen you when I'm sitting there minding my own business as you stroll along and do some things in public I wouldn't do but hey you be you you.

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  12. I sit in my car because I can, and because I'm 17 and am excited that I just got my first car so please don't be so nosy.

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  13. Yes, I agree. The writer has issues! I get a lot done in my car, including paperwork, phone calls and eating. It's nice and toasty warm if the sun is out, which feels so cozy to me because I'm usually cold. Plus, I'm alone with no distractions. When trying to do work at home, I can be distracted by countless things. I think the writer is over analyzing something that needs no analysis.

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