A few weeks ago, I was literally 2 minutes late and my meter expired. A nice pink ticket waved in the breeze, tucked behind my windshield. Those damn meter maids are GOOD.
My immediate instinct is that of defiance and entitlement. I was TWO MINUTES LATE. I would have been there on time if I hadn’t run into my writing teacher in the hall!
“I’m not paying,” I told Henry smugly.
The next day, I was still stewing over it. We were on our way to a nice leisurely stroll through a haunted house and I was spewing rabid foam from the mouth. “I will fight this to my death! You know what? I’m calling them. The parking brigade, I’m calling them. I’m telling them I was late to the meter because I was HAVING A MISCARRIAGE.”
“You can’t do that,” Henry said calmly, keeping his eyes on the road.
I made an urgent call to Christina. “Here’s a better idea,” she began, after suffering through my petulant spiel. “You could, I don’t know, pay the sixteen dollars.”
Surrender? Absolutely not.
Then I forgot about it. It’s somewhere in my purse. But my purse is big. Like Mary Poppin’s tapestry bag big.
Today, I got a bill in the mail. With the accumulated late fees, my new fine is $39. I flew into a righteous rage.
“Just pay it, please!” Henry yelled; there was no amusement in his face.
Oh, I paid it alright. But not the late fees. And I furiously scribbled out a note in a serial killer-esque scrawl that said “I am SO SORRY that one of your people was forced to take the time out of their day to print out a ticket, while I was too busy having a miscarriage to make it to the meter in time. You will get the sixteen dollars from me, and not a penny more.”
Envelope sealed and stamped.
Henry shook his head and said, “Why do you always have to make things worse? Your angry letters never get you anywhere.” (Perhaps one day jail, though.)