I don't drive that often and rarely, hardly ever park downtown, so I guess I have an excuse for not knowing parking rules. Because I had errands to run afterwards that necessitated the use of the car, I drove to breakfast at the Blue Plate. I parked on River Front Parkway and totally ignored the parking meter. It was Saturday. There's free parking on Saturday, Right? Wrong, as I found out when I returned.
That's when things got really funny with me. I found different parts of my self having very different reactions to this and it was quite uncomfortable having this internal self squabble. My driver self of course exerted itself fast and loud, "What the h...., Its free parking on Saturday. I should get free parking. This is ridiculous what I have to pay now, this is a trick by the city to reach into my pockets."
Now, my alternative self had to work to get a word in," There is no reason to expect the city to subsidize my parking. Willing to pay for my car's needs is all part of being a responsible car owner. The fact that governments have subsidized not just parking but many aspects of car driving has produced many of the issues that we, as a society, have to deal with today. As a bike rider, I experience this everyday. Now just pay your parking ticket and be quiet."
My car driving self- "It still feels like an injustice. My expectation was I should get it free, so I think it is only right that I do get it free. This is a travesty!"
My Higher thinking self- "Better pay it quick. That $11 fine grows to gigantic amounts if it is not paid on time. Now just pay your parking ticket and be quiet."
It seems as though my car driving self got outvoted. I paid the fine.
Maybe the tension between bike riders and car drivers is just a bigger version of what went on inside me. And maybe the results will be the same-one day.
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