07-06-09 - Readiness

Went to Ballard Sunday and had a few amusing parking related incidents.

One was the famous street parking nittiness that I've heard stories of but never seen in real life. I was trying to take my mom to the Nordic Heritage Museum. I guess we turned on the wrong side of it so we were on the wrong side of the block from the parking lot, so I figure I'll just park on the street, no biggie. I park and we're walking towards the museum slowly, when a man bolts out of the house I parked in front of and covers over to me; he says in that standard meek/confrontational way "excuse me, sorry, can you move your car? it's just you parked right in front of my house.." ; I was like in complete shock, my mind is blown. You have to realize the streets here are like completely empty, there are like maybe 10 cars on the entire block with 100 spaces on it; hell the curb in front of his house has room for two cars and there are no other ones around. I'm just like "really?" he starts going into "blah blah blah" so I'm like "fine fine it's no big deal yeah I'll move it".

I've never encountered the amazing "not in front of my house" nittiness. It blows my mind that this guy is sitting around all the time with his ass tied up in knots keeping an eye out for anyone taking his precious curb.

BTW "nit" is a poker term that I think should make it into general parlance. It obviously derives from "nitpick" but the meaning is more specific. A nit is someone who's obsessed with technical correctness, the absolute by the book "right" answer to a question, to the point of being very annoying and missing the big picture. Often people who play too tight are referred to as nits, but it's more general than that. For example if you ask someone "how do I convert a stdio FILE to a file descriptor I can use with fcntl in the C standard library?" and they say "well, I dunno, cuz there is no fcntl in the C standard library, that's in the POSIX library" , that person would be a nit, and they said would be nitty. Lots of people on comp.lang.c.moderated are super nits; lots of grammar nerds are big nits.

The other parking incident was at the locks. It was a pretty day out so the parking lot was all jammed up with tons of people. I fucking despise waiting in parking lots, and there's a ton of easy street parking around there, so I wanted to just bail out and get out of the lot and go park on the street, but there was some dude in front of me waiting for a car to back out so he could have the spot. I swerve around him to get past so I can exit, and just as I do I see another car is also pulling out (in addition to the one he was waiting on). I stop and ask the first guy if he's leaving, he says yes he is, so I know there are two spots leaving, so when one car pulls out I take the spot. Then the second car pulls out, and the original waiting guy takes that spot. I'm thinking okay, everything is hunky dory, but as I walk past the guy who was waiting (who is now parked) I hear him say "asshole" in that lame quiet way so it's just barely where I can hear it. It just startled me. I mean, for one thing it blows my mind, how could you not have noticed that I stopped at specifically made sure there were two spaces before I took one? How can you possibly be all upset about this incident, and then to drop the lame quiet asshole bomb, I just wasn't ready for it.

I have a lot of trouble with these surprise confrontations. I need a lot of time to get ready for human interaction; I have like a 5 minute delay loop or something before I can process a situation. There are times when I'm all pre-angered and ready to burst at anyone who gives me trouble, but I have to prepare for that, I can't just do it on the drop of a hat. 5 minutes later I was ready to tell the guy off, I was wishing I would see him again around the locks and he would say something so I could tear into him, but of course it didn't happen. This same delay has always given me a lot of trouble with girls too. If I really actively get myself into socializing/flirting mindset, I can do okay, but it takes a good effort of preparation to clear my mind and give myself pep talks and whatnot. If I'm just going about my daily business, like if I'm grocery shopping or something and girl says "hey those are really cute shorts" it just startles me, I'm not ready for it, my response is like "umm, hmm yeah" or something, and it's not until five minutes later that I realize "oh, she was flirting".

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Your slow reaction time (I'm the same way) has probably saved you more than a few times from confrontations turning out bad. You could probably improve it, but you'd have to do what cops do and train yourself not to think, but to just react to situations with a preset behavior. You gotta walk around town in 'prepped for asshole-conflict' mode, and have to handy one-liners at the ready.

Of course it wouldn't hurt to know some Karate or something if you're gonna go that route. HaiYachachacha! Ba-gack!

old rants