Dear PoPville – I am not a Douchebag


“Dear PoPville,

Maybe I’m overreacting (or maybe I don’t appreciate being called a douchebag so early) but I saw this note on my car this morning as I was parked in Zone 2 on the street and immediately became angry, grabbed it, and crumpled it up [ in the U Street Neighborhood right off of Florida just past Darnell’s]. I should have taken a picture of my parking but I was on my way to work and I also know what “double parking” is and knew I wasn’t a perpetrator. Is there some definition of the term that I am not aware of? In my experience if there is a space on the street I park there; who would be so bold (or so bored) to take the time to write a note, label me a douchebag, stop at my car, and place it on my windshield? Does the note writer know that people come and go from street spots all day and night? Has anyone else received an aggressive note with no merit?”

Ed. Note: Sometimes people are jerks, sometimes people are aggressive and sometimes the two intersect.

56 Comment

  • That’s weird. Maybe the person who wrote it is mentally ill. Nothing to get angry about if you were parked normally!

  • jim_ed

    The bigger question is – there are people who spell douchebag as two words?!?!?!

  • Maybe they felt that you parked in such a way that you were taking up two spots, and incorrectly used the term “double-parked.” I certainly get annoyed when I see a car parked in the center of a spot that could easily fit two cars (but I would never stop to write a note or call that person a d-bag).

    • That used to annoy me, but then I realized that you can’t tell what cars, if any, were parked there before. That is to say, the car could have been squeezed into the spot, and then the cars in front of and behind could have left.
      I once pararel-parked in a tight two-car spot behind a Volvo station wagon. When I got back the Volvo was gone and someone had left a nasty note for me, saying that I had not left room for another car.
      Go figure.

      • Agreed. It is frustrating to see 1/2 spots around town, but seriously, you never know who was at fault, unless they are the person closest to the sign and left an unreasonable amount of space between the front/back of their car and the sign. In that case, it still pisses me off.

        • You can’t even tell with the person closest to the sign… there may have been someone overhanging the sign that that person squeezed in front/back of, then the overhanger left making it look like the person didn’t park close enough to the sign!

    • I’ve noticed that with Smart Cars all over the city (Car2Go) the parking spaces are sometimes all weird because they really only take up half a space and then cars park around them. Just dont let it get to you.

  • No need to call anyone names…..but I do get upset at drivers who park in the middle of two parking sports rendering the spot on either side void. I understand NOT all situations like that were/are intentional- because I have NO knowledge if a car was parked incorrectly when the other driver parked there or not. But I do see sometimes where people just park in a spot that can clearly fit two cars.

  • My guess is someone left a note on a car that was double parked next to you, and that driver moved it to your windshield.

  • I saw a guy today very near that area double parked take something off his car windshield and put it on another car he was parked beside. I assumed it was a ticket, may be it was a note lol.

    • There ya go. Maybe the double parker assumed the OP had written the note so that’s why it was placed on his car.

    • That’s so bizarre. Why would he go through the trouble of putting it on another car, rather than just tossing it aside or in his car or something? I guess he didn’t want to be a person who double parks and litters?

  • If you weren’t double-parked in the normal sense of the term, I’m guessing you were taking up two potential spaces. I also consider it douchebaggery to lazily turn off your car in the middle of a space that could conceivably hold two compact cars, leaving 4-5 useless feet of empty space on either side of your car. Particularly in areas of very tight parking supply. So I’d say it’s quite likely you were in fact a douchebag. But I would never leave a note like this because, of course, for all I know you could have parked considerately days ago and one or both neighboring cars subsequently engaged in wasteful parking douchebaggery.

    • Certainly would have cleared it up – had there been a picture. But like Judge Judy always says if it doesn’t make sense it probably not true.

      Regardless it happens all the time and most often you can guess who if the offender. Usually the nicer car owner feels entitled because someone might bump his car.

      We have a neighbor who does this on a daily basis. I know he is retired and his pretty car is one of the most important things in his life. Come on… its a car, and then you want to discuss the issue with neighbors having seen someone else do the same in your favorite spot….

      Frustrating isn’t it.

  • Actuall Laugh!!! Water on keyboard..

  • Usually when you see a car parked in the middle of a very large parking spot that could fit two cars, it usually got that way from other people coming and going and causing the space between the cars to be altered. It’s the same reason you often see two cars parked almost far enough apart that another car could fit through. I doubt I’d give much second thought to an anonymous note. We don’t know who you are. The person who wrote the note doesn’t know who you are. So who are you trying to convince that you’re not a douchebag? Let it go and move on with your day.

    • I dont’ know about that. I often tell myself that the person may not have known, but then I see MD cars actually parking and taking up two spots…

    • Street cleaning exacerbates this problem because one whole side of the street is open and people are going to park where it’s most convenient for them. When I lived by Cardozo it would take a few days post street cleaning to get back to the most efficient use of space. This is not to say street cleaning is bad, but it does have a weird, lasting affect.

  • I suspect you took up two parking spots instead of one. I live in your neighborhood, and I’m tired of inconsiderate people who don’t realize that they’re parking in two spots instead of one. Take an extra 10 seconds to look at your car after parking. Look at the spacing and the car alignment. There’s a major parking shortage, so be considerate of your neighbors.

    • This makes zero sense. Yes, make sure you’re being efficient with the space and if there are two spaces open, try your best to only take up one, but (as has been noted in this thread already) cars are constantly coming and going, so it’s not worth getting super worked up about it.

    • Unless the spaces are separately marked, there is no such thing as “taking up two parking spots”. As others have noted, you have no idea how many and what size cars were there and have gone since the “offending” vehicle parked. The only exception is the “end” spots where you should also park as close to the end as possible. Apart from that, you need to get over this.

    • How do you know they are taking up two spots? They could have taken up an appropriate amount of space but the person behind them had a really large car, left, leaving space for 1.5 cars.

  • justinbc

    I’ve never met you, so I’ll wait to hear both sides of the story before I make my verdict.

  • This is really off topic, but why do so many people double park near (or on top of) parking spots? The selfishness and laziness drives me nuts.

  • On the subject of taking up two spots….huge pet peeve of mine too but sometimes I remember that, for all I know the car in question parked appropriately, but other cars moved and maybe one or both of them parked in a manner that made it appear it was the first car that did it wrong.

    Helps me calm down sometimes

  • filing this under ‘first world problems”– or whatever the comparable current clever phrase is. I’ve never, ever not been able to park my car somewhere when looking for parking in DC.

  • Lot of Car to Gos in that neck of town. They create some interesting parking line-ups from time to time.

    • On the plus side, when cars coming and going (and/or people parking poorly/selfishly) have created awkward gaps between cars, sometimes they end up being just the right size for a Car2Go! (I don’t use Car2Go myself, but I’ve seen this happen on my block.)

  • Notes are stupid. Never in the history of mankind has a douchebag rethought their actions over a strongly-worded note.

  • I’ve seen people take parking tickets off their car and put it on another car. They do this hoping that the owner of the other car doesn’t take the time to look at the ticket and just pay it.

  • All the people talking about cars taking up two spaces on the street realize that’s not what “double parking” means, right?

  • POP: Just wondering, did you redact the law firm name on the stationery because the note-writer (or someone from his firm) threatened? That would confirm that at least one douche bag is involved in this episode, and I don’t mean POP.

    • I imagine PoP doesn’t want to implicate someone that could be completely unconnected to the story. For the record, it’s a respected firm, so I doubt anyone from that firm actually wrote the note or contacted PoP.

  • The note writer probably used the wrong term and was trying to accuse the douche bag of taking up two spaces instead of just one.

  • When I was in high school I once had someone leave me a death threat note on my windshield for accidentally parking them in (i.e I parked behind and the person who parked in front parked to close and prevented them from leaving the spot)…there were lots of caps and f-bombs. totally unnecessary.

  • So most of the commerati believe writing a note to be offensive / unwarranted. What is the right way to tell someone they are parked inconsiderately? Past weekend, a (new & nice) VA car parked in the “end” space in front of my house with a half-car’s worth of space behind their car. It was early and the street was practically empty, so I don’t think they did it purposefully, just parked without thinking that the street would fill up during the day. Sure enough, a few hours later, the street was full except for the half spot. Is there a better way / other way than a note to let the driver know that they need to park better (assume offensive words are not used).

  • If you weren’t double parked, I’m inclined to think somebody else was and got that note on their car. Upon seeing it, they just took it off their car and put it on yours. We had something similar happen at my house. Someone left a creepy note on my roommates car. It basically talked about how she was going to get bad karma or some weird negative energy, because she parked on this person’s property and damaged their plants. It made no sense since the few plants (more like weeds) next to our parking spot are on our side of the fence, in front of our building, and on a wall about waist high so there’s physically no way to hit them or the ones on the other side of the fence when getting out of the car.

  • Perplexed…. I was taught that Double Park meant “parking” with flashers on in the middle of the street… not taking up two spaces. Taking up two spaces is jerky but sometimes it happens inadvertently (someone parks closer or farther away from you). Double Parking as in flasher in the middle of the street…. Douchebaggery (one word).

  • Okay – maybe just tell us why you double parked? Thanks!

    “I am not a crook.” – Richard Nixon.
    “I am not the dumbest person in the Senate.” – Bill Scott, R-Va.

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