Living in DC and parking on the street, I've realized that no matter how ginkgo-leaf covered or tightly parked in or whatever my car is when I get to it, I'm always just so delighted it's still there.
I spent half an hour looking for my car the other day. I could remember that I had parked on a one-way street, although that doesn't narrow it down a ton in my neighborhood. And I knew within a six-block radius where it was. But my mistake was to think I was parked on the Thursday street cleaning side.
I went down that block and turned the corner and inspected several others until I was certain that my visual memory was right, but maybe just wrong about the side of the street. And there it was. On the Wednesday side.
The thing is, I only drive it a couple times a week. And I have to scrounge for street parking. So I can't always remember where I parked it five days prior. This is particularly bad if I'm running late for work and have to move it for street cleaning.
I was talking to my parents as I was looking for my car. I was strolling the blocks, talking to Betty, who asked, very casually, if I thought it had been stolen. I said I'd give it another couple blocks.
I have panicked about my car being stolen before only to find it on a completely different block than I parked it on. I wouldn't automatically leap to the theft assumption except that, well, it's DC.
Plus, when I called the police when my wheel got stolen, the first thing the officer who came to write the report said was, "You're just lucky they didn't steal your entire car."
Right. I'm always lucky they didn't steal my entire car. Just stole the wheel and the lug nuts. Just stood on the hood and smashed a brick into the windshield. Just sideswiped two doors as it was parked next to my building. I get why my insurance went up when I moved into the city. That said, I'm not in any hurry to move out.
So as I'm talking to Betty I hear my father in the background saying "Tell her to ask the police to drive her around to find it." This made me laugh out loud.
He went on to say that at some point when he was in college he and a friend lost their car in New Orleans and the police drove them street by street to find it.
This is unimaginable to me in DC, 2007. Picture me mincing up to some policeman. "Excuse me officer. Would you mind driving me around? I can't seem to find my car." And then I'd be all, "Ooh! There it is! On the Wednesday side!"
Not only am I certain they would not drive me around. They'd give me a duh look and say, "It's probably been stolen."