I didn’t say the word ‘fuckin’ but I fuckin meant it.
You see, I had gotten a Groupon for 20 yoga classes for $45. “Good deal!” I had thought, smug at my wondrous ability to have a great life on a shoestring budget. But I gotten lost trying to get to my first class; it was in this mall-that-wasn’t-a-mall-in-the-fashion-district, up one elevator, wrong building, go to this elevator, take it to the third floor, keep heading west, right turn, right turn, left turn, new hallway… it was like being in the Matrix… and finally here I am at yoga class, darn, they’ve already closed their doors! Sigh. So I headed back to my car, happy I was still within the 15 minutes for $3 range. I handed him my 5 dollar bill as I gave him my parking ticket.
“Seven dollars?!” I repeated incredulously. I pointed to the sign to the right of the parking attendant. “It says ‘$3 for 15 minutes’, I’ve only been here for 10.”
“Seven dollars flat rate for parking after 5 pm,” he responded back to me, bored.
“SEVEN (FUCKIN) DOLLARS?!…for 10 minutes?!?!” Silence. “SEVEN DOLLARS?!?!”
He looked at me obstinate.
I know he’s only doing his job, but really, am I the ONE taking advantage of the system? I’m not trying to get him fired, but I’m asking him to be a decent human being because let’s face it, $7 is a LOT of money and I was only there for 10 minutes. Maybe $7 doesn’t hurt you if you’re a rich fuck, but when you’re earning just enough to stay afloat, that $7 is… is….
-Revlon eyeliner from CVS pharmacy
-lunch, like a bowl of steaming Pho
-a day pass on the BART
-2 haagen daz ice cream bars, enough for you and a friend
-a gallon and 3/4 of gasoline
-7 pregnancy tests from the dollar store
-2 pairs of on-sale underwear from Ross
-a gallon of milk and a carton of eggs
-2 varieties of soup from Fresh and Easy
-a loaf of bread and some deli roast beef
-a new shirt from a thrift shop
I’m just saying, it’s only seven dollars but at this moment now when my income isn’t keeping up with inflation, that seven dollars means A LOT. DOESN’T HE KNOW HE HAS THE POWER TO MAKE MY DAY?!?!
“Please?” I try timidly.
“Seven dollars.” he looks away.
“Fine.” My mouth is scrunched in anger.
He already had my (only) five dollar bill… so I opened up that little drawer in my car dashboard (you know where you keep all your extra change), and started counting out: a quarter, a nickel, what, I see 2 dimes, is that another quarter? Yes it is! Quarter. I only have pennies. Wait, I have more change somewhere in my purse. Open purse. Jiggle everything to the bottom of the purse. Pull out. Hmm, 2 dimes, 1 nickel, a lot of pennies. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,… I might have at least 20 pennies there. I slowly start counting them out ONE BY ONE.
I smile at him passive-aggressively. “Sorry!” I mouth silently and bat my best doe eyes. Small shrug of shoulders.
Three cars have lined up impatiently behind me.
He looks at me, and shakes his head seeing me at my game. Finally with a small exasperated sigh, he lifts the parking arm.
“Forget about it. Just go.”