To the Stranger Who Left the “You A**hole” Note on my Windshield.

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Hello, Dear Friend,

We haven’t met yet, in person, but I got your letter.

I came out after work to find your hand-written note on my car. I was a little excited to see it, I admit, all folded up and tucked, so sweetly, under my windshield wiper. I was delighted, actually, because first, it was clearly not a ticket. Second, I thought it might be from a friend who recognized my car. Or from a client who just had to express, surreptitiously, how much my work had affected him. Better yet, maybe it was from a stranger who had become totally smitten while he watched me park. Who else, I reasoned, would know that I was here?

I opened it, your letter—it was on the kind of paper we used in grade school with the blue lines—marked up strongly with your black pen. I read those words and had a short, sweet moment when I saw them, but did not yet fully comprehend them.

In that brief moment, I was touched by a total stranger, holding your words in my hand, feeling the scrawl of your letters.

Even though you did not know me, somehow you wanted to touch me anyway, on that beautiful Spring afternoon.

It was like holding your heart, if only for an instant.

You shared a lot with me, in those few words. I remember them like they were yesterday: “You Asshole, park more than two inches from my bumper! I can hardly get out.” You did get out, I noticed. And maybe—I realized sickeningly—maybe, you had to wait for the car in front of you to move.

It was kind of a love note, you and I meeting so unexpectedly. First, you gave me valuable and heartfelt advice, and you were right. I didn’t check how much room your car had on the other side. It was a tight space, and I was just happy at getting my little RAV 4 into it—me, so proud of being such a fabulous parallel parker to haven gotten into it at all (I am blushing). I must sheepishly admit that I never actually imagined how it would be for you, in 45 minutes, when you returned from…wherever. I can only apologize sincerely to you now, for my self-centeredness.

You also shared with me—in our brief correspondence—so much of your inner world. I see you now as a man (forgive me, I just assumed, from the handwriting), a man who wants to be treated with respect. Someone who needs to be acknowledged and is not getting that in his relationships, and his life. You let me in, in a way that few men have. Your vulnerability was quite touching.

And then there was learning your whole history—through my imagination. I envisioned the world that you grew up with—not so dissimilar to my own—where you just wanted to be cared about. Why is it that kids could laugh at me, disregard me, and just not care—all because I was the “new kid”? Why is it that my first crush at 13, Mark Coffman, never even knew I existed? I remember putting anonymous letters into his locker, shamelessly professing my love.

Then there was my second-grade teacher on my first day at a new school, putting me in front of the class to sing the National Anthem, solo. I didn’t know the words, and she shamed me in front of everyone for not being “patriotic.”

And finally, there was that horrific night in high school when the three people I had counted as my best friends laughed at me as I continually stopped on the “wrong song” while cruising the radio dial trying to find the right one.

My dearest friend. I am so sorry. I had no intention of parking you in. I hope that it didn’t delay you too much. Had I thought of it, I would have checked to see how much room you had, you know, on the other side of your car. I never meant to hurt you, or to insinuate that you weren’t important to me. I just got caught up in being on-time for work and—honestly—for being such a bad-ass parallel parker. It really was a tight space.

Perhaps one day we will meet, face to face, and although I won’t know that it’s “you,” it will be like a little chunk of unfulfilled karma blossoming between us. Even now I can sense that day hurtling toward us when we will meet for the first time, so unexpectedly—and somehow, we will just know.

And—just to be totally revealed—please don’t, like, stalk me or fire-bomb my house or anything. My letter here is actually sincere—we are not so different, I think. But we might need to get to know one other a bit more, you know, before we can trust each other fully.

all my love to you, dearest,

(Kristin Luce)

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anonymous Aug 28, 2011 1:36pm

I wish I could have that kind of response! It would be easier to see things from another person’s POV if they haven’t just called you an asshole. In the end, anger ends up hurting you more. But of course, it’s much easier said than done. You have a great perspective on life 🙂

anonymous May 19, 2011 12:43am

Absolutely delightful and heartfelt! you are so light and melodic in your writing. i seem to feel like i've just come skipping on water after reading your writing.

anonymous May 16, 2011 6:54pm

[…] Read the full article on Elephant Journal This entry was posted in Kristin, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← The Goddess in Your Vagina […]

anonymous May 5, 2011 12:43am


anonymous May 4, 2011 10:46pm

Thank you for your post. It's true, I want you to see me as funny, clever, a good writer, and definitely "well-adjusted." And, you might be right that there is more bullshit in it yet than I have detected. What I can say is that I had almost no negative response to the "you asshole" note on my windshield, which was "something new" for me. Similarly, I have only a slightly negative response to your letter, which is so similar to the note on my windshield (ironically). Thanks for your straight-up, "people like you"… "manipulative bullshit" post. You might want to check out my earlier post that speaks to this:
with love and forgiveness to all of us who has ever thrown a "spear" in anger or hurt, -k

anonymous May 4, 2011 3:13pm

This might *sounds* spiritual, but when people like you pull this stuff, it's actually manipulative bullshit. If you were actually doing inwardly what you claim you are doing inwardly, nothing would need to be said about it.

anonymous May 4, 2011 12:16pm

What a sweet article. I could fall in love w/ you.

But can you do this on the spot when someone is screaming at you from two feet away and flecks of spittle are hitting you in the face? It's a challenge. Anger is so powerful.

    anonymous May 4, 2011 10:05pm

    So far, so rarely. And, sometimes I have done so. It has been unbelievably sweet, and *such* inspiration to keep practicing, that that could become a way of "being" 🙂 Thanks for your post.

anonymous May 3, 2011 1:14am

there is a different way to respond to anger…

anonymous May 3, 2011 1:14am

Your best yet!

anonymous May 3, 2011 1:14am

Love it!

anonymous May 3, 2011 1:13am

If we could all be so understanding in the moment of such groundlessness.

anonymous May 2, 2011 3:33pm

such a great read! many thanks and blessings to you! sat nam~

anonymous May 2, 2011 1:38pm

another "lovely" to add! wonderful writing.

anonymous May 2, 2011 10:38am

It would have been okay but for the snarky paragraph about him being a man in a bad relationship. That was gratuitous.

I actually look for another parking spot rather than do the shoe-horn and inconvenience others. It's not okay to block people in. Shows a lack of respect for their space and their time, as you noted.

anonymous May 2, 2011 8:06am

it this actually changes your behavior and awareness, it might have been worth what happened after all then 😉

best wishes to both of you

anonymous May 2, 2011 6:32am

Very kind and wise reaction!
And advice for free…

anonymous May 1, 2011 11:49pm

Buddhist teachings about unrealistic expectations, impermanence, and the giving of our own power to others to use on us, and all these things can make us miserable. It seems to me, that the kindness you offered was rare in the normal range of reactions, yet it was likely the best thing you could have done for yourself and subsequently for others.

anonymous May 1, 2011 11:35pm

Last week I got a nasty note left on my windshield for a bumper sticker i had. :*(

anonymous May 1, 2011 11:27pm

Wonderful!!! Just how I wish to respond, in my heart of hearts!

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