A Letter to My Parking Ticket
Dear little yellow parking ticket,
I hate you. Okay, maybe that is a little harsh. I am sure you had the best of intentions when you tucked yourself in my windshield wiper two weeks ago. I get it; I parked where I wasn’t supposed to. And I get that an ignorance to the law does not mean you are above it and all that stuff, but truly I hope you understand that I didn’t do it on purpose. A 50 dollar fine is a little harsh, don’t you think? I mean it’s all laid out very clearly on you, that parking in a community street results in a 50 dollar fine. However, I was completely ignorant to the fact that where I parked was even considered a street. When you told me that my car was parked on “Robbins Ave.,” I can assure you that I did not know that this alley even had a name until that moment. Actually, it took a little longer than that for me to realize this, as I spent the next days scouting out a street sign, which was to no avail. Maybe it’s just me, but I believe for something to be considered a “street,” it should at least be labeled, don’t you think? Can it even be considered a street when you have to drive on it under 2 miles an hour because they haven’t filled the pot-craters since we were the Crimson Eagles?
I find it really interesting that you, little yellow parking ticket, have the option to give me just a “warning” (with a flat fine of zero dollars), but instead choose to fine me 50 dollars on my first offense. If only you knew me, my little yellow friend, then you would understand that the person that you fined is one that has always played by the rules and would have never risked a 50 dollar fine by parking in this “street.” And don’t you think, my little yellow friend, that if I was a rule-breaker that I would have parked in the student lot where I would have only risked a 10 dollar fine? Believe it or not, I did not park in the student lot on purpose, because I did not want the two-hour window that I was in Penndel to inconvenience any of my classmates who have the right to those spots. I parked in what I saw to be the most out of the way place for everyone.
Also, I don’t know if you are around college students much, but most students do not have 50 dollars just lying around. A 10 dollar ticket I can understand. It is a little kick in the behind to the point where you feel the loss. But 50 dollars? I have basically come to the conclusion that I will not be eating this week. I think it is actually quite ridiculous and is a borderline scam to expect a college student to scrounge up fifty dollars in a two week time period before you DOUBLE it to a hundred dollars. Because if someone cannot come up with fifty dollars in two weeks, it makes perfect sense to then charge them a hundred dollars, because I am sure they have that lying around. Honestly, little parking ticket, it is a good thing that I live at home where I can dig through my mom’s purse to pull together all the nickels and dimes that paid for this fine. Because not only does the fine increase to 100 dollars in only 14 days, that means that I am now at a high enough “excess” of fines (a grand total of one) that my car will be booted by campus security until I fork over that 100 dollars. Which I guess is okay, because as a commuter I certainly do not need my car to get from school, to work, to home every day.
Actually little parking ticket, you actually make me laugh. I think it is comical that I could “run a stop sign” or be cited for “reckless driving” and be fined half the amount that you just fined me the other night. I can do illegal acts with my car and only be fined 25 dollars, yet you expect me to pay 50 dollars for parking on a community street. Meanwhile, I am the community. I live here, I just happen to go to Cairn. Me parking in Penndel’s alley would be no different than me visiting a friend the next row of apartments over. Little parking ticket, I really do not think it is any of your business where I choose to park off-campus, considering I was not inconveniencing anyone. The only person inconvenienced is me, as I am now out 50 dollars during a time when I cannot work as my place of employment is under construction for the next 6 weeks.
Yellow parking ticket, if you could talk, I would certainly ask you where this money is even going. I am taking a hard loss by having to lose fifty dollars in such a short period of time, and yet I have a funny feeling that a collegiate level institution is not running off of parking fines. I am just being honest here my little yellow friend, I do not see this money going anywhere. I give you 50 dollars, and yet the salad in the cafeteria is still wilted, and my tuition is still increasing every year. I hope someone at least gets to eat a good steak with my 50 dollars. At least THEN someone would be benefiting, rather than us all eating Ramen out a tupperware container (which I may or may not be doing as I write you this note).
Little yellow parking ticket, I guess I do not hate you. I am sure you were just doing your job, but I believe that what you are asked to do is at fault. Your requirements are harsh and ungraceful. I understand not wanting to inconvenience the immediate community, but maybe you should consider not crushing your own students in your pursuit of this goal. Just a thought.
P.S. If you feel moved by this sentiment of my thoughts, little yellow parking ticket, consider refunding me my 50 dollars. If you do so, I will give it to my church (which is directly in front of said place where you fined me). So instead of you taking my 50 dollars without purpose, I can give it to the community that you are so bent on being a light to.