People who know me know that I tend to be a bit “quirky” about certain things.  That is to say that there are some things that really bug me and I seem to turn into a completely different person when someone inadvertently steps on one of my pet peeves.

Probably the biggest pet peeve I have (right now – I’ve had many over the years) is when someone parks in front of my mailbox.  It drives me absolutely nuts!  The mailman will get out of his vehicle to place piece of paper in my mailbox that reads something like “I was unable to deliver your mail today because someone was parked in front of it,” but he’s completely unable – for some odd reason – to deliver the mail to my mailbox at the same time he’s placing this post-card size piece of paper in my box.  Why?  But even more importantly, who is the moron that parked in front of my mail box and what was he thinking?

I try really hard to be nice to people when they park in front of my mailbox.  I’ll usually go out and try to politely ask them, “Would you mind, please, moving your car?  It’s parked in front of the mailbox and the mail carrier won’t deliver my mail if he can’t drive his vehicle up to the box.”

Over the years, I’ve realized that – though my words are polite – I must have a wild-eyed, crazy woman expression on my face as I place my request because I get one of two responses:  Those who don’t know me are quick to do my bidding (“Oh gosh!  I’m so sorry!  I’ll do that right now!), and those who know me a little bit or a lot seem to think this is the funniest thing they’ve ever seen (my wild-eyed, crazy expression) and deliberately push me to see how crazy I’ll get on the inside before I finally go postal on them.

Once every few months, my husband hosts a league of card players at our house.  On these days, anywhere from 4-7 men descend upon my house at about noon and stay until just after dinner, or even as late as midnight, depending upon how well the games go.  And I really enjoy having them here…until one of them parks in front of my mailbox.

Over the years as the guys have gotten to know me and have learned how much this bugs me, I think it’s become a game to see who can get to my house first to take that “priority” parking space in front of my mailbox.  I think they enjoy getting a reaction from me.  The last several times, Tate won.  The guys would show up, the games would begin, and then I’d look outside to see Tate’s car parked in front of my mailbox.  By the time he finally moved his car (a few hours later and several requests into the day), I was already beginning to plan all manner of torture…torture including straight pins and eyelids, cyanide and chards of glass.  I was beginning to lose my grip on reality.

This weekend it was Troy’s turn to host his card league.  I was already planning ahead.

“I bet one of those guys parks in front of my mailbox,” I said to Troy.  “You better get to them first because I won’t be responsible for my actions.”

“Just chill,” he said.  “You get too worked up over these things.”

“I. Want. My. Mail.” I said through gritted teeth.

Troy’s response was a drastic and overplayed roll of the eyes.

At noon, the cars started parking in front of my house.  “If one of them parks in front of my mailbox, I’m gonna exact revenge!” I muttered to myself.  In a moment of nearly complete psychotic madness, I even threatened (again under my breath) to draw graffiti on the vehicle.  I was losing it.  They weren’t even here yet and I was already gearing up.

As the last of the cars pulled into the cul de sac and our guests entered our home, I realized that nobody had parked in front of my mailbox.  Rejoice!  It’s a miracle!  As I looked out the window, Troy’s buddy Darren came up behind me and said, “If you’re looking for my car, you probably can’t see it.  I parked way down at the post office.  Your mail carrier’s truck was sitting in the post office driveway behind the garage, so I just pulled up behind him and blocked him in.  But don’t worry:  I didn’t park in front of your mailbox!”

Uh oh.  He got me!  How in the world can you stay irritated when you’re the righteous target of a well-played joke?

The moral of this story is this:  When confronted with a crazy woman, knock her off guard with a bit of humor jabbed in her direction.  Works every time.  Nicely played, Darren!