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Insufferable Narcissists and local parking

Original post made by YSK on Oct 12, 2011

While I know that no one owns the street parking in front of their house, there are common courtesies neighbors can, and should, show one another. We have a lot of blended families due to this dire economy, which can mean that there can be more cars per household than was usual even a few years ago. I take great care not to park in front of either of my neighbors homes, (as well as tell our guests not to) because I know one family has 3 cars and small children and the other family has kids who play on their basketball court. We do have a neighbor who doesn't drive or have guests, and doesn't mind that people park in front of her house. I find it annoying and outright disrespectful that when I get home at the end of the day, exhausted and laden with items I have to take into the house, I have to find that my arrogant neighbor, to whom I show respect, shows little for me in return and has once again parked in front of our home. Worse, he has parked in such a way as to make it impossible to park in front of my own house without infringing in the space of my other neighbor. Or, to put out our cans for garbage and recycle pickup. Mind you, this guy had an empty parking space in his driveway, and another one in the street where he chose to put his garbage, to say nothing of the fact that it was his own' nanny' car in front of his house, but hey, he's so special that he believes he should haughtily point out that no one owns the street and that I shouldn't be upset then tell ME to park elsewhere. No, I don't own the street. I do possess something though, that he for all his education and money doesn't, a modicum of respect for others.

Comments (36)

Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2011 at 7:31 pm

It is a shame. You don't say whether or not you have a driveway.

We live on a culdesac and only have about 2' curb in front of our house, although we do have a double driveway. Our neighbor has complained to our guests who park in front of her house and asked them to move. Our neighbors the other side also have a small amount of curb and their guests often block our driveway with their cars.

We can't win.

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Welcome to 21st century American culture.

Brought to you courtesy of Liberal social engineering.

Consider yourself lucky you don't have gang-bangers or graffiti artists living on your street.... At least for now.

Posted by Liberal social engineering, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Is "liberal social engineering" the new Tea Party code phrase for desegregation?

Posted by Another victim, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I feel for you. I am going to add my story to yours.

Our neighbors actually run a business from their house, where they have workers come on a regular basis. Never mind that our street in smack in the middle of a neighborhood of single family homes and zoned residential. It is illegal to have workers come and work here! There is a constant flow of workers coming to our next door neighbors' house. And guess what, they park in front of my house all the time. Similarly, we only have a small amount of curb, and one car will take up all the space in front of my house. We do have a driveway but I like to park in front of my house because my children play their ball games in the driveway.

I've asked my neighbors to tell their "visitors" to park elsewhere, with rather poor results. They don't seem to care... even though all this IS illegal... I don't want to report their illegally located business, because I try to be a kind neighbor, but where is their common courtesy? Why can't they instruct their workers to park where there is more space? I have to park my car constantly in front of my house if I don't want the spot taken, and odds are, if I go anywhere with my car, I'll find someone parked in front of my house when I get back. It is very obnoxious and irritating.

But you are right, it is all about narcissism. God knows that Palo Alto is full of self-absorbed narcissists.

Posted by Not Happy, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2011 at 9:16 pm

The house opposite me is occupied by 4 Stanford students who park in front of my house all the time; when they have a party watch out cars everywhere, load music, shouting at 2:00 AM. I live on a normal residential street in south PA. No, you can't win.

Posted by JSD, a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 13, 2011 at 8:49 am

Have you actually talked to your neighbor about this?

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:09 am

I have spoken to my neighbors. One likes to sweep her portion of the street and strangers walking around outside her house make her feel scared since she is an elderly woman living on her own. The others don't see what the fuss is about if we can get one of our cars out!

Posted by Not in Palo Alto!, a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:45 am

Narcissists is Palo Alto, the "center of the universe"? Nah ...

Posted by Neighborly, a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

I also had a neighbor park who parked in the front of my house when there was plenty of parking in front of their house. They liked the tree we planted. I was so irritated about them constantly parking in front of our house. They even left their car for two weeks when they were in Europe. I new I could not ask my neighbor in a friendly manner if they would park in front of their house.

So, I asked my spouse to speak to the neighbor. The neighbor from then started parking in front of their house. I really do not think they understood that it could be irritating to have people park in front of their house all the time. They were never in the front yard etc. I think you might ask one of your other neighbors to speak to him so he can then not feel defensive.

Posted by former city dweller, a resident of University South
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

Wow! What an eye opener! As someone who spent 2/3 of their adult life living in cities, it *never* occurred to me that it would matter to a neighbor if I parked in front of their house or mine. And I have to confess, I'm completely baffled by this perspective... After decades of trolling for parking in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, I'm still thrilled and amazed when I can park on my block.

Just saying, this may have nothing to do with respect / disrespect -- but rather with cultural and experiential differences.

Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2011 at 11:25 am

While I have no problem with people running a business at home, if they have employees or customers coming and going, they should not be in a residential neighborhood. I would absolutely report them.

Common courtesy goes a long way toward being a good neighbor -whether it is parking, garbage, or noise.

Posted by sara, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I get an earful from my neighbor when I park in front of MY OWN HOUSE. She's says she likes to do a U-turn easily in front of her house and she needs the whole width of the street to make a smooth turn. She told me to park at the end of the street. Jeepers!!! She even puts a NOTES on my friends' cars -parked in front of MY house! I've ignored her badgering for 10 years and I am always polite to her, but recently she got her panties in a bunch again and I find myself hoping her grown kids will haul her off to assisted living soon.....although she looks as sturdy and mean as ever.

Posted by Roger Overnaut, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

"Is "liberal social engineering" the new Tea Party code phrase for desegregation?"

Hardly new. It originated with the Southern Dixiecrats resisting integration in the fifties, and migrated with them as they created the base of the modern Republican party a decade later. (Remember Nixon's "Southern Strategy" to rescue Repubs from oblivion?) As the basest of the Republican base, the Tea Party merely parrots what it inherits.

Posted by M Simons, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Insufferable Narcissists are the ones who think they have an exclusive right to the parking on the public street in front of their homes.

Posted by Frank, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I have a two car driveway but i always LEAVE one car in front of my house on the street so if I have guests coming they can park in my driveway and even when I drive the car in the street, I move my other car to that spot.........I have yet to lose my spot and I'm so happy

the lady who told you to move her car b/c she has to make a U-turn and needs the whole street sounds mental...I feel for you buddy

Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm

YSK - I think you'd be totally justified messing w/this guy a bit. Perhaps write a note allegedly from "The Neighbors" asking him to be more considerate towards *everyone*. Maybe a faux gang up will shame him into being more considerate?

Here's my weird parking story: Years ago, when I had a roommate, we took turns parking in the one driveway space. It was winter & got dark early. When I parked in front of our place, it was a dark stretch of curb. A jerky neighbor rented out a room to 2 guys & a dog (yes, weird), who would leave at 4am & often parked also in front of our place. They drove an ancient fan that they'd warm up for a long time before leaving, always waking me up because my room faced that part of the street.

So, I started parking in the middle of that stretch to prevent them from parking behind or in front of me. I felt justified doing this because there was a LOT of other parking, including in front of their own house.

One night, this guy comes over & interrupts dinner asking me to move my car. He gave off a forceful, somewhat bullying vibe. I told him no & that there was plenty of parking across the street & that he woke me up 6 days a week w/his noisy vehicle. He played dumb & pretended it was a no parking zone & didn't apologize about waking me up. I refused to move.

I just got a weird vibe from the guy so after dinner I checked out his van. Yep, tags were long expired. He wanted to park behind me because then the back end of his vehicle would be in the shrubs & you couldn't see the expired tag. My sense was this guy was an ex-con even though he didn't act like most thugs. But who else would rent one small room for himself, a dog & another guy when they didn't seem to be gay? Someone used to sharing very small spaces, who had little $$ & was getting back on his feet because he'd been in the slammer. So we steered clear of this guy & indeed, he had a "prison walk" & aggressive attitude.

Come to find out that he was a registered sex offender. I was right! I was glad that my instinct was correct & frankly, he ended up being an okay neighbor, given his background - meaning, kept to himself, saved his pennies & moved asap.

I'm glad that I stood up to him, but I'm also very glad that we had a dog at the time because my intuition on this guy proved correct. Once he got his car taken care of & his status coincided w/what the cops told me, I realized that he could've been even worse - he could've been a Palo Alto-flavored narcissist to boot!

Posted by narnia, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Narcissists or parochial?

I am still to understand why parking in front of someone's house is a problem. Surely only the narcissists expect to have a public place to be kept only for them, for not only do they think about themselves as the possessors of what is public as they are profoundly parochial.

They seem to be saying: the place in front of my house belongs to, who else, ME and only ME.
But why is it a problem? You don't like to see other people's cars? The people themselves?
There is nothing even vaguely inconsiderate or rude with parking anywhere on a public street. Do you also want to own the tree in front of your house? the street perhaps?
I get it. You don't like it. Those who confuse their likes and dislikes with their rights or with
their practices are telling " it's ME, ME and only ME who decides who is going to get the parking spot. Right on the definition of a narcissist.

Posted by AMRW, a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm


It's frustrating, but not life-ending. Stop wasting your time being upste about it.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Narnia, the point isn't that YSK thinks that they own the street parking, it's that their neighbor is so inconsiderate that he parked in front of her house even though there was a lot of other parking available. The result was the unnecessary inconveniencing of YSK & this guy's lack of consideration by purposely refusing to acknowledge YSK's true complaint. That complaint isn't that YSK has a right to park in front of their own house, but that this guy is aware of inconveniencing YSK & doesn't care - in 2 ways - by preventing YSK from parking in front of their own house AND preventing YSK from putting their garbage cans on the street as well.

It has nothing to do w/right, but consideration & neighborliness. The guy sounds like a boor.

Posted by narnia, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm

What is the inconsideration of parking in a public place? WHY? I'm like the city dweller, I spend a great amount of time in the historical section of a large historical city with streets no wider than 1/2 of the width of Palo Alto's and everybody, from the Mayflower descendants to the Nobel prizes to the heirs to big fortunes parks on the street in front of other people's houses and nobody bats an eye. Oh well if you are very very lucky maybe once in a blue moon there is a parking place right in front of your house....So this parochial stance that needs to own the street, the parking and the control of others is difficult to understand. Exactly why is it inconsiderate? Is a parked car a frightful thing to see? Why do you think you have the right to the view of your neighbor's house across the street? Is it that nosey parkers want to know what's going on in other people's houses and a parked car would impede that ?
I get that you don't like it. You have the right to dislike what you want, but that doesn't
give you the right to control a public owned space.
It maybe that occasionally someone parking doesn't take into consideration your likes and dislikes-only self centered people would think that that is a problem.
If you have a legitimate claim use the law-someone blocking you for example. Otherwise,
you would be happier if you become more attentive to better and worthwhile pursuits.

Posted by Katie, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

It's illegal to run a company from your home in a residential PA neighborhood if you employ employees. Report your neighbor to the City of PA!!

Posted by Batting eyes, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I don't agree that we should all adjust to living in an urban center, even though we've arranged to live in the suburbs. True, some people cannot perceive the subtleties of suburban common courtesy. But most learn fairly quickly.

One must jockey and perhaps jostle people on the street in a crowded city, but it's considered rude (and alarming!) to do so on a street with few people. Probably not illegal though.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm

You forgot the situation we have been dealing with for years: jerk neighbors who direct their gardeners to park in front of YOUR home instead of their own - it's a way of showing POWER, people, and this takes place on a residential street with multiple gardener trucks who routinely park in front of the home they are serving.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I meant there is ONE set of neighbors who do this while the rest have their gardeners park in the appropriate spots, showing common courtesy.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Hewlett and Packard had many people parking by their garage in Palo Alto

Good for them.

Self interest and entrepreneurship drives American success.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I love the comments about the gardeners trucks. We have the same problem here, but I can't complain, because the gardeners live in my 'hood! :-) And yes, our gardening service uses they same stinky, loud gas powered air blowers that are used in Palo Alto. Blech!

Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2011 at 11:56 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Nice of you to DEFLATE my comment. My solution works when these same people park in handicapped spots. explaining their flats to the tow operator or cop gets interesting. No damage to the car, just a little extra time and frustration, just like we see in these comments.

Removing the valve core with the removal cap and valve stem just turns the problem back to the person who created a problem in the first place...

That solution is one of many that PALO ALTO CITIZENS have used in the past.

You are not afraid of YOUR HISTORY, Palo Alto on-line, are you?

Posted by ano, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Once had a neighbor who parked his boat and boat trailer in front of our house, not in the clear spaces in his driveway or in front of his house. His "justification" was that we were renters and he had an understanding with the former owner of our house (not our landlord). So what did we do? Ashamed to say we started parking in front of his house in a stupid game of spite. Would you want this kind of craziness going on in your neighborhood? Neighbors should listen to each other and try their best to act with consideration and respect. Habitually parking in front of someone else's house while having less intrusive options (like one's own driveway!) is boorish, narcisstic, selfish and every other word listed under those terms in a thesaurus. A neighborhood is also a community and not just a bundle of property rights.

Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm

the_punnisher, I would like to STRONGLY advise against what you propose. It is not at all right to take action against anyone for a perceived infraction, unless that infraction is directly and physically harming or threatening to harm someone or yourself. It is not right to take the law into your own hands and punish someone. Aside from the fact that it is wrong, you are also setting yourself up for legal action, probably stronger than what the offender would get for his/her crime. If you have a problem, call the police. Take action against someone and the police may be looking for YOU, with interest.

As far as parking problems go, my biggest problem is with the number of people in PA who park ON THE SIDEWALK! They often park so far onto the sidewalk that it is not possible for pedestrians, children on tricycles, wheelchairs, whatever, to get past without venturing into the street, which puts them into danger. This is a per peeve of mine, and my daughter has been injured trying to get past a car on the sidewalk. Then I come home from work and there are my wife and father-in-law parked on the sidewalk. <wind out of sails>

Posted by Laura, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I am absolutely in the camp of people who think the real narcissist is the person who thinks parking spaces on public streets are "owned" by them. There are most certainly aggravating situations with the boat being parked, for example. But there should be city ordinances about parking recreation vehicles that deal with these extreme situations.

Other than that, I find it petty and pathetic that people would get so preoccupied with something like this. I only read this comment because my babysitter recently got ticketed for towing when she parked in front of a neighbors house on a routine basis. That neighbor doesn't always has plenty of curb space and lots of vegetation between the curb and the house creating a lot of privacy for them. By they chose to harass my babysitter with notes and reporting them (invalidly) to the city.

There should be some kind of law or ordinance against this harassment.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Ano nailed it w/their comment. It has to do w/communal & consideration, not the letter of the law.

Part of why this issue is so distasteful is because the rude person makes your life more difficult, unnecessarily, as opposed to someone who parks where they do w/out any agenda. Then, you have to come to terms w/your jerky neighbor's effect on your life, & that's never fun.

I once had a horrible, terrible neighbor. I tried to wake him up during the flood in the late 90s & he, days after, complained to our landlady that I was "harassing" him. Gee, no one else felt that way!

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Get a life! It's a city street and a city parking space. Anyone can legally park in front of your house provided they don't block your driveway or a hydrant. But the car has to move every 72 hours or it can be towed.

Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm

>> Welcome to 21st century American culture.
>> Brought to you courtesy of Liberal social engineering.

What is your problem to post such drivel? Please delete the source if you are going to delete my post.

If anything this is a result of de-regulation of sensible rules to live by in a limited space that has to be cut up and shared exponentially over the years.

Does every post on every message board everywhere have to contain some ignorant insult to Liberals and since we have seen this for so many years now how about you message boards doing something about it, these people are just terrorist of civil discourse.

Posted by Alex, a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Here are two sections of the California Vehicle Code for the_punnisher:

"10852. No person shall either individually or in association with one or more other persons, wilfully injure or tamper with any vehicle or the contents thereof or break or remove any part of a vehicle without the consent of the owner."


"10853. No person shall with intent to commit any malicious mischief, injury, or other crime, climb into or upon a vehicle whether it is in motion or at rest, nor shall any person attempt to manipulate any of the levers, starting mechanism, brakes, or other mechanism or device of a vehicle while the same is at rest and unattended, nor shall any person set in motion any vehicle while the same is at rest and unattended."

Per CVC 40000.9 a violation of either of these sections constitutes a misdemeanor.

You advocate a response that is illegal, immoral, and excessive. Someone could easily end up in jail for following through with your suggestion. That's why your post was deleted.

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm


From the post immediately following mine:

"Is "liberal social engineering" the new Tea Party code phrase for desegregation?"

Calling the kettle black are we?

You are right about:

"a result of de-regulation of sensible rules to live by"

Those rules, otherwise knows as morals, were driven out of American culture long ago. Who drove them out? Liberals.

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