Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My neighbor is furious that my guest parked in his spot. How is this my fault?

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Question:

I had a holiday party and one of our guests parked his car in our neighbor’s space by mistake. He was furious and yelled at our guest for being clueless. It was so embarrassing, and our neighbor is still angry at us because of our “rude” guest. What should I have done? Signed, Hiding From the Neighbor

Answer:

Dear Hiding,

Get over yourselves. Nobody murdered your mothers. Obviously, it is in very poor taste to park in someone else’s space, but your guest obviously doesn’t live in your development and was probably unaware of the rules. It might have been dark, or raining, and the signs not clearly visible. Stuff happens. For your neighbor to have to walk two blocks out of the way to park is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.

And as far as your duties as a host are concerned, make sure that all future invitations clearly state what the parking rules are and include them in the invites. Also, as each guest arrives, ask them where they parked. Another hint: Invite the neighbors to the party—their cars will then remain in their own spaces and a good time will be had by all.

Ms. Demeanor


Dianne Ackerman is the new voice of reason behind Ms. Demeanor. She has lived in her Upper East Side co-op for the past 20 years and is the vice president of her co-op board. She is filled with opinions that she gladly shares with all who ask—and some who do not. Have something that needs sorting out? Drop her an email.