Personal Essays

My Name is Christine, and I’m a Cheater.

As you all know and are terribly over it all, I moved to LA two months ago. There is a parking garage at my office, and I now have a card that gets me in and out of the garage. I’m an official resident of my office building. On the first floor of the garage, there are ‘Visitor’s Parking’ spaces. I have been parking in the visitor’s space since I got there. I go to work extremely early (sometimes six a.m.) and I felt that going to level three parking where my pass takes me is too scary. First of all, it’s dark and I’m the first car there. Second, and much more important, if there is an earthquake, being in the bowels of the building doesn’t work for me. But really, those are all lies. It’s just easier.

A friend from work came with me on an appointment and she remarked – actually it wasn’t exactly a remark but more a confrontation – that I must think I’m better than everyone to continue parking in the visitor’s lot when I’m clearly no longer a visitor. I do not think I’m better than everyone else, but clearly continuing to park there is like cutting in line at the movies.

Speaking of which, when I was dating someone I thought was the love of my life, but was really a bad person instead, we went to the movies. The one we wanted was sold out and we bought tickets to something else. When we got into the theater, I took us into the theater that was playing the sold out movie and we got to see it. While there were some empty seats, so no one who had a ticket was left out, it still was cutting in line and not the right thing to do. He thought I was bold. Really I was a ticket felon.

So, I must look in the mirror and realize that I’m a cheat. I remember a friend saying, “There is a little felon in all of us.” I took umbrage to that big time, but now I see that there is one in me as well. Funny, I’m an embellisher, exaggerator, but a cheat? I never cheated at cards, and when I played competitive tennis I actually called out balls in rather than risk being considered someone who walked too close to the line of cheating. So I was able to stand at the top of the mountain of right and wrong and sing to my need for fairness. Not so much.

The thing is that I would write off my parking felonship because ‘it doesn’t hurt anyone, or take away a real visitor’s place to park as there are always spaces.’ But no, let’s face it, that’s the excuse, not the truth. My name is Christine and I’m a parking felon. My name is Christine and I cheated to see a movie I wanted to see. My name is Christine and I told someone on the street that my dog was a Golden Retriever puppy when he’s really a fifteen-year-old Duck Toller because I didn’t want to have to explain what that meant.

Obama mini me is seeping back in and starting tomorrow I’m going to park on the third floor of the garage. Please note, however, that if I die in an earthquake down there that I knew it was a risk and took it to be a better person. Now, also, I am hoping none of you will judge me, but rather see if you can find the felon in yourself. It would mean a lot to know that I’m not a lone garage parking space felon.

4 replies on “My Name is Christine, and I’m a Cheater.”

I won’t judge you, Christine.

I eat a handful grapes in the grocers before I’ve paid for the lot – a theft of pennies but a theft just the same. I rationalize that if I die of hunger before I check out, they’ll lose far more.
I don’t outright steal (except for the grapes) and I try not to lie, but I think I do anyway.

We’re human. We’re wired for flaws.

While I TOTALLY appreciate your honesty, and believe me, I don’t judge 🙂 But you made me feel so much better about myself. Just kidding. You reminded me I have to add grape felon to my list as well…

When there is a line at the deli at the grocery store I raise my hand if I have the number they call if nobody answers the first time pretending its mine. I take their spot and continue my ordering without any consideration of the huge line standing next to me. Ewwww…that is a cheat huh?! In malls I go down the wrong way in order to beat out the next car going around the right way for that one last green lit open space. Ewwww..that is a cheat…! I am done I need to sleep before I realize I am a big cheat!

I think it’s really great that you were willing to out yourself the way you did. And, if you own a black four door car, you cut me off the other day I swear!!!

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