Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Are You Serious?" Awards - Volume XXVI: The Problem with Parking Edition


I can remember getting my first hang tag for disabled parking, not for one of my kids, but for one of the four knee surgeries I had in a two-year period.  It was a huge blessing at a time where maneuvering through every sort of weather on crutches was an invitation to re-injury.

Fast forward a few years, and I had a son who was confined to a wheelchair during school hours while he tried to heal from a serious internal bleed in his hip.  Other parents GLARED at me for parking in the disabled spots in front of our school, despite the fact that they watched me hauling a heavy, old wheelchair out of my vehicle every day for my son.  I had my application in the dashboard window until his hang tag arrived, but my grouchy, judgmental fellow parents never took time to notice it.  The principal confirmed to me that people called complaining that I was parking there without my parking tag showing.  It gave us both a good laugh at the pettiness of others.

Since that time, my son has been know to bark at me if I dare to suggest that we use that hang tag when he is fully ambulatory.

"Don't you dare, Mom!  I can walk!" he'll admonish.

Interestingly, I had a friend challenge that notion recently.  She described frustration with a parking lot that was crammed to the gills with cars, nowhere to park, but dozens of handicapped parking spaces sitting frustratingly vacant.

Are you SERIOUS?!

Photo Image Courtesy of Jim Parkin via 123rf.com
So it's time Heather receive her award for suggesting that we are foolish not to use our hang tag.  Her point of view?  She told me, "When you don't use the hang tag that you have been given with your doctor's permission, you take up a parking spot that I could be using.  Use your tag!"

I never thought of it this way, and my son still isn't buying into it.  

What say you?  Do you agree with my award-winning friend this week, Heather?  How do you handle parking?

We would love to hear from you!

~ Barb Dittrich

9 comments:

  1. I recently had a gentleman (ah-hum) bless me out because (having handicap plates for my son with cp) I parked in a regular spot, since I did not have my son with me at the time. The spot I took was next to a designated handicap spot. The logic for his anger was that I should have parked in the designated spot so someone else could have the spot I so thoughtlessly took. No pleasing people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well put! They're mad at you if you don't park there critical if you do park there. People need to 1) be a whole lot kinder to one another; 2) stop appointing themselves judge and jury over others; 3) maybe PRAY for whoever is in the spot -- If they're supposed to be there, they could use God's comfort. If they're not, they could use God's conviction.

      Delete
  2. I want to nominate the lady who literally accosted me in the grocery a number of Saturdays ago. I waited for a handicapped space AND USED MY HANG TAG. She was livid - to say the least - that I held up what she said she counted to be 10 cars. There was room to go past, and there were NOT 10 cars. She said, "I watched you and counted....." I was astonished which takes a LOT! She said (This is so hilarious!), "That was so rude, and you don't need handicapped parking anyway." I ignored her medical assessment but couldn't stop myself from telling her she was the one who was rude! Then I turned and walked away! UGH, double UGH!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, my holy unhinged driver! What is it that makes people so over-the-top when they get behind the wheel of a car? I would've paid money to see you back-sass her, Ann. ;-)

      Delete
  3. I don't use handicap parking, and I cannot imagine saying anything to anyone that does (because they need to)! I am so grateful that my daughter can walk - with as many issues as we have - that isn't one of them. Keep parking wherever you want - I can use the exercise (and so could quite a few more people)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a permanently disabled hang tag. I use it maybe 25% of the time. I don't get looks when I don't use it because it stays above my visor. What I do get is nasty looks when I get out of my truck and appear physically fine. What they DON'T see is when i come back to my truck a half hour later barely able to walk. Moral of my story is not every disabled person uses a chair or a walker. P.s The reason I don't use it if I don't need to is that when living in a small town there are less spots around and someone might need it that is worse off than I am.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the hardest part, isn't it? They don't know what they don't know!

      Delete
  5. People have told us that we can get a hang tag because of Evie's conditions, but we haven't felt the need to...I want her walking as much as possible and it's not "un-healthy" for her. I DO, on the other hand, use the handicap bathroom when she requires my assistance. It's a bigger stall, after all, and allows us room to move around, which is one of the reasons the handicap stall is made the way it is. I know people glare at me when we use that at times, but, I'm fortunate to realize that I am under God's law, and he knows what we need. :)

    ReplyDelete