Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer MuSings

It's summer vacation season and even though I am on a "permanent vacation," I still seem to slow down in the summer. The idea of writing a cohesive blog entry does not appeal to me, so I will give you some random thoughts then I have been pondering lately.

  • Can a paraplegic be a standup comic? Could they sue for discrimination?
  • There are too many active words in our culture and I feel left out. A person is supposed to "stand up for themselves," or "stand on their own two feet." Then there is that song, "You'll Never Walk Alone." Walk alone? How about walk at all?
  • Why do people insist on talking to me very loudly and slowly? Yes, my legs don't work but my hearing and cognitive ability are just fine.
  • If I asked my doctor about every prescription I see advertised, he wouldn't have time to actually examine me.
  • Why do the frail and elderly always try and help open a door when the perfectly fit people parade around as if they don't even see the person in the wheelchair?
  • Why does a fertilized egg left over from a fertility treatment have more of a right to life than I do? That's basically what opponents of stem cell research are saying.
  • Is it fair that people with MS often have to choose their drug therapy based on what they can afford? Shouldn't every one be able to access the drugs that benefit them the most? Does that make me a crazy liberal for thinking that?
  • Should I feel guilty about wearing disposable, paper underwear? Will the environmentalists insist that I wear cloth diapers?
  • Daycare for children may be expensive, but daycare for adults is often nonexistent.
  • A pessimist is never disappointed.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Potty People Parking

When I was a little kid, I thought that the universal handicapped symbol was a person sitting on the toilet. It made sense to me that someone who needed to go the bathroom required a parking space close to the building. Now, I have my own tag that matches the parking spaces and I wish that my only problem was having an urgent need to get to a restroom. Being a "potty person" isn't all that great.

It seems that whenever I pull into my special spot, there is a senior citizen glaring at me. "How dare she park in that spot? She isn't even old." To make matters worse, I no longer drive so my young aide jumps out of the car and goes to the trunk to get out my wheelchair. Only when they see me being lifted out of the car and into my chair to they stop staring. I make it obvious that I have been watching them watch me and I hope that they feel badly now.

It used to be even worse for me when I was still driving and using a cane or a walker. Back then, people would do more than just stare. Old men would bang on my window until I rolled it down and then they would inform me that I was parking in a handicap spot and that was illegal. When I showed them my parking tag, they told me that it must not be mine. The first time this happened to me, I was rather upset. The second time, I was angry. I told the old coot that that ad was indeed mine. I had filled out the proper paperwork, had it signed by my doctor and paid my money to the DMV. The reason that I had the tag was between me and my physician and it was none of his damn business what the reason was.

When I was still walking, I needed to park close because big box stores and the grocery store require a lot of walking. I couldn't count on being able to use one of the store's electric carts. They would either all be in use, not be charged or I would have to go through the same confrontation I had for a parking space. Now that I'm on wheels, I need the extra room that a handicap spot provides. There's a reason they have those blue hatch marks between spaces and my pet peeve is when someone parks it in that extra space. You would think that a fellow "potty person" would be a little more thoughtful.

You and I have seen people parking in handicap spots who seem to be perfectly fine, and perhaps they are. However, many with handicap tags have them for a reason and able-bodied people should respect that. Please let the "potty people" have their parking spaces. We have enough other problems to handle.