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.

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