Sunday, March 10, 2013

Handicap Parking and Other Perks

Okay first of all the title of this post is SARCASM at it's Finest. I  try to blog about things that are happening or have happened to me. I was fortunate to be able to go to dinner with my family tonight. My husband usually drops me and the kids at the door of the restaurant and he goes to park the car. I am fortunate through my disability to have a handicap placard in my car. So when my husband is driving he will usually park in disabled parking after dropping me off, anticipating I may walk to the car when we are leaving. Well tonight was no different. My children and I went into the restaurant to stand in line or wait to be seated.It seemed like my husband was taking longer than usual so I assumed he had to park far away.That was until I saw his face.

I looked up from the table and saw a man that was obviously pissed. I said. "What happened?" My husband is the man that ONLY LOOKS UPSET when HE IS UPSET. He sat down and said, "I am getting out the car and this woman says to me, "Hey that is a handicap space!" He looked shocked when he started explaining what happened. He continued, so I turned to her and I said, "Yes I know that," and kept walking. She follows me and says, "You don't look disabled to me." So my husband said he stopped right in his tracks and said, "My wife is disabled ma'am, I dropped her off and parked the car." He said the woman said "Oh I am so sorry." My husband said she started to walk away and he became intrigued because she didn't appear disabled either, so he said "Are you looking for a disabled space?" Her response was ridiculous. She said, "Oh no,I just try to keep watch over those spaces because so often people will park there and they are not disabled.I was just out here having a cigarette and saw you pull in." My husband said he couldn't believe this, she was the DAMN PARKING LOT POLICE!!! He said he shook his head and walked away.

I asked him with a smile on my face, "Are you for real?" His face said it all. He then went on a rant that I was not expecting. He said, "I had to walk through her cigarette smoke to get to the door. She was loud and drawing attention to both of us. And then she acted like she was doing the world a service!!" He shook his head and I laughed.

My husband didn't get it. We disabled folks get all the Perks!!!! I mean we get special parking and entrances and ramps and bigger toilet stalls and we get seated first on the plane. I could go on but I am sure you get  the idea. I don't have a problem with the idea of what the parking lot police lady was trying to do. But I find it interesting that she had a problem with dishonest parking and not the  second hand smoke cloud she was making in front of a restaurant where a sign read "NO SMOKING WITHIN 30 Feet of FRONT DOOR". It just seemed like her priorities were a little askew.

I think I speak for many disabled or differently able people when I say, we wish we didn't have to park there! We would give up all the perks of being social security recipients if we could just walk faster, walk further or walk at all. We really DO NOT WANT BIGGER STALLS in Public Bathrooms. We DO NOT WANT TO GET ON THE PLANE FIRST! Now don't get me wrong, we appreciate the accommodations  that are made for us but we would love to be treated like everyone else.

I am not bitter about being disabled. It is my reality and I deal with it.As do many of my friends. However the unnecessary FUSS that sometimes can be made under the umbrella of disability can be a bit much. We would never want someone to put themselves in danger for a parking space. We don't expect you too slap around the kids playing in the scooter at the grocery store on our behalf. We don't want you to walk in front of us at church or the movies screaming, "Coming through!!" We really would absolutely love it if you just treated us in a normal manner. We know our limitations better than anyone else. And the majority of us have no problem speaking our minds when we feel we are being mistreated.

So let's all just treat each other with respect and kindness. You can not go wrong that way. Who knows when or where we will be called to defend one another just based on brotherly love. A restaurant, a parking lot, or an airplane. In case you don't recognize me, I will be the one being seated first!!!! Just kidding.



  1. Would I love to be able to say no thank you to SSD I can work and be like everyone else. Trying to keep some of my disablity hush hush because I am a mom and boy do people have some crazy opions about a mother with disability It can be nasty. They do not get it. I will give all those perks away to feel great, be able to open a can lol That stuff

  2. Thanks Val for the insight ! I have a little story 1 time a lady was pushing her disabled Dad out of Walmart and I have disabled card for car ..she saw me and yelled at my family which 1 of you is disabled I do not see anyone who is ,she was very nasty..I yelled back I have MS and fall I need to be close to the door lady.she yelled back well you do not look disabled and I told her Thanks.
    that experience really hurt me I felt ashamed because yes I can walk ,that day was a better day and I just had some guilt for having a good walking day.

  3. Well the funny thing is WE DO HAVE GOOD DAYS! But when people see us on those days they feel like we are not ill, disabled, sick, whatever. If they only knew how far and how few some of those good days are! I can relate to you both. I wish sometimes i could take my illnesses of like a jacket. Just to jump and run and play with my kids!!! just to be able to dress myself with no help! I feel like being a mom is the best thing I will ever do. it breaks my heart when illness interferes. We are in a battle you guys that not many understand and that can make it harder, Love and Blessings