During a recent trip shopping with a friend, she took her car and because I didn’t have my disability parking authority we parked in a normal space. This got us talking about how her son saw a man with no authority park in the disabled spot and get out like it was no big deal. Her son expressed his anger quite vocally with ‘Mum thats so wrong!’ That man is so wrong!’ in which the ‘gentlemen’ turned to glare at my friend and her reply – ‘See, even a child knows when its the wrong thing to do’.
After her story we started talking about why people want to park there so bad when they are quite capable of walking a few extra feet without the need of a larger space to get a wheelchair out and how parking in normal spots for me is quite challenging when I am on my own. In the past I’ve had to go back inside stores and wait for the car next to me to vacate because they have parked too close to my door and I couldn’t get to it with my chair. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I have to live with on a daily basis.
As we were walking inside we both turned to see a man parked in a disabled spot, motor running and no authority. I shook my head in disbelief and just before I could say anything else he learned out the window and yelled ‘Im only waiting!’. When you sit in a space and ‘only wait’ for someone with the engine running, the spot is still not available for someone who needs it. That could mean someone who cannot walk long distances having to park further away and make the experience more difficult for them. Those spots are not convenient and they are not a luxury – they are a necessity.
I was so shocked at his response (while Im wheeling away in my own wheelchair) my only thought was to flip him off – And thats what I did. I turned my back and gave him the middle finger salute that indicated that YOU, Sir.. are a dick. And while Im sure this made him mad, he certainly won’t forget the time he was waiting in the wrong place at the right time to be caught by someone who got the last word in, silently gliding away.