Who Takes Handicap Parking Spaces?

I ask that sarcastically, as in

“What kind of able-bodied person does that?”

Some time, some place, some how we’ve nurtured a society so full of twisted senses of self-entitlement that some people think parking spaces marked for the disabled are theirs for the taking, because, you know, they are just that exceptional. What happened to compassion, humility, nose3shame?

Even in my most ignorant phases of self-absorbed youth I respected others enough to not take a parking space labeled for the disabled … the less capable than I, those who really need it. Even in becoming disabled it took quite some time before I felt okay using one. As long as I could reasonably get where I needed to go I have always left disabled parking open for those who needed it worse than I.

Since then my disabilities have deteriorated and I need those spaces more frequently than used to be. Well let me tell you an unbelievable story.

I moved to where I live a year ago. It’s a well kept place with nice parking but spaces per building are limited and described as ‘first come first serve.’ Being the new arrival and regardless that my place is the farthest from parking, I respected those who came before me by not taking their spot. There was only one handicap space, almost always taken by the same car. Figuring that individual was here first and likely needed it worse than I, even when it was available I left it for them. That’s what good neighbors do, right?

Having come to know some neighbors by now, I noticed the lady who uses the handicap space gets around just fine. Her car has no disabled tag nor placard. So I asked and, come to find out, she is not disabled at all. She just feels entitled to the only handicap space our building has. Really?

For the most part the lady rarely moves her car, it just sits parked there. She has frequent visitors who always take the next closest spaces, inevitably leaving me on the farthest end of a parking lot that is already the farthest walk. A couple of times I’ve returned with loads to bring in only to see her visitor leaving, so I’d wait to park closer and unloadnose2. When her visitor noticed me doing that, then when she saw me waiting she’d go all the way back inside and stare out the window, to prevent me from parking closer. Clearly these were not nice people.

I’ll do anything within reason to avoid unnecessary conflict so I gave this situation weeks of thought. I could’ve easily reported the neighbor’s abusive parking to police, which would’ve resulted in a $250 fine, but that’s not very neighborly, right? All I wanted was reasonable access to my place, where I come & go every day and where I pay rent to live.

I decided to ask management about labeling “resident” on closer parking spaces so I had a chance at reasonable access. I was surprised when they decided to add a second handicap space instead, which I thought was a great solution! In doing that they addressed the lady’s abusive parking, which I could predict would not be received warmly but that was their decision. Honestly, it should’ve been done before now. Even more honestly, the woman should’ve known better in the first place – period.

Well, this extra space has made my shopping life tremendously easier! The first day I used the new space I was all chipper walking back to my place and the lady who’d abused the other one for so long was sitting on her patio. As I always did, instinctively and without hesitating, as I passed by I hollered out a chipper “Hi!

nose1My eyes could not believe what they were seeing. The lady was sitting with her nose stuck so prominently far up in the air that she, literally, looked like a comic book character. I am not kidding. It was disgustingly laughable. Ever wish you could un-see something? I couldn’t begin to crink my neck far enough to get my nose that far up in the air if my life depended on it. Of course she didn’t respond to my greeting. She was sending the message, [huff puff & snort] ‘how dare you!

How dare I’ what? ‘How dare I,‘ a real disabled person, ask for a ‘resident’ parking space where I pay rent? ‘How dare I’ have one? ‘How dare I’  be disabled? Just ‘what’ the heck have I done? Apparently the only alternative this self-entitled nitwit thought suitable was for me to keep sluffing tremendous hardships back and forth, because, I guess we all should know, no one makes their life livable if it causes consequences of her moronic behaviors? Oh give me a break.

This isn’t some stupid college student protesting on a campus. This is a full grown senior adult woman who definitely should know better. How bullies like this ever reason to themselves that somehow they’re the ones who’ve been slighted is so far off of my scope of comprehension I couldn’t begin to make sense of it. A mind that can think like that, in my book, is a very scary one.




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