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A CYNICAL LOOK AT THE DAILY GRIND

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

PIMP MY GIMP


I'm card-carrying cripple who's legally authorized to park in handicapped spaces due to an accident seven years ago that almost took my leg.

After a year of therapy to learn to walk again without assistance, I was able to alter my stride over time so my limp is barely noticeable. But, that doesn't mean I'm without pain.

Here's the issue. I had an angry man approach me recently and say, "You don't look handicapped to me," after I parked in a designated space at the store.

I resented the fact that I had to explain to him that you don't have to LOOK handicapped to be handicapped. Take for example those with heart and lung problems.

So, what's a legitimately "handicapable" person to do? Exaggerate the limp?Grimace in pain with every step? Stop and gasp for breath?

I would think that blue placard hanging on the rear-view mirror says it all.

And, I would hope only those in need use it.

19 Comments:

Blogger Jane M. said...

I think people get angry when they see someone who they think is abusing a handicapped parking space. Unfortunately, as you said, not all handicaps are visible.

Abuse of the special spaces is rampant. People feel protective of the handicapped and want to help. I don't think there is an answer, but you don't owe the person who questions your disability an explanation either.

Wed Sep 20, 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous proofreader said...

If you (or others with handicapped placards) are feeling good the day you park..save your handicapped space for someone else who is not feeling as well that day and park in regular spots. It's kind of like when at check-out line in a store there is the penny dish for those who need an extra penny or if want to put in an extra one for someone else to use at a later time. You know it's there to be used if needed. As far as people criticizing you with looks, etc. just ignore them. They are the same judgmental folks who stare at "little people", obese people and people with deformities.

Wed Sep 20, 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband was given a handicap sticker too. In fact it was worn out that NJ kindly gave him another one. He uses it here in NJ and in Florida. The handicap snowbirds in our Florida church are more numerous than the year round residents. The church needs more handicap spaces.
Should a handicap person park farther away on what could be a "GOOD DAY?"
I do not think so. How do you know how you would feel later. No, I do not think people take advantage as "you can't judge a book by it's cover."

Wed Sep 20, 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Norm said...

You should have given the angry jerk a smile and "the finger" and walked away.

In this realm, doctors tend to be responsible citizens, and the public needs to better understand the plight of handicapped people --visibly handicapped or not.

What bothers me is when people without the placards take up the spaces for no other reason than being inconsiderate.

Wed Sep 20, 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous tony said...

How do you know where to say NO. My biggest gripe is seeing someone driving the car who absolutely doesn’t need a handicapped placards. Again, how do you know who really uses the car. No real solution.

Wed Sep 20, 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous C. Reilly said...

A lot of people complain about others having handicap placards because some people do not appear to need them. It seems that if you don't walk with a cane, they think you shouldn't have a handicap placard. There are many people with heart conditions, upper respiratory diseases and back problems that do deserve to have them, so they shouldn't be too quick to judge.

Wed Sep 20, 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Tom from Brick said...

My wife has a handicapped card. However, when I'm driving her, I drop her off at the front door of the store and find a normal space. I try and avoid using the handicapped spaces so that those who really need them will have them. What really burns me is seeing someone who is perfectly healthy disregard the sign and park in a handicapped space because they're too lazy to walk a short distance to the entrance.

Wed Sep 20, 07:01:00 PM  
Anonymous peanut butter and jelly said...

It such a shame that people no longer give one another the benefit of the doubt. It seems like more and more, we jump to passing judgement on one another. If there is one lesson that everyone needs to learn in life -- it is never rush to any assumption about the truth of another person's life. I feel baffled whenever I overhear or encounter a nasty person treating someone badly. Life is too short to be angry and judgemental all of the time.

Wed Sep 20, 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Barry said...

I believe doctors sometimes go overboard with the placards.....The real reason may be do in large part due to a fear of lawyers , from someone denied a sticker who hurts themselves, realistically or not, and then sues the Dr.
Perhaps we need to redefine how lawyers are allowed to corrupt our systems, as well as the doctors.

Thu Sep 21, 09:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike B said...

The only people I know who have them, deserve them. Someone who may seem fine walking may have breathing troubles or other problems not visable to the public. Be careful before judging to soon!

Thu Sep 21, 09:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Brittany said...

You old codgers are all alike. You need these special signs. If you were young and beautiful like me, you wouldn't need any signs. People would willingly give you their parking spaces.

Thu Sep 21, 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous dmc said...

Diana, you deserve the placard. You were very lucky. What aggravates me is the old people that have no placard or plate and they park in the handicapped parking. The lastest parking sign is for preganant moms or with infant children. How did we do it years ago. The 2000's really spoiled alot of us.

Thu Sep 21, 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey brittany..your handicap is def. a mental one..maybe you should not even be operating a vehicle!

Thu Sep 21, 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Hartster said...

I wasn't going to bring this up, but since someone mentioned about the parking sign for preganant moms or with infant children....

I've checked and those are _suggested_ spaces. Those aggravate me and I'll pull into them if they're empty. After all, why not special spaces for people who have conditions, quote-enquote but can't get a handicapped permit? Why not have spaces close to the door for people who can't remember where they parked, people with high blood pressure, or people with carpal tunnel and thus have trouble pushing a shopping cart and therefore need to be closer to the store?

As for the angry man, don't worry about it. Unfortunately, with the abuse of the placard, people are gonna feel that the holder isn't entitled to it. Just ignore him.

Thu Sep 21, 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous proofreader said...

with all this animosity and shopping mall, parking spot rage, I say "Online shopping"!

Fri Sep 22, 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just tell him to mind his own business!

Tue Sep 26, 05:07:00 PM  
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