My mom has a hard time walking, she’s 70 yrs old and we have a handicapped placard to use for her to park in handicapped spots. It’s raining; despite this, we walked pretty slowly across the pick-up lane and over to my car. I took the cart and went around to my side of the car to load things so that when we got home I could get everything from the side closest to the house. Mom wanted to come over and help me load; she’s standing at the end of my car. I had just told mom I would put stuff in on my side of the car and to go ahead and get in the as it was raining but she’s still clearly visible.
A woman pulled up behind my car, gets out and asked me if she could ask me a question. Thinking the woman needed help, directions or maybe just wants to tell me about her Lord and Savior (I dunno) I said: “Sure, what’s up?”
“Why are you parked in a handicapped space?”
“Because I have my handicapped mother with me.” Now, I was taken aback by this because the placard is clearly visible, and so is my mother who is getting into my car. The woman is standing right next to my back tire and she can see it from there. “We have the placard hanging up right there.”
I look to make sure it’s still there, and it is… I turn back to her waiting for an apology or something. That would be the right thing to do, acknowledge your mistake and say: “My mistake, sorry to have bothered you.” But no, Parking lot Polly decided to take another path.
“Yeah, I see it.” She retorted snidely with her arms crossed across her chest.
Wrong thing to do lady… I look at her and I lift an “excuse the heck out of you” eyebrow at her. At this time, you’d think that there would be alarm bells going off in her head. You know, something like: Warning… Danger! Danger do NOT engage! Some kind of survival instinct but no.
“Then why are you asking?” I have no interest in loading the car anymore. She has my full and undivided attention. “I’m parked here because she’s handicapped, is that okay with you?” (Heavy sarcasm here, because I don’t give two flying fuzzies if it’s okay with her or not.)
“I guess,” She sounded like it was anything but okay.
Again… WRONG thing to say. Did I mention it’s cold and raining? She’s got a coat and hat on, I have a light jacket because I made a serious error in picking out the appropriate weather gear.
As I start loading the car again she started pointing to other cars and going on about how she didn’t believe all of them were handicapped. Now I’m really mad and I stop loading the car.
“Excuse me, but it doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. They have tags that clearly says they are. ” Mom wants to know what’s going on, I tell her and she’s shocked and upset. She says to tell them that she is handicapped, I told her that the woman knows and is just being an a**hole. I go back to loading my car and try to ignore the woman’s ignorance but I’m getting angrier because she’s upsetting my mother who also has some mental issues going on.
“I see all these cars here and I think what handicapped person drives a pick-up truck like that?” She huffed and continued to complain.
“So what?!” I retort, (she pushed the right button) and I stop loading again to educate her. “They can drive whatever they want! I answered your question, I’m parked here legally. Get back in your car and mind your own damn business.”
I went back to loading the car with my back to her as she finally went back to her car then continued to verbally harass me from inside the car. Even though I had proven to her I belonged in the spot legally and was with a person who clearly has problems walking. When I finished loading, I headed back inside to return the cart and walked by her car to deliver one last bit of education.
“You don’t have the legal right to harass people, you’re blocking traffic, and now that I’m finished loading you’re illegally detaining me by blocking me from pulling out.”
I took the cart back inside and reported the woman to the store manager and warned her that someone was harassing people outside. She followed me out but the woman and her car were gone.
It bothers me that this person saw the placard and my mother and still subjected me to a tirade. I keep wondering what kind of BS would she subject someone to who didn’t have a visible handicap?
Now, why do I still feel lovely? Because I am glad it was me she chose to harass… I can handle her type. If she had done it to someone else, they might’ve been hurt, upset, their anxiety might have been triggered, who knows? I am glad that I was able to stand up to her and hopefully she learned something.