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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

'Just real quick' - About that handicap spot...

We recently became a member of the Handicap Parking Permit Club!

I put it off for a good, long while. Not because I didn't want to face that we needed this, but because I honestly felt like we didn't need it quite yet. We're healthy, we can walk. Other people might need the spot more than we do! Let them have it. For now.

I think we had been asked about ninety seven times if we had a parking permit yet and why not. So it became more of a rebellion. More like a procrastination, actually.

Then we went to a few public events and couldn't find parking. We drove by a front row full of empty handicap spots. And Manny looks at me and says, "And why don't we have one of those again?"

I also started experiencing this - gee, wouldn't it be nice if I had some room on the side to get Christian out of the van - kind of feeling.

So despite my very best efforts at procrastination, I gave in and got the darn thing. And it has been glorious, People.

Now, we pull right up to the front spots at school and unloading and loading is so much easier! Why didn't I do this sooner?!

And then one day, I noticed a delivery van pulled up to the front of the school just real quick. It was blocking a handicap space. A few days later I noticed other parents WITHOUT any sign of a permit parking in those spots just real quick to pick up their kids. And then another day, there were no special spots for us so I sat and waited for one of the just real quick parents to pull out...glaring.

I'll be the first to admit, I've pulled a just real quick a time or two. But now that I'm on the other side of that, and I'm starting to understand just how essential these spots are to the daily well being of not only Christian and me, but many others with disabilities, the just real quickers are really starting to infuriate me.

I've been known to pull into a handicap spot at Christian's school, look over and notice a just real quicker sitting there while another party is running in or whatever and giving the stank eye a time or two. I've been getting really animated, actually, whipping out my parking permit all dramatic-like and hanging it on the rear view mirror, glancing over to make sure they notice that I know they know I know.

I guess I've gotten so fired up about this because it happens - able bodied, seemingly healthy individuals using handicap spots just real quick because it's inconvenient to park and walk their asses to their desired destination - waaaay more than I ever noticed or expected.

I just wanted to do something about it! What to do? Report it to the school? Leave a snarky, yet hilarious (to me, anyway) note about why this person is being such a brat?

Enter the wonderful world of iPhone apps. Apparently there is an app I can use (and have already hastily downloaded, thank you very much) where I can take pictures of the just real quick offender, send it into a website, and they supposedly report this to the police department who then presumably issues a ticket or a warning or something.

Now, I don't know if this actually works, nor have I used my trusty little app yet. But it sure makes me feel like I can do something about this. Or at least it makes me feel better for a second.

Look, just real quickers, these spots are designated for a reason. We need extra room to get our kids out of the car because they can't do it themselves. This is a convenience afforded to us, the lucky ones, who have so many other inconveniences to deal with throughout the day that you will probably never know or understand. You have working legs, and functional limbs that will take you from point A to point B, and believe me, I'd trade ya in a second if you wanted our parking permit to save you a few steps.

All I'm saying is don't be an ass. Have some consideration. Appreciate your function and ability to simply walk. And please leave those parking spaces for those who aren't afforded that luxury.

Or you just might have your beautiful picture taken and sent away by this dramatic, parking permit whipping, wheelchair pushing, kid loving Mama. You know, just real quick.


Summer (August moms) said...


pinksarahh said...

Loved this post! My husband has tried that "real quick" thing before I promptly told them that it would NOT Be happening on my watch! Way to speak it! :)

Julia Zachreson said...

The other thing that us that have that permit don't always think about is that when it says van on the sign it is meant for a van! The space is wider and allows for a lift to come out and still get the person off the lift without having to lift them off of it. I don't know how many time I see a regular car in those spots!

Alicia said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post Shauna! I HATE when I see someone that is just too lazy using a spot that I or someone else, that actually needs the space, could use. I didn't get one for a long time because, like you, I thought that we didn't need it...after all, I CAN walk. But, I have come to realize that it makes my life easier and I, like you, deserve a little bit of "easy" in my life. So, whip out that permit and give the stink eye because people should know that they are being rude and inconsiderate. @Julia, I don't have a van (SUV and Truck) and I park in those spaces because my cars are too big for the regular spots, so I apologize in advance...sorry!!!

Jill Fischer said...

Well written, clearly stated, yet with touches of humor. Lots more input like this needed to increase awareness!!! And, that app may come in handy!

Anonymous said...

Love it, love it, love it!!!!!!!

Jen said...

Oh Yeah Girl! That's what I'm talking about! You tell um on behalf of all of us! I love it!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on most points, however, there is one exception.

I am 42 years old and was diagnosed with arthritis when I was 13. About 5 yrs ago, I finally got my own pass. In those 5 yrs, I have been yelled at, screamed at, cursed at and berated on top of getting the nasty looks from people. Why? They ASSUME I don't need it. They see me get out of my car and walk, for the most part, ok. What they don't SEE is the level of pain I have. What they don't SEE is that even if it is a good day and I'm only walking with a slight limp, if I walk too much, I can trigger an attack where I can't walk much for days after. My walking in and around the stores is very limited and I had to plan my trips very carefully. Something like "Today, I think I could get through enough aisles to get some food" "Today I might make it through to get hair/cleaning products." I had one guy call the police on me at the bank because he thought I was using someone else's placard.

This past year, I ended up having both of my hips replaced. I still have my placard while I completely heal.

I so look forward to the day when I can throw that thing away because I'm OVER people who ASSUME I don't need it and who beat me up about it so please, please, please don't just assume the person who looks ok, is always ok. I got to the point where I started to carry my doctors notes about my severe arthritis so wave at people when they told me I was a liar etc.

I 100% agree that this isn't the majority of people but it has happened to me so many times I can't count and I can't tell you how many times I drove home crying about yet another person yelling at me, cussing at me or staring me down and they had NO idea the amount of pain I was in or what it took out of me to just run in real quick etc.....

ShaunaQ said...

Anonymous - I understand your plight, as a functional walker who, after dropping Christian off has to walk alone back to the car parked in the handicap spot with no handicap or kid with a handicap! I'm sure others probably think I'm awful. My friend has a child like Christian but lives in an area heavily populated by senior citizens and they give HER dirty looks even with her daughter in a wheelchair! And my mother has RA and a parking permit.

My beef isn't with WHY people have parking permits but that they at least have them to park there in the first place. Of course I do have a slight prejudice when it comes to spaces specifically for handicap accessible vehicles and side loading vans, but I digress.

Thank you for sharing your point of view and good luck with your hip surgery! Wishing you a pain free future!

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