Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Overwhelmingly, people said that I was not in the wrong, but for some reason I still feel badly and even though many of you said that I was right a lot of you brought up the fact that perhaps the old man was doing this for pride and perhaps the handicapped plate wasn't for him. Maybe it was for his wife or for the sake of being politically correct, his life partner. I honestly hadn't thought of these things and when you brought them up to me, I felt worse.

At the same time, there's something else going on in this story. When it happened I was out of my mind with nerves. I was so terrified of getting those test results back and learning that I had tissue damage from Lupus or that I would never be able to safely have children that I was totally wigging out. Additionally, because of living here and having worked in restaurants here and definitely because of my old job I am very used to old people being mean. I think this puts me on the defensive when I shouldn't be.

Since I have to go to the doctor a lot, I'm around old people a lot. Usually I'm the youngest person in the waiting room and I always get questions like "Are you waiting for someone?" and "Why would someone so young need to be here?" I hate those questions. Then I have to explain and then I hear things like "What did you do to yourself to get that so young?" or the nicer version "Oh my God how tragic in someone your age." But I always ignore it. But it still bothers me.

So, even though a lot of you said I was right, I still feel like I was wrong and I'm going donate to a suitable charity since there is no other way to make amends in this situation. I know some of you will say that throwing money around isn't really an apology, but I felt like since I can't apologize or make up for this personally, that a personal sacrifice that could help someone else was my best option. The charity I'm going to donate to is a group at my grandmother's church that assists seniors who have lost their spouses and seniors who are very poor. My grandfather felt very strongly about this group and I've been donating to them all year since his death. I feel like this is the right thing to do and my grandmother's church isn't some holy rolling, bigoted kind of nonsense. They have a gay pastor and a female pastor and part of their belief is a strong dedication to relief work in their immediate community with no evangelizing. I can get behind that.

Also, someone was actually so offended that they unfollowed this blog because of yesterday's post. Really? I think that was silly because it should have been obvious that I had good intentions and did not cuss the old man or give him the finger back. I actually thought he didn't see the spot and I wanted to make sure he did. And surely I have said a lot worse on here than that I felt badly about an incident with a parking spot. Some people love to be offended. I swear to God.

PS. Someone else asked if I thanked the man and yes, I did. I thanked him profusely, but I'm not sure if he heard me.


LegalMist said...

Oh, you are so sweet. And truly it seems like a win-win situation in the end. Even if the old man never knows what you did, society will benefit from your donation. Almost better that he doesn't know; then it can be more like a penance for you...

I can't believe someone would "un-follow" over that, but oh, well. Easy come, easy go.

Sometimes I hate how obsessed I get over who does / does not follow me. And sometimes I consider un-following blogs even though I like them, just because there are so many of them and I get overwhelmed in my Google reader but then I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by un-following them and so I feel kinda stuck. Maybe that person was feeling "stuck" and was just looking for an excuse to "un-follow" even though he/she still likes your blog.

Anonymous said...

I had problems posting on your last post. These are my thoughts.
1st - That whole incident was so Larry David. You should call him it could be his next show.
2nd - I didn't think you were wrong, but I understand that maybe he doesn't feel handicappe all the time. Maybe he was having a good day, or maybe the tag was really for his wife or someone else.
3rd - I am sure the group you are making the donation to will be grateful.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the man was just flustered. My father had a handicapped tag for years but only used the handicapped spaces when he felt truly awful (point of pride). Give yourself a break, we can't read minds.

Anonymous said...

I think it's wonderful that you've donated to your grandmother's church, and I also think it's fantastic that they're doing actual support work, something that I think every church ought to do. I think the thing with the old guy was going to be contentious no matter what, but I don't think you were out of line to ask him to use the handicap space, because you needed the regular space. I'm sure you were polite, but sometimes it doesn't matter, people are just primed to go off.

Sulima said...

I don't think this is really a question of moral rightness . The old man probably didn't park in the handicapped space because he doesn't really need to. He was annoyed that you questioned him about it, acted grumpy because life sucks when you're old so you're always kind of grumpy and then saw your point and moved for you. He didn't like it, but you had a point. And you did what you had to do to make it to your appointment. You didn't do anything to hurt him you just asked him to help you out. Donating to charity is always good, but you don't have to beat yourself up about it and you don't have to believe that he was wrong and being mean. You Scorpios need everything to be black and white.

Mile High Pixie said...

I'm with you, SNM. As an architect that designs healthcare facilities all the time, we HAVE to provide a certain number of handicapped spaces, and frankly those spaces are usually the closest to the entrance. Honestly, I'm surprised he didn't want a cherry spot like that. When I go to the doctor, I often park kinda far from the door anyway because I know there are usually people much sicker or less physically fit than me (like old people or folks undergoing chemo) who could use the parking spaces closer to the door, even if they anre't "handicapped" or have the tag.

I think all things considered, you did the right thing. If you had parked in the handicapped space that he refused, you could have gotten a $200 ticket. That's how it is in Denver. I can see it being a point of pride, but your point was equally valid--you can park in those spaces, sir, whereas I cannot, and we both have somewhere to go in short order. Let's help each other.

Anonymous said...

Donating to a charity is not going to make you feel absolved of this; Trust me.

You have to go be nice to a mean old man, or volunteer some time at a senior center. It's the only way. Trust me on this. I know what I'm talking about.

kaylee said...

IE: the parking thing.
I would have done the same thing.
there is a big chance he did not know
and you would have helped him.
The only mean old people I met
was in Fl, I mean ....mean and rude.
I thought it was in the water.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I hope you don't think it was me that stopped following because of the post. I still read you every single day, just in an RSS feed on MyYahoo, instead of following on blogger. I'm trying to tidy that list up because I'm way too overwhelmed over there. Sorry if it was me that made you feel badly! I seem to be insulting people all over the blogosphere unintentionally, lately.

Holly said...

the truth is, rude is rude, whether the person is old, young, dying, having a bad day, whatever. they are behaving poorly and, no matter what the reason, they don't deserve to be coddled or rewarded for it. don't feel bad. i probably would have flipped him off, personally. i flipped off an old lady at a four way stop the other day because it was her turn to go, she didn't, and i saw her mouth 'stupid bitch' to me so i honked and gave her the finger as i pulled across the intersection. screw old, entitled, pissed off people.

the Bag Lady said...

I love your blog. Not only for the great stuff you write, but also for the comments. I hope that donating to a charity helps you feel better about the episode, but you did nothing wrong. From your telling of the story, you were polite, even in the face of his rudeness.
Here in Alberta, a lot of people have handicapped tags that hang over the rear-view mirror - they can be removed. If he did not want to avail himself of the privilege of using the handicapped space, he could have removed the tag. Of course, if it is a permanent tag, that would not be an option.

And it always amazes me to hear stories about rude old people. Some day, God willing, we'll get there, to. Hopefully, we'll remember our manners.

Grumpy Housewife said...

Oh please, don't feel bad. That man was being a rude asshole to you, and you tried being nice and pointing out the handicapped spot. To hell with him, I think he just likes being mean to other people. Fuck that!

Anonymous said...

As I mentioned, I come from NYC, but I have never been flipped the fird as much as I have since I started spending winters in SWF 5 years ago. What is up with that?

Others have said that we are not mind readers, so who knows what was going on in the guy's head that morning. OTOH, anyone can make a mistake, come to a rash conclusion, be rude, whatever, but if you realize it and apologize for it, then you are absolved. Simple.

Did you know that those Handicapped hang tags are registered for a particular car? A friend used her father's because she was transporting him and got a ticket...a huge one.

Now when my mother visits, I just drop her off and tell her not to move until I park and get back. It's a pain, but the best way to handle it.

The other day at Publix, I sorta "met" a woman searching in the egg display for Jumbo eggs. I helped her look, because sometimes things hide in plain sight, but no, there were no jumbos.

I asked her, would Extra Large do OK? I was being nosy, I know, wanting to know why someone would need to eat the super sized egg, especially when one is already super sized herself.

She answered that she has always served jumbo eggs, just a habit, as she put the others in her cart.

From the looks of her purchases, she's not too worried about heart disease, nor her waistline.

So, I see her again and she asks me if I know where the paper plates are. I try not to generate garbage, so I don't... not that I shared THAT tidbit with her.

She was large but she moved around pretty well, buying up lots of artery clogging food. Tsk tsk.

(Please note heavy sarcasm.)

The punch line is that I saw her again in the parking lot, load and climb way up into one of those really high profile Pick Ups, parked with a handicapped hang tag.

I am trying not to be so judgmental, but it's not easy. The good news is that I kept my mouth shut which is a miracle for a New Yorker! hahahahhaaha!

She might in fact have a handicap not obvious to the naked eye.

I also have an older acquaintance living in Western NY who has a bad back and the handicapped hang tag to go with it. Oddly enough, she can walk 18 holes of golf 5 days a week, pushing her clubs in a cart.

Go figure.

Only a good person would feel guilty enough about that interaction to make a donation to charity.

Go in Peace.

Anonymous said...

My Dad has a handicapped placard for his car (not plate). He has one of those "hidden" disabilities. He hates parking in the handicap reserved spaces out of pride. Sometimes the non-handicap spaces are closer to the door we need, and hence make more sense for his disability. People parking in handicap reserve spaces are my new pet peeve, but I never thought of it from the standpoint of someone who can't park in handicap spaces and then is denied access to open parking because we take one up. Food for thought for all of us.

About Me

Blog Archive