Most mornings I stop at the Stripes convenience store just down the road from home and on the way to work. I pick up a breakfast taco and sometimes refill my coffee. Not too long ago I wrote about the woman who greeted me with a sweet kiss on my cheek.
This morning my experience at that store wasn’t so friendly… not because of the store employees but because of a patron. I pulled up into the available handicap parking space, got out of my car and was walking to the door when I heard a man yell “HEY!!”. I turned to see what the commotion was and realized he was yelling at me.
He was a man in his late 40’s or so standing next to a pick up truck. Inside the truck was an older gentleman wearing oxygen. He was sitting in his truck eating a taco… parked in the space directly in front of the entrance to the store.
So the younger man looks at me and in a not so nice tone asks “Where do you work?” … I told him… no problem there as I’m wearing an ID badge around my neck and the name of the hospital is boldly embroidered on the front of my shirt. Next he asks “And what is your condition that allows you to park in that spot?”
I thought for a second…. and I replied “Not that it’s any of your concern but I have Multiple Sclerosis”.
He said it was pretty amazing to watch me hop out of my car and trot on in to the store when his 90 year old father can’t find handicap parking…. his father wasn’t able to park in that spot earlier because someone else was parked there. Um, not my problem. And his dad was parked directly in front of the entrance! You can’t get any closer than that.
He continued telling me how he is sick & tired of his dad not being able to park in handicap parking because of people like me. What?????
I was flabergasted.
I thought about it for a second and then replied… “I may appear to be fine to you. It may seem that I’m trotting along just fine. But in fact I am neither of those things. Walking in a somewhat normal manner requires a great deal of concentration. And the things wrong with me that you can’t see are too numerous to list here.”
I paused and then continued “And since you mentioned it, I too am sick & tired of not being able to find suitable parking anywhere in this city. Every store, every venue… people park in the handicap spots without regard to me or anyone else who may actually need that parking. I sure wish the city police would begin enforcing the parking laws.”
He tells me “I’m an off duty police officer with the city and we DO enforce the parking laws. In fact, it’s all I do. If you have a problem with parking you should call the Chief of Police. He will send you a whole book about the problem.”
I then mentioned that I fully intended to call the Chief of Police but it won’t be to get his book.
I cannot believe that this man chewed me out and thought it was alright. His father was embarrassed and kept trying to lighten the situation.
I left there hoping this wasn’t an indication of how the whole day was going to go.
Around noon, I had a zipper blow out. Shit.
My skirt has a side zipper. And it unzipped from the bottom up.
I’m ready for bed.