I put off getting a handicap parking pass as long as I possibly could. I’m not exactly sure why. Partly because I hate the DMV. Partly because I always figured that there were other, truly disabled people that needed the spot more than we did.
As Charlie gets bigger and heavier, and now that we have our nifty yellow wheelchair, I finally broke down and went to the DMV to get that handicap pass.
Took me a couple tries and I made a super-exciting Youtube video in the middle of the process, but we did eventually get a disabled person’s ID for Charlie. That ID was potentially the funniest thing I have ever seen. The picture-taking lady, who doubles as the cashier, asked me to get his attnetion, but he got so excited by the song I sang that he clapped his hands in glee, smiled huge, and completely ruined the picture. I did not opt for a retake–I know memory gold when I see it.
So now that I have the pass, I think ti’s negatively affecting my blood pressure. Seriously.
Before we got our tag, I paid no attention to the disabled parking spaces–it was like they didn’t exist. Now, it’s totally different. I get ALL EXCITED thinking about how improved my shopping trip will be–plenty of room to put together the wheelchair if I need, a short walk if I’m carting my non-ambulatory preschooler into the building. I’m not gonna lie–it’s great.
But what happens when all the spaces are full? Do I go a bit–crazy? You betcha. I look at all the cars–how disabled can you be if you drive that tiny thing? Bet you can’t fit a wheelchair in there. I start imagining scenarios where people use tags that aren’t theirs. People who broke their legs six months ago and who are still using their tag long after getting well. It’s not healthy.
The other day I arrived at TJ Maxx looking for some comfortable winter flats. There are six disabled parking spots in front of TJ Maxx and every single one of them was taken. Middle of the day on a Friday and not one spot. I head into the store, but already the crazy is taking over my brain. Who are these so-called disabled people? How disabled are they? Are they really disabled?
And if you think that gets bad–it gets worse. It does. I walked all around the store looking for someone who was having trouble getting around. I mean, TJ Maxx is a pretty big store–if you can get around there without help then surely you can walk in from the parking lot. Right? Right?!?
Ahem. I know this is crazy. I know I need to get a handle on these feelings o’entitlement. For crying out loud, I am able-bodied. Why am I letting this stuff get to me? There are a lot of real, actual issues I could be worrying about–what’s we’re going to eat for dinner, how I’m going to explain buying another pair of shoes to my husband, you know, actual problems.
So yeah, I’m working on this one. I’m not perfect and Charlie is one of my biggest reminders that it’s not about where you are, but where you’re headed. Hopefully I’m headed towards something better than this.