Back in December I was enjoying a fantastic afternoon with my Hubby strolling down the baking aisle of Cub Foods when a man came up behind us and asked if either of us was actually handicapped. He had pulled in at the same time as us and had watched me park in the handicap spot. I remember seeing him in his van making a face in my rear view as I pulled into the spot.
He was exceptionally rude, and made a point to tell me that I was taking a spot from someone who really needed it. When I tried to defend myself he just walked away. I shared this story (in much greater detail) on my Facebook page and received both support and a bit of criticism. I received a message from someone who confessed that she too judged those who don’t appear to need their handicap parking spot. She explained that she believes that sometimes people who have the passes to help others take advantage of their passes when their partner is not with them and, for that reason, this man deserved gratitude of sorts for looking out for the people who need them.
I have to say I felt betrayed, and months later after much prayer about it I feel the same. To have anyone, Spoonie or non Spoonie judge another person for what they look like on the outside is painful and I pray that it never, ever happens to them. This man had no intention of actually listening to my story, and even though I attempted to explain to him that he did not know me I am confident he left believing he was right in his actions. I have to admit that’s what upset me the most; the fact that I hadn’t taken the chance to share my story with this man.
I started thinking, how could I have taken this confrontation in the grocery store and turned it into an educational moment? I considered keeping little pamphlets in my bag for the next challenger, or carrying business cards with my blog site info on it. I’m still not decided on how exactly to make a positive moment out of a moment like that, but in the meantime I’ve found a way to get my message across.
I’ll admit, this item feels more like a shield for me than an educational tool, but it’s a start. I created a vehicle magnet that is now on the back of my car, so that each person who sees me park, will also see my magnet and, I hope, will reconsider before they tell me why I don’t deserve my spot.
The magnet looks exactly like the image above and if you’d like to purchase one for yourself they are $5.00 and you can get it at this link: