Friday, September 28, 2007

handicapped spot

There was this woman at the grocery store this morning. It was my second trip to the grocery store this week. Apparently, spending two-hundred and forty dollars at Fairway does not cover a week’s worth of meals and does not include staples like toilet paper, seltzer and whipped cream. (A special shout out to Hamish for sitting on the Kozy Shack and the grated cheese! Go honey! Easily replaced. I mean, where else do you put a three and a half year-old when there’s a one year-old in the passenger seat?)

So this lady, in her rollers, kerchief, half-inch thick application of tan, gummy lip glaze, giant rhinestone tinted shades, cooped in a yellow hatchback—the kind of car that you usually feel sorry for people for having because it’s the bargain basement model for people who would rather put a staple in their eye than drive a used car. Cheap and teeny and ugly. So she wafts into the handicapped spot right outside the store. I survey the plates, framed in chrome spikes like a pit-bull's collar, already suspicious. What a yenta I am. Still. Not a wheelchair to be seen.

I peek in the back seat. No cane, walker, half-opened bag of Depends. No sign that she or anyone else in the car is actually handicapped. We pass each other in every aisle in the store, and with each pass I think about this huge injustice, not that it applies to me personally. I think about saying to her, “Why did you park in a handicapped spot? Are you that entitled? What if a guy in a wheelchair wanted to shop?” And then I thought about her possible replies. “Get out of my face, you fucking bitch.” Or, “I have six weeks left to live.” It was also slightly possible she was recovering from some botched cosmetic surgery, in which case she shouldn’t be operating heavy machinery at all.

In any case, whatever reply she would have given, even if she’d said, “I parked in a handicapped spot? I had no idea! Let me go move my car!” I would have obsessed about butting in all day. Instead, I am obsessed, albeit mildly, by my not butting in. Because, get this, all the while I was indulging my sense of indignation, my neck kinked up and I got a muscle spasm. It still hurts a little.

On one hand it’s none of my business what this lady does. The store was empty. There were other handicapped spots, although hers was the closest to the store. She could have been ailing, or maybe she knows the manager, maybe she does this every Friday morning, who knows? On the other hand, what is it with people who are so entitled that they flout the rules the rest of us sometimes bend over backwards to follow? I mean, the other day, another woman in her SUV was making a U-turn in an intersection in my neighborhood, huffing and puffing and rolling her eyes like it was such a hassle, while the rest of us waited for her to get on her way. If that had been me in the SUV, I’d be shrinking and waving and mouthing “I’m so sorry!” the whole time. So I waited at the stop sign feeling somehow like it was my fault that this woman was breaking about twelve driving laws and creating a traffic jam. Have I made my point? What was I…Oh yeah. Choosing our battles. What would I have accomplished by confronting someone who possibly already feels like the world owes her? I’d just reaffirm her negative life philosophy. So I kept my mouth shut, filled my cart and went on my way, not without first peering into her backseat for one last look.


hubby said...

Honey, I don't really have the time for an in depth comment, but I love it when you blog and I wish you had more time to do it! It's very entertaining.

Meanwhile - How much did you have to pay those models in your pictures!?

CC said...

I enjoy your blogs too, keep bloggin!