C’mon . . . ‘fess up. You have thought that there are a lot of people using the handicap parking spots that don’t LOOK very handicapped. The people that don’t appear handicapped just appear . . . old.
I have to admit that this thought has crossed my mind before, but the thought was pretty fleeting until recently. I’m one of those people that usually tries to park *further* from the door, and call it my daily/weekly/monthly exercise. How many people were using those reserved parking spots – and why – was not particularly important to me.
Then, last month, I had an operation my right foot. For six weeks, I am confined to wearing an orthopedic shoe/sandal thing on that foot. This is basically fine by me, because my foot is so swollen that it won’t fit into any shoe that I own. I will be limping and with limited mobility, according to my doctor, for several months. He gave me a form so that I could go to the Michigan Secretary of State and get a temporary placard that would allow me to legally park in a designated handicap spot. (In Michigan it’s called “disability parking”, which is more politically correct, but less recognizable.)
I’ve got my temporary placard, but I have hardly used it. It’s not that I haven’t tried to use it – it’s Michigan, and it’s cold and/or snowing when I go to the grocery or drug store. Since I couldn’t even wear socks for a while due to the swelling, parking a little closer would be a treat. I walk limp very slowly right now, so that cold air hits those unprotected toes even longer.
I don’t use it because the handicapped parking spaces are almost always full. When I get inside, though, I almost never see anyone with a cane, walker, wheelchair, or other orthopedic device. I always look like the most disabled person in the store.
What do you think? Is there a massive abuse of handicap parking, or are most disabilities invisible? Is it handicapped or handicap?