Monday, July 30, 2012

um, excuse me?

Tonight I put on my gym clothes and drove to the cracker barrel for dinner. I got there at 545p and got a parking spot right up front. My best friend Natalie asked me if I had hijacked a handicapped spot (because naturally, I txted her to brag about my awesome parking spot). And it made me realize that I had a confession to make: I did hijack a handicapped parking spot once. I know, I know. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, especially since you probably do it all the time. Except I bet you don't get into verbal altercations with handicapped people when you steal their parking spots.

Here is how it all went down. A few years ago, Emily and I drove out for lunch. She wanted some coffee so we stopped at the Starbucks (that just so happened to be inside of the Teeter that I think was once named the #1 spot in the country to pick up singles. For the record, I've never picked anything other than a fight at this particular Teeter). I pulled into the open spot out front, put my car in park and started txting away while Emily ran in for her shot of espresso. At one point I looked up and saw a man taking a picture of my car. So I did what any rational person would do. I rolled down my window, stuck my head out and said "umm, excuse me?" He immediately started firing off all these reasons why he was taking my picture, the biggest and most important being that I was parked in a handicapped spot without a handicapped sticker. I told him I was pretty sure it was illegal for him to take pictures of people in their cars. He told me it was illegal for me to park in a handicapped spot without a handicapped sticker. He just would NOT let it go. I told him my car was still running, so technically, I wasn't parked there. I told him my lawyer would be calling him. Then, I asked him if he thought he was the handicapped police or something.

He told me that as a matter of fact, he sort of was.  He worked for some handicapped rights coalition and every month they published a newsletter and would include pictures of people abusing handicapped rights. Apparently this newsletter is used by legislators in North Carolina to make laws that protect the rights of the disabled.

I was so angry. I called my lawyer (dad) who immediately called this coalition up and told them they better send him the film from that camera and that any pictures of his daughter that got published would be subject for suit, or something really mean and equally threatening.

And then I googled the coalition.  Because let's be honest. Why would I look anything up before I over reacted? If it weren't for the Googs, I never would have learned that this handicapped coalition only employed handicapped people.

Have you ever had the horrible feeling in your stomach that you get when you realize you have yelled at a handicapped man in the parking lot?! It's similar to the feeling you feel when you realize your lawyer had threatened to sue a handicapped company all because his client was convinced she was right for illegally parking in the handicapped spot at the Teeter.

I had yelled at a handicapped man for being mad at me for illegally parking in a handicapped spot. What kind of wretch does that?

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