Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To park or not to park

Today we have something very important and very exciting to talk about and that is handicapped parking. 

 
While we're on the subject, what is with the striped yellow lines?  They take up more space than the actual parking spot!  Which is worse, to park handicapped or park in the yellow lines?
And more importantly, which one has the lesser fee!?

Two years ago I parked in a handicapped parking spot at Wal-mart. (Yes, every bad story in my life involves Wal-mart.)  It was late at night, there were eight open handicapped spots, and all I needed was to run in real quick for some rocky road ice cream. I did NOT need to go on a fifteen minute hike.  So I parked in the handicapped spot, was in and out in less than ten minutes, and had a fat parking ticket on my corolla when I came running out.
Wanna know the damage?

100 bones.

ONE HUNDRED BONES!

I tried to fight it in court, got no sympathy whatsoever, (apparently the judge doesn't like rocky road ice cream, come on!) and had to pay the hundred bucks.  I vowed I had learned my lesson and I would never park in a handicapped parking spot again.

That was two years ago.

Lately I've started parking handicapped at my local grocery store.  I discoverd that it's really only Wal-mart who patrols their parking lot so intensely (they hire a cop 24-7 to take care of their paking lot which tells me two things:1. Wal-mart has too much money and 2. cops have got too much time on their hands.) 
My new handicap parking spot is totally totally safe because it doesn't have a sign that says it's handicapped; it's just painted on the ground.  My friend told me unless there's an acutal sign they can't ticket you.  Now, who knows if that's true, but I, personally, choose to believe it!  Optimism, people!

Today I was running in to the store real quick to grab a couple of ingredients for dinner.  Well, that parking lot was like a hot zoo.  People were behaving like wild animals, jamming their cars, screaming at each other, pouding their chests in fury.  You know the scene, don't you?  I noticed my special handicapped stall was available so I made a mad dash for it to avoid getting killed in the wild. 

I came out of the grocery store ten minutes later to discover no parking ticket.  No harm, no foul, right?

Wrong.  Upon pulling out, I noticed a very old man right next to my car staring in at me. He was putting his cart back and I tell you what, this old geiser could really give the stare down. At first I thought he was a nice man wanting to help me out, like the guy who helped me figure out how to go through a car wash.  But oh, no.  His stare was not a friendly stare.  It was an I-think-you-are-despicable-and-the-scum-of-all-the-earth stare.  For the life of me I couldn't figure out what had got this old mans panties in such a twist, and then I realized that he was alternating stares at me and at the painted handicapped sign visible on the pavement.  He was nonverbally chewing me out for parking in the handicapped stall.  Literally feet away from me, staring at me so ferociously... as if STARING INTO MY SOUL.  I could feel myself slowly melting into my seat, wanting desperately to run away and hide, to not be that terrible girl who is so selfish and socially unaware that she would actually park in handicapped parking.  I drove home feeling like scum.  Filth.  The whore of all the earth.

I've felt guilty ever since.  Is what I did really that wrong?  Hubs, who has the moral integrity of a nun, told me he thinks what I did is "morally wrong".  Naturally, I'm gonna need a few more opinions.  So.... on a scale of one to ten, how bad do you think it is to park in handicapped parking?

THE OFFICIAL SCALE OF AWFULNESS

1- I didn't brush my teeth before bed
2- I cheat at Monopoly
3- I said something rude behind someone's back
4- I don't tip my waitors at Sizzler
5- I trip people on purpose
6- I am a chronic liar
7- I drive drunk
8- I steal money, even from friends and family
9- I am physically abusive and I cheat on my wife
10- I murder babies  (Morbid, I know.  I had to think of something really bad!)

Your comments are important, people.  They WILL determine my future with handicapped parking.  Thank you for your time.  And your consideration.  I'm just gonna end this now.  It's getting weird.

73 comments:

  1. Well, considering that half the people with a handicap parking permits aren't truly handicapped. We're talking obese or are hard of hearing, I say go for it! Personally I don't because I don't want to risk it, but hey, if it's worked all this time than why stop?

    Now, what we need more of is big fat pregnant lady parking and moms with teeny tiny infants and 4 other kids parking. It's a pain to walk when you're toting around babies!

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  2. Anonymous8:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Coming from a sister of a man in a wheelchair and whose job is to work with intellectually and physically disabled people: I would appreciate it if you did NOT park there.

    P.s. Those yellow lines are for lifts to come down so that people in wheelchairs can get out of their cars/vans. If you park in the disabled parking spots, we have to find a spot far enough down for THREE spots so his lift has room to come down and then he has room to get off his lift.

    And to Jessi, just because someone abuses it doesn't mean everyone should.

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    1. Haha. I didn't say that everyone should. I said it's up to you if you want to or not. I also said that I don't and never would!

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  4. Anonymous8:56 PM

    You deleted my comment. Did you not like me responding to your scale and saying that it's dishonest which make you the same as a liar? Or did you not like me saying that it shows no class and is rude to those who do need that extra space? Either way interesting of you to ask for feedback then delete it. To Jessi I agree with Mindy, yes some people abuse it does that mean you should?

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  5. That's pretty messed up. Just walk the extra feet.

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  6. I really, really hate to say this... and I will explain after... but I rate parking in a handicap spot a 7.

    SORRY!

    Here's why: I used to prosecute this exact thing. At first I thought "who freaking cares?" Then I realized that people who really needed to park there weren't able to. (Also, we never, ever mitigated parking in the hash spots, and rarely in the actual spot. Not even once where the guy owned the business and it wasn't even officially open for business yet.)

    Then in the last two years a family friend was seriously injured in a freak accident that made him a paraplegic. He needs those spots and we have been places where people park in those hash lines, and we have to wait for them to move before he can get back into his van.

    So now that I'm super aware of what it's like to not have those spots available... I'm kind of a stickler. And parking in those hash spots is DEFINITELY worse than in the spot itself. If a person, like my friend, as a car with an auto-chair lifter, then he can't get into his car. It's just a sucky situation.

    And, bonus tip: Walmart is definitely the worst no matter where you are ;).

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  7. I used to take care of a teenage girl who uses a wheelchair. Her family van didn't have a lift on the side-it's a ramp on the back, so the spots with yellow lines next to it weren't super important to me. However, I would have been extremely disappointed if I'd been taking her somewhere and been unable to have a closer spot because someone just wanted to run in and out.

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  8. I rate it a 5!

    Personally I have never parked in a handicap parking space before and this is why... I am already thoroughly annoyed by the people who are allowed handicap parking passes in the first place, like someone said before obesity and hearing impaired is not a reason for a handicap space. Honestly, I feel like people who are morbidly obese should have to purchase a pass to be able to park anywhere close to the stores- but that’s a different subject.

    There really are people out there who need those places and I would hate to be the reason that I made someone who already has it rough, have a bad day because it is already too hard for the legit ones to do activities of independence that we all take for granted like being healthy enough to park at the end of a row and walk to the store.

    But you are not a bad person, we all have our foes! You’re just brave enough to ask the worlds opinion and that is very commendable :)

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  9. Girl you gotta be careful cops are out everywhere!

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  10. @Anonymous: I didn't delete the comment because you said you think I'm a liar and that I lack class, I deleted it because you stated it anonymously. If you're going to condemn someone you gotta do it openly in my book! There's no hard feelings though, obviously I knew posting this that I would get a reaction.

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  11. I take care of a young adult with multiple disabilities who is mostly chair bound. I have to say that before I ever worked with her I probably never paid attention to the striped yellow lines or handicap parking in general... and not I search them out wherever I go. I plan my trips and destinations according to the conveniences of the stores HC parking, where there is a ramp to wheel her up... etc.

    It really just has a lot to do with perspective. Had I never worked in the world of special education I'm not sure I ever would have been introduced to the extra effort it takes to do really simple things. Something as simple as a parking space turns out to be an extension of who people with extra needs are. When I learned how inappropriate it was to randomly touch a persons wheel chair because it's as if randomly touching someones personal space... such as their legs or arms--I now feel the same way about parking spaces. They are there for a reason. Though others may abuse them, I know I'm helping by not.

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  12. Well, my dad was a quadriplegic my whole life, so I can really appreciate the importance of keeping handicap parking spaces clear. It's not fun to have to park in the back 40 of a parking lot so you can park the van diagonally to get the ramp down, especially to come out to a nasty note on the windshield saying that you should learn how to drive and only take one parking spot etc. It just twists the knife to see someone come out of the store and get in their car in the handicap spot and they are clearly NOT handicapped.

    However, I wouldn't say it's killing babies bad... I would put it somewhere along the lines of being a chronic liar. Because if you're parking in a handicap spot frequently when you are NOT handicapped, you are essentially lying. Especially during busy times. That's the time that it's the biggest pain for disabled people to find alternate parking that caters to whatever needs they have.

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  13. I don't think it is killing babies bad. I do however think you should just suck it up and park the few extra feet.

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    1. I also think it is funny you talk about this after you just posted about being nice. Be nice and just leave the handicap spots open for someone who actually needs them. :)

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  14. I definitely have to say that I rate this at a 7. Yeah, I would love to always be able to get super close every time I went to the store, but that doesn't always happen. Just suck it up and walk the extra steps.

    Great post, though. Way to be brave enough to make a post that you knew would draw a reaction!

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  15. I would say maybe a 4? I don't think there should be as many handicapped spots as there are--and the yellow lines are a waste of space!

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  16. This might make me a horrible person, but I laughed so hard while reading this. Considering I was at work, and it was nap time for the kiddos, and I almost died from trying to be silent while laughing hysterically, I think this made my day better. My grandpa has a handicap sticker on his car and there is nothing wrong with him. He says he faked being in pain so he wouldn't have to walk far. So if my grandpa can take advantage of the system, so can you. I rate it a 2! Next time just give the old guy a big smile and ask him if he needs a hug or some rocky road ice cream. Ha Ha!

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  17. What I hate is when the senior citizens take the maternity parking spots. You can't fool me! Those two old men aren't pregnant!

    Anywho... a few extra feet of walking doesn't hurt.

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  18. What I hate is when the senior citizens take the maternity parking spots. You can't fool me! Those two old men aren't pregnant!

    Anywho... a few extra feet of walking doesn't hurt.

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  19. Cute blog girly! Thanks so much for joining mine! Great to have you along for the ride :)

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  20. First off, let me just say that I love your blog; however I must be honest - I think that parking in a handicap stall when you are perfectly not handicap is classless and just plain lazy. The extra steps won't kill you, in fact, maybe they'll help you appreciate the fact that you DON'T have to park in a handicap stall because you were blessed with a healthy and capable body.

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  21. You are hilarious. I'd say it's atleast a 5-6, although I think saying something bad about someone is worse than not tipping (though we don't tip in Australia as a general rule).

    Although it makes me a bit of a party pooper I agree with the husband and would say to not park there again. When I'm tempted I think about my 94 year old nana having to walk to the store from the spot in the back because someone like me parked in the spot... Sad :(

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  22. i think it doesn't come higher that a 4, don't worry.

    xAnna
    http://fairytalefrocks.blogspot.nl/

    ps. don't forget to enter my giveaway!
    http://fairytalefrocks.blogspot.nl/2012/06/giveaway-north-way-studio.html

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  23. I'm going to go with a 6 on your scale. At least as bad as being a chronic liar, but not as bad as driving drunk.
    I agree with what everyone else says, just walk the extra few feet. I know, and you know that a lot of the time there are people with handicap stickers that don't appear to have anything wrong with them, and maybe they don't. However, let it be on their shoulders to take the spot away from someone who really needs it.
    This blog post was informative though, I was unaware that the yellow lined "spots" were for helping the handicapped get out of their vehicles.

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  24. i think it's about a 7, too, definitely not killing babies-bad, though. i don't like you any less for it, but i've been to the store with my disabled dad and seen him not be able to use them because of this sort of thing enough times that it really irks me. the worst was when the only spot left was grabbed right in font of us by a couple of perfectly healthy teens who must have stolen their placard from their grandma or something. such an abuse of the system!

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  25. It's bad, shame on you! However, I understand not wanting to park in timbuktu when there are 20 open handicap spots and nobody's using them. At the grocery store it's different though, there usually aren't that many. If you're running in at like 2am, I don't think it's a big deal, but on a regular basis it's a BIG no-no.

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  26. My father-in-law has a necessary handicap parking pass. He got an artificial hip several years ago, and in the last few years it's given him such terrible problems that he has serious trouble walking without a cane/crutch. Both my in-laws cars have the permanent license plate and I think it's terrible when my mother-in-law, who has no handicap and no need to use those spaces, parks in them just because she can. I think it's a terrible thing to use a space that you have no business using because you're lazy and don't want to walk. I'm pregnant and I don't even use the maternity spaces because I can walk the distance whereas some other pregnant lady might have more trouble than I do.

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  27. I personally have never parked in that special spot but if you have the guts, then more power to you! I love that half the so-called handicapped people don't need those darn stickers anyway and get away with it so go for it!

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  28. I'm going to put this at a 6... because to me, parking in a handicapped stall when you don't need it is pretty much lying about your condition and your needs.

    Those yellow lines, by the way, are the unloading ramp areas for the power ramps that the handicap vans have.

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  29. I think it's kind of unfortunate that so many people are saying it's no big deal just because there are others who abuse the system. Since when does doing something that others do make it right?

    I commented earlier about taking care of a teenage girl who uses a wheelchair.

    I want to add one more thing that I'll never forget. I worked at a camp for kids with special needs, and at our training, a mother of a camper who uses a wheelchair came in to give us some perspective. She talked about how one morning had been particularly difficult-she'd gotten up early to give her daughter a bath, gotten her ready for the day, made breakfast for her family and packed a lunch for her daughter and rushed her daughter to a Saturday respite. She parked in a handicapped spot, used the lift, took her daughter inside (all of this by 9 am, mind you), and came back out feeling pretty accomplished. As she went to her car, she saw someone look at her and shake his head (as if he was disapproving of her being in that spot). You just never know what people are dealing with. (I know, of course, that this kind of situation would never apply to a grocery store, but still, it's something to think about)

    I do not think you're a bad person at all! Like others have said, it's about perspective.

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  30. Whoa. There are some pret-ty passionate people out there. How about a post on why you should still be respectful in comments even if you don't agree with what the poster does? Sheesh.

    Anywho, if you know someone who genuinely needs that handicapped space you have a different take on how important it is that they are ONLY for handicapped people. Sure, too many abuse their little tags but that doesn't mean you should punish everyone else (ahem, Jessi). I tend to also save the spots close to the handicapped spots open too because you just never know if there's a preggo out there, or an old man, or someone else who reeeeeeeally needs something easy in their life at THAT moment.

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  31. I'd say 5, pretty on scale with tripping people haha. That being said, I think it's awesome that you posted about it! You asked for your reader's opinion, and we should give you our honest opinion, but nicely!! Way to have thick skin and take some criticism girl, that's awesome. You rock :)

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  32. Hey girl...First time stopping by and WHOA! I'll say I like your honesty :) Quite refreshing.

    That being said, I definitely don't agree with parking in handicapped spot. Like, ever. I am the furthest thing from a rebel when it comes to stuff like that. I would just never be able to effortlessly hop out of my ride and risk a) someone seeing my clearly non-handicapped ass going shopping and b) someone actually handicapped needing said spot. It's just wrong to the wrong.

    This is coming from a girl who won't park in the "Pregnant or mother with non-walking infant" spot at my gym when I'm with my husband. Even though we have a non-walking infant with us.

    I am also the girl, while pregnant that sat in my idling car giving the death stare to the clearly NOT pregnant yuppie taking over the pregnant lady spot with his Saab.

    So yeah, not only a huge pet peeve, but morally wrong, IMO. Like Amy said above, it takes some guts to put ish like this out there, though.

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  33. I'd say a 6
    Also, the excessive yellow lines on the side are for vans that have a side-loader for wheelchairs. By parking in the yellow lines you've done less harm; however, you may have to explain your situation to saint peter if a wheel-van shows up and your parking habits encourage them to park sideways and unload themselves into oncoming parking lot traffic.

    Just saying..

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  34. I just had to comment once I saw the feedback on this post.

    I say if it isn't a busy parking lot, and there isn't a chance you'd be taking a spot someone may need, then go for it!

    I don't drive so I can't exactly weigh in on what I would do.

    My mom has Lupus/RA/Crone's Disease and she has a handicap placard. Some days she has good days and functions like someone else at her age, and those days she won't use it. But on days where she can't even pick up a can of pop to drink, let alone walk half way across the parking lots, if she can't get a spot she will normally skip what she was doing. If we needed bread or milk and she couldn't run in, that just sucks for us.

    I'd rate it a 4 or 5, I don't think any less of you. If anything, I think more highly of you because you opened yourself up for scrutiny and you HAD to know some people like Mr./Mrs. Anonymous up there would make it beyond confrontational.

    xoxo
    Meghan

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  35. Natalie12:48 PM

    Read your Blog for the first time today... Gotta say, this post really turned me off. Bad first impression. I don't understand people who can't walk a few extra feet to go to the store. It's lazy. Also lazy: not putting carts back in the cart corral.

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  36. Omg. First time reader and definitely a new follower. You made me laugh out loud.

    Ps- I vote a 6.5 or 7

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  37. Judging someone else's situation by where they park is difficult and ridiculous, so I advise never to do so. However, empathy is a hard emotion to grow, since it mostly only comes through experience. So Bonnie, I totally understand not "getting it" until now. I just hope that this discussion opens some eyes as to why there are specific places allotted to specific people, and that the people who rate this issue low can see why walking an extra hundred yards to you is annoying, but for others it can be the most difficult hundred yards of the day. Spare them the extra pain, please.

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  38. haha you are hilarious and so cute! I'm glad I found your blog!

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  39. Jordan3:03 PM

    I love love your blog! You're so funny!

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  40. Marie, in Florida4:49 PM

    NOooo, I've been quietly reading your blog these last two months enjoying some laughs, then I come on and read this. Bleck. So disappointed. One time I was in Asia and saw a croissant that looked so yummy and it was filled with chocolate. I bit just the bread YUM. Then bit into the chocolate, nope not chocolate, it was bean paste. Left a bitter taste in my mouth and I just couldn't trust Japanese pastry anymore. Same feeling now. Bitter bean paste. Not killing baby bad (how did you come up with that comparison?) but tripping people, stealing, lying.... It's equal to that. :(

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  41. Well it all depends.

    If it's not the only handicapped parking spot, then it's ok, because if someone needed one, well there's another one for them to park in. Then it's like cheating at Monopoly 2

    If you take the last one, then you might be crossing the line into "morally wrong" probably a 6.

    This is coming from the girl who smuggles caffinated drinks into girls camp. (also classified as "morally wrong" by some)

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  42. ok woah. some people are being a little bit too rude. no need to condemn you for being honest about it... i am tempted every stinkin time i go somewhere to park in those spots, to be honest. but it probably falls somewhere between not tipping your waiters and tripping people on purpose. i know there are some people that really need it but there are an even bigger number of people that are abusing the system... like welfare. haha i think you're funny. (:

    xo, b.

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  43. It's something I'd probably never do, ALTHOUGH I have been very tempted when I was pregnant and literally could not walk without falling flat every ten or so steps (I especially wished I could when it was icy!) I don't think it's too terrible a thing to do if, as you stated there were SEVERAL open handicapped spots. But I'd steer clear if they were mostly taken. My dad, who has a handicapped sticker, hardly ever uses it unless he is in severe severe pain because he is always worried someone might need it more. Good for you for keeping it classy about the criticism. I agree, everyone is entitled to think what they like, but everyone deserves respect. I mean, it's not like you're a baby killer ;)

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  45. Today’s post prompted me to read this post. Here are my thoughts:

    I like that you have the gumption to ask. There is nothing wrong with asking for perspective and inviting people to influence your future decisions.

    I got a temporary handicapped permit when I had a knee injury in high school. The only time I actually used it was in the HUGE high school parking lot, but other than that, I was still capable of walking so I always did because I assumed there were people way worse off than me. I only had the permit for a few months.

    However (years later), one day I parked in a handicapped spot at my apartment complex (hate me if you want, but let me explain). Some random person parked in my spot, none of the open parking spots were available and I just had to run inside for about 20 minutes before heading out again. There were 3 handicapped spots open, so I figured “what the heck”. When I came out of my apartment my car was gone and all the handicapped spots were open. I was towed for not having a permit. Apparently there was a tow truck on contract with the complex that drove around at various times looking for violations. They caught me and I had to pay about $80 to get my car out of their lot. I believe in karma and karma totally told me who was boss.

    Now I work for a nonprofit health organization. I see children and adults that have to use special vans and need the extra space and close proximity. It really irks me when all the handicapped spaces are filled up and my families have to park at the back of the lot where there is extra room to get their wheelchairs unloaded. Only to see a perfectly capable person waltz over to the nearest handicapped spot and pull out (permit or not).

    Moral of the story, I think it is important to remember that there is always someone worse off than you and God gave you working legs and an able body for a reason. It’s not good that you did it, but to err is human. If my opinion matters at all, I forgive you!

    P.S. Love the blog and the honesty.

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  46. I vote 6 maybe. i don't know. I know my roommates and I used to park in the handicapped stalls at church, because there were SIX stalls for them, and the church building wasn't even handicap accessible. Stairs just to get inside! So we figured the handicaps would be going to a different ward anyway....

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  47. crazy amy8:22 PM

    FIRST of all I rate it a 1, maybe because my husband is the one that told you about the sign and that you can park there. Also I park there as well and I am a very good person and have never felt bad about it. Why should I have to walk more? Ha I know this is going to make some people mad, but I don't care. And Bonnie your a good person to!

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  48. Eh. I haven't done it but I think it's kind of funny. Some people are a little uptight about this. I doubt you do this on a regular basis and that it has actually caused handicapped people to park in the boonies. Minor offense. Love your funny blog!

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  49. Wow, lots of comments on this one. I think you know better than to park in the spot. If it's something you have to ask for opinions about or if you have to second guess yourself at all then maybe you just shouldn't do it. Simple as that.

    I also think of it like this.(This is going to sound a tad preachy, but you were warned.) Think about the person you are trying to become. . .what would they do? I, personally, want to become a little bit more like Christ and I think maybe, just maybe, he would be okay with forgetting about himself for a couple of minutes and parking a little further away. Who knows who might need that spot, ya know? It's just a thoughtful thing that you can chalk up to an act of unknowing service for the day. Let's be serious I need as many of those as I can get.

    I in no way now think of you as "bean paste" as mentioned earlier. (Sorry, I kind of found that to be overly-dramatic)Heck, I know I do many things on a daily basis that are maybe not the most thoughtful. We're all in this journey together just figuring it all out.

    I liked this post though. It made me think and really decide where I stood on the issue!

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  50. Tough crowd eh?!
    I parked in handicap at my condo once because there was no parking whatsoever. I lived there. Shouldn't I be able to park there? so what did I do? I took one of many handicap parking spots. and guess what happened? TOWED.
    $240 and 3 days later I had my car. It was a holiday weekend and it cost extra to get it out on Saturday-Monday. I had to wait until Tuesday to avoid extra extra fees. It's not worth getting towed so just stop while you're ahead Bonnie. I learned my lesson the hard way.

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  51. I would rate parking in a handicap spot at a 5.5 maybe a 4.5... not too bad but not necessarily something you want to do regularly

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  53. Um… yeah… that's really bad. Those spots are for people who can't walk as far as you probably have the ability to, either because they're old or they've broken their leg or something. Unless these situations apply to you, it's pretty rude to park there.

    And the yellow lines spots are for people who have to get a chair lift out of the side of their van so they can exit their van in a wheelchair. If you park there, they literally cannot get out of their vehicle. So yeah… you probably shouldn't park there either.

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  54. Bonnie! I still love you even if you parked in a handicapped spot...I definitely think it's prob not the best idea, but you knew that when you went into it. You didn't intend any harm by it. It's not like you were thinking, oh I'm gonna just park here and make that poor old man who can hardly walk park in the back...I think that some of the people commenting are being a little too judgy mcjudgerson. Sure you parked in a handicapped spot but there are a lot of things you do that are selfless and awesome. All of these peeps may not park in handicapped spots but I bet they do other things that aren't perfect either. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all just stopped judging each other? You rock.

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  55. Don't do it Bonnie...not nice to those who actually need the spot. I know some people have become "disabled by weight etc but that isn't our place to worry about...just think man I am glad I am cute, able bodied. Now you should do a post about texting and driving...I think that is worse than parking in a handicap spot...I rank that one with drunk driving.

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  56. hey! so i would like to commend you on this brave post.

    i do think its bad- i've personally never done this. i've always felt too guilty. because i know the one time i would do it is when someone in need really needs it. i've been reading through the replies so i can't recall at what hour you did it. if it was 12 at night i dont think its a HUGE crime, but during the day when older people or people who require assistance need it, :( not good.

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  57. Is it wrong for me to giggle a little?! Probably. It is a funny story! And I love handicap able people!!

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  58. Former student10:21 PM

    I was taught if you have to ask then the answer is probably its not worth it to risk doing. I have personal relationships with many whom have of had permits to park there. People who park there, while they maybe considering themselves, are greatly inconsiderate to those whom really need them. While I am not here to tell you that you're a horrible person for parking in handicap spaces, I hope that you will consider not parking in them again. Things could be a lot worse walking fifteen extra feet into the store. Many with handicap passes are dealing with medical bills worth more than your student loan on top off a student loan, dealing with sickness, worry off how they're going to be able to continue to provide for themselves and those around them, trying to make it one step at a time. Yes we all have struggles and need a pint of ice cream to chow down on to make life better, however doing so at the expenses of others is not worth it.

    You have expressed that you do not mind opposing views, however you would like them in a "Tounges Of Angels" fashion. Just as you are asking for respect, people with handicap passes would apreciate your respect by not parking in spots legally reserved for them.

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    1. Ashamed former student10:43 PM

      So uh, I guess I should proof read things before posting.... Hopefully you can ignore the plenty of grammar and spelling mistakes....

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  59. I think driving drunk should probably trade places on your scale, it's a bigger deal than stealing money, at least in my book.
    I never park in handicap spaces but if there are like 3 open, then umm... I don't care enough to judge. That's just me. I like your bean paste! HAHHAHAH

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  60. is it any consolation that so many people on here are being so mean that i'm even afraid to defend you because i'll probably get ripped apart too?? probably not.
    well. i think all of these people on their high horse should be bold enough to blog about "bad" things they do.

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  61. Your post was honest and I don't think it's that big of a deal, but probably would stop parking in handicap parking. :-)

    Now, I will say what really bothered me about this whole debate was your friend Crazyamys comment. How sad that she is so ignorant, especially after so many people wrote their stories about family members and such that actually need the spaces. Makes me sad we can't all look out for each other, and that there are actually people out there who think like that, only looking out for themselves.

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  62. Holy moly.

    The people have spoken. Whoa. And I thought my comments were bad. You've got novellas here.

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  64. I have never parked in a handicap parking spot, but I am a special education teacher for people who have severe/profound disabilities.

    One summer I worked with a girl in a wheel chair and a person parked their motorcycle in the handicap ramp. I couldn't get around it and I ended up having to pick up the wheel chair (I am 5'3...I shouldn't have) and the girl in it to get her inside the building. I don't get angry easily, but I kind of wanted to key their motorcycle which is really extreme for me.

    That experience made me gain some empathy for caretakers of some of this people. However, I also do believe there are people who abuse the system to get passes.

    I think your ticket was well-merited, but I have gotten my share of parking tickets for other things.

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  65. Don't do it. PERIOD. I have a 9 year old daughter who is wheelchair bound and the extra space with the diagonal yellow lines, as you now know, is for HER, not YOU. It's so wide because not only does there need to be space for the lift to stick out, there needs to be space for the wheelchair to be rolled off and spun in the direction of travel. Don't get it? Call someplace that gives you access to people in wheelchairs...a veterans' or childrens' hospital or living facility...and ask if you can volunteer for a day with transportation. Just YESTERDAY I left a note on the windshield of an idiot who parked in that space, rendering the handicapped spot useless to me because I could not use the van lift to get my child out of the vehicle. I expressed my frustration (no cursing or name-calling)that I had to find other parking because of his/her selfishness...thankfully my note was placed beside a ticket, because a cop got to the car before I did. To all who are 6i+ching about people who are "obviously" not handicapped parking in the spots...I scolded my 18 year old for doing the same thing. You DON'T KNOW who has a temporary 90 day parking pass for a surgical procedure, had a knee replaced with good days/bad days, etc...of course there are cheaters, just don't think you know who they are and give dirty looks. Some morbidly obese people have health conditions and can't help that they are, quit thinking that they ALL can't contol what they eat...and in my state, if you are over 75, you automatically qualify for handicapped parking with your age, with is fine with me. "Grandpa" who "fakes" pain and winks when he uses his placard could drop from a heart attack anytime, anywhere...sometimes old men do. YOU could actually NEED that spot next month and for the rest of your life if you were in a bloody car wreck tomorrow. Hard to imagine, but that happens to people, and your readers are telling you about it. Soften up and be considerate, use your brain and be wise, your body is healthy, and a longer walk into the store is good for you and not a big deal...you ALSO don't know who has just helped a handicapped person into a building and is returning to their vehicle, or is arriving to pick them up. I get dirty looks, sometimes, and I'm always thrilled if I return to my van with my daughter and the person sitting in their car who gave me the stink eye when they saw me get out has to look away in embarrassment. I give them a VERY BIG SMILE if I DO catch their eye. Do what you are supposed to do, and don't park there.

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  66. @ Jessi...I "toted" my 4 teenagers around just fine when they were little without special parking, pregnancy didn't inhibit my ability to walk, even with little ones already tugging at my hands. Then I gave birth to a handicapped child...you should, too. She brings immeasurable joy to our lives and we have learned more from having her than with all of the other 4 children combined. It would be one of the best things...and one of the most difficult things...that would ever happen to you. It would give you the insight to be able to tell someone that illegally parks in a handicapped parking spot "NO". You would become an advocate for the disadvantaged, rather than advocate selfishness and inconsideration. Think about what you just said in your comment. Please.

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  67. As someone that has a Mom that had a stroke and has a really hard time getting around, I get *extremely* pissed when I see a person that obviously is not handicapped(or at least doesn't seem like it to me) parking in a handicapped spot. When there are no available spots I'm forced to park far out in the lot and have her trek up to the store, or stop in front of the store blocking traffic to let her out, and then pick her up when we leave. I say if you are an able-bodied person,don't be lazy. I also think that ticket should have been higher! :P

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  68. I think it's wrong and extremely inconsiderate and selfish. I'd rate it a 6 on your scale, I suppose. Be thankful you don't need that spot and be compassionate towards those who do.

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