No, this is not about my ex . I've said so much about that idiot that I'm done. I come to realize he is not worth another word. This is about another idiot. One like I have encountered so many times through the years. I understand some are just plain ignorant and you can't get through them but I feel I have to at least try.
I was at the country store last week. I noticed an elderly man sitting in his Buick in a van accessible handicapped parking space.
It is one of my pet peeves when people park in a handicapped parking space illegally. I have a handicapped parking placard because I AM handicapped (or disabled, whatever you wish to call it, except crippled).
I nonchalantly checked his license plate, his dash board and rearview mirror and didn't see any signs of him being legally parked.
I smiled and pointed at the Handicapped Parking sign raising my shoulders and hands up flat. "What gives?" my gesture communicated.
He rolled down his window stuck his head out impatiently asking "What?!"
I gently pointed out that he was parked illegally pointing at the sign.
He huffed and threw his arms air like Shoo..
I thought, "Oh no, you did NOT." It made me determined and confirmed this man needed to be educated.
Fuming but calmly I informed him, "Sir, you are not supposed to be parking there." Obviously he had not understood my gestures. I always give the person the benefit of the doubt at first.
He barked, "It is none of your damn business."
I protested, "Yes it is because I have a legal right to park there, you don't!"
He shook his head mumbling incoherently. Then, "I'm waiting for my wife," he exclaimed.
"Is she handicapped?" I inquired, "If so where is your placard?"
By then there were a very shoppers and employees who had stopped and were watching or just watched as they were going in and out of the store. I hadn't noticed it until I saw he had noticed. He decides to go down one more level.
He yells louder than he had before, "No! She is not handicapped but we're old. Go away cripple!"
I hate that word with a passion. Maybe I should have walked away.
However, it just made me want to press my point more clearly. I declared, "Oh I'm going to go away. But I am going to take note of your license plate and next time I'll call the police. It is s a $275 fine for the first offense."
As I walked around and acted like I was putting it in my phone he got out of his truck. Oh! Oh!
But surprisingly, I was not intimidated. I guess I was too angry by that time and looking at his age and size I knew although I can't run fast I knew I could get away from him. Besides I hoped at least one of the gawkers would come to my rescue. If they didn't, I could hold my own.
I quickly walked back to the sidewalk on the other side of where he was.
He was huffing and yelled, "You f---g cripple! Get away from my car! I could tell he was very angry and uncomfortable with people passing, stopping and watching and just wanted me to go away.
If he had said that without the derogatory cripple I would have chalked it up to pure ignorance and left.
But he did. Again. Cripple just gets under my skin. I guess because kids used to tease me and laugh, "You're crippled!" "You walk funny." I hear older people say it but not directly at me.
So he was going to hear what I had to say. I argued, "If the $275 fine doesn't pause you next time, think about this! You are sitting in an handicapped space, a van accessible at that and a person who is truly DISABLED comes to shop and they can't get out of their van or car because people like you take their space? Furthermore, I don't even park in a VAN accessible handicap parking space because there are reasons for the yellow lines."
He yelled (He kept yelling and I talked in a normal tone which made him even angrier!), "There aint nobody in a van!"
I asked, "How in the hell do you know?" Do you know everyone in town? When they go shopping?"
He thought for a moment and then asked, "Where do you live?"
Weird irrelevant question. I answered, "Why does it matter where I live?"
His wife walks out at that moment and asked him what he was doing out of the car.
He spoke French so I didn't understand what he said
She looks at me embarrassingly and explained, "I was only in there for a minute."
I felt defeated. "People like you just don't get it. How can you sleep at night?" I grumbled.
They just stared at me.
Smiling the woman exclaimed, "You're getting bent out of shape for nothing."
I repeated everything I told her husband. I told her I could call the police right now, and I did have their license plate number so even if they left I had witnesses.The $275 fine wiped that smile off her face.
She sighed and walked to the car and got in. The man and I were just staring each other down.
His wife shouted something and he raised his middler finger to me and yelled, "Damned Cripple!"
I yelled, "Idiotic Asshole!"
I know! I was taught better than that and I shouldn't have gone down to their level but I was at my breaking point.
We went our separate ways.
Some employees applauded me for standing up to him. Shoppers gave me high 5's. Some said, "Good for you." By the time I got to the cash register, the word had spread. People were congratulating me, telling me I was a go getter, an inspiration etc.
I don't feel like I've done anything to be congratulated or to be an inspiration. I was just trying to make another aware of something they obviously didn't think about.
Now, I feel it was a hopeless cause I felt deflated.
I was bummed. I lived all those childhood teasing in in my head all day.
I feel he didn't get it. He is one of those that I feel I have failed to put my point across. I guess I can't help all idiots.