Monday, December 01, 2008

She's Got A Point

She was a big woman. Not fat, no, rather ... imposing. She wore 50 as if it were tweed made for just her, she walked with a cane that was both practical and pretty at the same time. I was waiting just inside the door of Morrison's where were were picking up a couple of ready meals for supper. Joe was over at the Coinstar getting the 50 pounds of coins turned into pound notes. It's all so confusing.

I noticed her coming. Walking as fast as her disability would allow, she came from a parking spot well past the disabled parking. We had been lucky getting a spot just as someone pulled out. The disabled in Britian are all out and all parking all the freaking time. As she approached someone came out of the store, a spry young thing, carrying several bags of groceries. She openned the boot of her car and with practiced easy movement tossed the bags in back.

Lady in Tweed stopped and watched Pretty Young Thing and then looked over to me. "That's the great thing about this country, we've got the healthiest disabled people in the world." I laughed and said, "I've noticed that."

We chatted for a few seconds, I had to clarify that my accent was Canadian, not American, and in the end I said, "It's unfair that you couldn't find disabled parking."

She looked at me with some surprise, "I don't park in disabled parking."

Now I looked at her with some surprise, she clearly had a disability, she clearly used a mobility devise. She saw my look and said, "This," holding up her cane, "eliminates my disability. I leave the parking for those who need to be closer. And, besides, the lazy need a place to park too."


Susan said...

Ah, Dave.. "Story" in your hands is a powerful tool. Thank you once again!

Belinda said...

I can so see the woman's point. I always struggle with the label "disabled" as it seems so...disabling--as if someone pulled a plug or something. The word doesn't describe the people I know who have some aspect of themselves that doesn't work typically (whatever "typically" is).

Jocelyn said...

Not so sure about the "lazy need a place to park too" but I get what she means about leaving the parking for those who need it. Labels I don't really care about, but I know how hard it is to find a spot when I really need it... so if I find one that's wide enough (like on the end of a row or by a no parking zone) where I can be sure no massive truck will park too close to let me get my chair in my car after me, I take it and leave the wide, close spaces for people in lift vans or the elderly who need something close by the door.

I have a disability, but my chair negates the need for proximity. If you have no feeling in your legs, it's not as if they get tired on a long walk with heavy bags!