Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A guest blog from Spashionista- Get Out of My Space!

The other day I had a heinous experience at the West End Mickey D's that revolved around someone in a fake Bentley (aka a Chrystler 300) parking half-assedly in a handicapped parking space to where I could not let my ramp down to get inside my vehicle. Even after seeing me fuming and struggling to get in my car, the aptly mobile owners of said fake Bentley walked right past me and then sat in their ill-parked car eating their French fries until I finally had to knock on their window and tell them they were basically being a-holes. This is just a reoccurring theme in the life of Kimmie. 

...but rest assured, I am not alone, and when Spashionista over at The Spashionista Report told me she wanted to tackle a similar subject in a guest blog, I was happy to pass the baton. My rage was too fresh, and thus her viewpoint would assuredly be less obscenity laced. [Tangent: Alicia is the lady behind this guest post. Her title of Spastic Fashionista (aka Spashionista) of course intrigued me when a mutual blog friend united us via tweet! We're hoping to become face-to-face friends soon, because she shares my love of label shopping at Goodwill.] I give you Spashionista's take...


Get Out of my Space!

As a transplant to Nashville I can tell you the single best asset the city has is it’s people. Over the years I’ve lived here I have consistently witnessed random acts of kindness and civility, interacted with genuinely pleasant, courteous souls, and marveled at the collective strength of character Nashvillians always seem to exude.

Well, almost always.

Music City, you have a problem. You just can’t seem to stay out of my space. I’m specifically referring to you able-bodied peeps and your absolute love affair with my disabled parking spaces, my bathroom stalls, and my fitting rooms. I fully realize that these are technically public places, but they simply were not meant for you – and you damn well know it.

stupidity

I know how tempting is is. You just have to run into the store for a second. You’ve got ten things to try on and you want to be able to hang them all up and sit on the long bench in the oversized cubicle while you’re changing. You have to use the toilet and that great, big empty stall with the grab bars is calling your name.

fittingroom

Except when you park in that blue placarded space you’re forcing me to find a spot wide enough to allow me to get into my wheelchair from the car without denting the vehicle next to me. While you’re preening in the mirror in the disabled dressing room I have to wait patiently, garments balanced on my lap, until you’re finished. Some store managers do worse than that by keeping the disabled fitting room packed with excess inventory. But the worst offenders by far are the inconsiderate handicapped toilet-stall hogs. When I go into a public restroom that is empty save for the one person who has set up camp in the disabled stall to do their business, make extended phone calls, hide from their boss, or eat their lunch (Yes, I witnessed the last bite being chewed and the burger wrapper being wadded up as the stall door opened.) I find it hard to resist the urge to kick the door in and pee on them.

disabledtoilet

Think of it this way. Imagine somebody you don’t know comes to your house while you’re not home and parks their car in your spot in the driveway or garage. They then proceed straight to your bedroom, lock the door, and change clothes several times, making a few calls as they go. Meanwhile, someone else is camped out in your bathroom using the toilet, cleaning out their purse, and having a fight with their ex via text messages. You come home and find your parking spot has been taken, your bedroom door locked, and your bathroom occupied. Would you be okay with that? Would it be acceptable for a stranger to occupy a space that belongs to you?

No? I didn’t think so.

Next time you get the urge to violate a space set aside for someone who really needs it I hope you’ll think about what you’ve just read. If not, I may just show up at your house.

Images courtesy of Google

26 comments:

  1. So happy to meet you, Kimmi (via the Magnificent Alicia.) Could not agree more with your premise here, and this needs to be said often! I don't have a right to one of those spaces, but I have often thought of making up cards to place under violator's windshield-wiper that say "This is not a parking space for YOU."

    I once observed a manager of our local Sam's Club park in the first reserved stall ( he had no need for it,) so the Huz and I hotfooted it in and complained at him and about him. He stood right there in front of his own manager and said "But there have been shootings!"
    What?

    It's not just this issue ... I'm a chronic safety rule obeyer, 'cause there's usually a good reason for them. One of my pet peeves is shopping carts left just anywhere. I've also been in the face of capable folks who chose to abandon carts. Funny, you don't often see them abandoned near disabled spaces, do you?

    And I don't know if this is becoming a "thing" in your area, but I've noticed that teen-types have been using the Big Stall in restrooms for a comfortable place to park themselves while texting! REALLY? Annoying on a couple of levels, this one.

    Anyway ... loved your rant, and it rang special bells for me. Will prowl your site, if you don't mind. Alicia has great taste ... lucky you guys for being able to meet in person!

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    1. Yay! Glad to have a new convert! Feel free to browse anytime and check my archives bc there is A LOT of ranting! I have yet to meet the lovely Alicia yet but we reside not far from each other so that is subject to change very soon!

      I have heard and seen all kinds of ridiculousness as far as people being terrible parkers. I have not seen the toilet texting as much...but if I ever do...I'll write about it :)

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  2. Jan's a great girl, Kimmie! An artist with a fearless, colorful fashion sense and expert fan-flicker. Love you Jan - you're a gem!

    Kimmie, I really have experienced every scenario I wrote about. My hubby even started a Facebook page to post photo. of parking violators called "Attention Douchebag" ;-P

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    1. Awesome!

      I love that! I will have to "like" it!

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    2. Great post! Love the 'attention douchebag' page too.

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    3. definitely need to check out that page!

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  3. I agree with your post, and understand your frustration.

    I must point out that some physical challenges are not as outwardly visible as others are. I personally have received my fair share of nasty looks, and I do not always feel the need to explain my physical challenges and limitations to others.

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    1. I completely agree.. I have a friend with CP who was yelled at for using the scooters at Walmart because I guess they thought she was just goofing off and not using it for mobility. I agree...you never should assume. But these people were really just being jerks. The fact that they were using up a handicapped space (when they had no placard and there were ample spaces nearby available) but they weren't even inside the space. they were hanging into mine! That's when I get ticked. I'm so sorry that you have to endure dirty looks!

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    2. I'm the "anonymous" that posted this response.

      Let me stress that I agree with and understand your post. I thought it was well written, spot on (sadly) and very witty.

      When I made the comment about my own experiences I was just chiming in....sorry if it took things onto a different tangent. It was by no means my intent.

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    3. No worries or offense taken! :) come visit anytime. I love when people voice different perspectives. They are always welcome. Don't apologize

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  4. A very good topic to consider, but like Anon - I want to remind everyone that not all illnesses/disabilities/issues are visible. Tamera has been covering the concept of invisible illnesses on her blog (here: http://menopauselsupermodel.wordpress.com/).

    Admittedly many people who shouldn't use those facilities, do. But do not assume all of them don't need it just because you do. A person can look perfectly healthy, but be in pain all at the same time.

    I personally spend many days as an able-bodied individual, but for various mental and physical health related reasons - some days, I'm not. It's even harder as a young person (could be mistaken for a teenager!) to be judged about it.

    But either way, I always try to mindful. I do not ever park in a handicapped space, I stick to the middle stalls unless it's a day I need the rail.

    And once again, I do apologize for assholes. They're an unfortunate unavoidable facet of life.

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    1. An interesting point. That is definitely the case sometimes, but many times people are just being inconsiderate.

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    2. You assume that, "many times people are just being inconsiderate". If their handicap is not visible, how do you know their need for the larger stall in the bathroom is not as urgent as yours? I am in my 30's and have very bad knees. I walk ok, so you wouldn't know at a glance that I have a problem, but I cannot bend my knees easily. Not only do I need the rails sometimes, but it is painful to get up and down from the very low regular toilets. Remember these are public areas, not your personal space, comparing them to strangers using your house is pure hyperbole.

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    3. Although, I didn't write this post....I have seen both sides of the situation. Soemtimes their are circumstances like asthma or orthotic problems that require people to use handicapped placards. That's not the issue...or if someone is overweight and needs the larger stall...I am understanding of that too. I have seen instances of people just are being inconsiderate. It happens more than you'd think. Ive seen coworkers I work with...and know their circumstances use the handicapped stall so they could "have more room" to just sit in there to poop and text...meanwhile I have no facilities to use. I've also been unable to get back into my van because someone illegally lodged their vehicle in the loading zone where i get my ramp down (the non-space between van only spaces). It's unfortunate but it happens all the time.

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  5. Love it...I remember a salesman at a car dealership letting the door slam on me as I hobbled up to it on my cane. Needless to say, I take my vehicle elsewhere for service now!

    Years ago, when I taught high school, a fully-abled teacher who ran late availed herself of a disabled parking spot. Another teacher got on the computer and located clip art of an ostrich with its head in the sand. He printed it out and placed it on the offender's windshield after adding the following caption: "Pull your head out! This space reserved for physically handicapped only!"

    She never parked there again...

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    1. I have a friend that has had cards printed up. He used to leave them on windshields. Then again I have gotten dirty looks and notes on my car too for double parking when there is no handicapped spaces at a business (I need room to get my ramp out...they can deal with it.)

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  6. I can't even believe unworthy individuals use your spaces. You need to have a tag on your mirror in Canada, so everyone would know if you were being rude and inconsiderate. Retailers here man the change rooms and decide who's placed in which room, they also count how many items you have taken in. Makes sense but I did notice in America it isn't done as often.

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  7. Please remember that I am not picking on those with "invisible" disabilities. I'm actually defending your rights. The circumstances I'm describing, especially in the case of using a bathroom stall, are just common courtesy. I don't care whether you're disabled or not, the handicapped stall is not a lounge. If you have a parking placard then you have a right to the handicapped spaces. If you need extra room to physically try on clothes then the big fitting room should be yours. It's not about what you can or can't see. It's about aloof or downright rude able-bodied people who forget that they don't have a right to those places unless all the others are occupied - and even then the parking space is off limits without a placard.

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  8. What's up guys. Mr. Spashionista here. When it comes to parking spaces I look for the placard or the wheel chair plate on back of the car. IF that's there I don't judge. After all I'm rather able bodied and can be spotted all over Nashville park in handicapped spots and running into the store. This is because I'm there to pickup the Spashionista who was dropped off a few hours ago.
    Still, I think the point is to be considerate of others. Even if you ARE disabled don't take up the handicapped stall if there's another one open. and don't hang out in any stall longer than you need to. Other people gotta go! And try to be mindful that the white striped space next to a handy capped space is there so a ramp or lift can be deployed. So don't crowd it then bitch about getting dents in your car. Take care of each other... we're all we got!

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    1. all good points! Don't abuse any system.

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  9. I love the line: "I find it hard to resist the urge to kick the door in and pee on them." That's my big sis Alicia!

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  10. Oregon has a great way to deal with this. I am in a wheelchair. The handicapped spots with ramp room are clearly marked. You must have a special wheelchair placard to park there. They also have regular handicapped spots for those who are wheelchair free. If you park where you don't belong, you get towed.

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    1. They have "van only" spaces here too...but not everywhere...and sometimes in certain areas there is maybe one Reg handicapped space and its not wide enough. In that situation- I double park or just have to create my own space

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  11. Love this post!!! I couldn't agree more. I like the look on people's faces when they come out of a handicap stall and realize you have been sitting there waiting to use it.

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