Sometimes I park far away (gasp) on purpose

Here’s the situation. There are far too many people with handicapped stickers. Or maybe there are just not enough handicapped spots. Or maybe it’s all of the above.

Consider a trip to Costco and the reason Professor X rarely goes there. There are approximately 10 disabled parking spots in the lot. Sounds like quite a few, right? Until you realize that every member of the AARP visits Costco. Regularly. Is it the free samples? Or the cheap hot dogs? (Yes, that is the reason I go, but we aren’t talking about ME here). So Professor X gets to Costco and prays that one of the aforementioned spots opens up.

After chicken fighting with an 88 year old for the space, he gets out of the car and must now decide how next to proceed. Even the *best* spot is at least 30 feet from the store’s entrance. Far enough that walking there with his cane will be excruciatingly painful. And if he gets to the front entrance of the store and there are no vroomy carts, then he has to hobble back to the car and go home. He’ll be in pain for 2 days from the effort and won’t have even entered the store.

He could, on the other hand, pull out his wheelchair and cover the distance easily (as ling as he doesn’t wheel behind a car that decides to back up and can’t see him in his chair). But then what does he do with his chair at the front entrance when he picks up a vroomy cart? Park and lock it up on the “wheelchair rack”? He could take it into the store, but then where does he put his boxes and boxes of items? On his lap of course. And this gets heavy and cumbersome quickly. Especially in Costco.

(Did I mention that my 5 year old is probably sitting on his lap through all this because she missed the Kindergarten cutoff by 2 weeks?)

So let’s assume all goes well and he gets a vroomy cart and buys some delicious organic coffee and garden burgers. Now there is the less than small matter of getting everything out to the car. Which is at least 30 feet from the entrance. Probably more.

You get the idea. Shopping trips become nightmarish quickly.

So what is the moral of this story? Sometimes I purposefully do not take the close parking spot. Even when I could. Not because I’m a saint or a fitness buff, but because I realize someone else out there might need that spot a whole lot more.

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5 Comments

  1. I’ll be parking further way too thanks for the reminder.. and it’s -24 C here which also means snow and icy but my girl safely in her stroller.

    Oh and I go to costco for the same reason you do cheap hot dogs & fries and love the free samples too.

  2. We seem to have the opposite problem …. man disabled parking spaces always sitting empty. When I was pregnant with No.6, and had three other children under the age of 4, and could hardly walk because of unstable hips, I used to look longingly at those empty disabled spaces right out the front of the shops.

    On the other hand I do know how it feels when you’re hoping the store will have some kind of facility available and then they don’t. I used to covet the double shopping trolleys (with space for two babies/toddlers to sit) and would get really angry when there were none left but there was some middle aged man (with NO children at all in tow) casually pushing one around the aisles with about 3 or 4 items in it!!!!

  3. I’m so sorry that he has this problem! Hubby and I always park in the last space at the end of the row. We feel it is a small effort to get as much exercise as we can. When we go to restaurants, we try to leave tables close to the entrance for the elderly and for those in wheelchairs. It would be great if you could list other suggestions of things we can do to be more caring and sensitive. I’m sure there are other things that we don’t realize and should. Thanks.

  4. we who care for people with disabilities thank you! I don’t take Queen Teen to many major stores like Costco and Walmart because there is never a parking spot close by. Every single handicapped spot is taken, usually by someone who is elderly. I’m sorry, but does every elderly person really need to park in the handicapped zone? I don’t want to judge, but most of the elderly people I see can walk just fine.

  5. Well said!

    Recently, I saw a person walk quite normally and comfortably up to their car – which was parked in a handicapped spot – and get in. I totally acknowledge that there could be something I couldn’t see allowing her to park there BUT, she was trotting along just fine! I was a little irked … I mean, if you can comfortably get in and out of the store, save the spots for people who really need them!

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