On a Monday in June, a 90-year-old friend, Chuck, his caregiver and I went to Mount Si Golf Course to enjoy a late lunch together. Chuck, having suffered numerous strokes, is physically impaired. He is unable to walk without assistance.
On arrival, there was a man, in his sixties, loading his 20-pound golf bag in the back of his black BMW SUV in a clearly marked disabled parking spot. He had just finished 18 holes of golf with his pals. I leaned out the window of the car, asked if he was disabled or perhaps leaving for we needed the space. He assured me he was disabled and no, he wasn’t leaving. He joined his pals for lunch, leaving his vehicle in place. I watched as he strutted off to the restaurant, no limp, walking upright with no noticeable impairment to warrant parking in a disabled parking space.
He did, however, have a placard placed on his rearview mirror.
This man was seated and had ordered his meal by the time we finally got Chuck through the front door. He saw Chuck with Suzy holding on to him, guiding him as he labored to put one foot in front of the other. He immediately looked away, trying to become invisible. He was not. I did, however, make him visibly uncomfortable by staring at him.
As I write this, I am disappointed in myself that I didn’t do the right thing. Instead, I did the politically correct thing and said nothing. I should have brought attention to his lack of common decency in front of his pals—hopefully deterring a repeat performance of his behavior.
I have vowed that I will not avoid a confrontation the next time I see a person abusing the use of a placard. I will do the right thing and call attention to it. Hopefully, it will embarrass and humiliate the offender.
I hope you will too so that truly physically handicapped persons will have access to these parking spaces. And, we wonder why so many of our youth have no respect for adults.