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Article published February 8, 2013
Guys weren’t pregnant
Judi Baglier Renfrew
Several weeks ago, on a cold, snowy and icy day, I needed to go to the grocery store. I had been housebound due to bronchitis and was out of all the necessities. When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed two young men exiting their car in the pregnant and new mothers parking slot. I put my window down and said, “Are you serious?” They continued into the store, unashamed. It was clear to me that neither was pregnant nor a new mother. Moving to the next aisle, I noticed several unattended handicapped spots. Recently, my family physician gave me an application for a handicapped placard, which I did apply for and receive. Doctors don’t give these out to just anyone, and he felt that I needed one. As I was parking and putting my placard on the mirror, a man walked by, stopped, looked at me, and shook his head. I opened my door and said, “I do qualify to park here.” When I got into the store, I recognized him, approached him and said once again, “I really do qualify to park in the handicapped spot.” He said his mother was 90 years old and never parked in a handicapped spot. My answer was, “Well, I have asthma and am getting over bronchitis, which makes it difficult to breathe.” That wasn’t good enough. He told me about his 80-year-old aunt who also never used a handicapped spot. My message here is, just because a person isn’t visibly handicapped, people shouldn’t judge him or her. They might have heart problems, breathing problems, arthritis, or any number of other problems. I never, ever parked in a handicapped spot until now, and only when I need it. And to those two men I mentioned earlier, I say, “Shame, shame on you.”