Friday, January 16, 2009

Have you ever? (The parking edition)

This afternoon I decided to brave the below-freezing temperatures and head to the mall. The kids were home for a half-day today, and Hannah was in need of some entertainment. The boys were having a play date, and she was stuck at home with mom (a fate worse than death, I know).

She has become an ardent scrapbooker (read: she likes to rifle through my stuff) and I figured an outing to the local scrapbook store would serve several purposes today. One, it would get her some new supplies and increase the chance that she actually leaves my stuff alone; two, it would give us something fun to do together; and, three, it would enable me to spend more of the Husband's money on pretty paper, ribbons, and such (which just so happens to be one of my favorite things to do with his money).

So we bundled ourselves up and headed out. Seeing as it is literally eight degrees today, I circled the parking lot repeatedly, looking for a spot close to the doors. I spied one on the front row, and headed toward it with glee. That glee was short lived, however, when I noticed it was designated parking for expectant mothers only.

Oh, for half a second I actually wished I was pregnant.

I stopped. I hesitated. I mentally debated whether or not I looked pudgy enough in my winter coat to be able to get away with it (which sadly, I probably do). But in the end, the thought of some poor actual pregnant person having to walk farther in the cold because of me was enough to compel me to do the right thing.

With a sigh, I resigned myself to the mile-long walk in the cold, and headed for a parking spot farther out. As Hannah and I approached that front-row mother's spot on our way inside, another car was pulling in.

And to my horror, a very obviously-not-pregnant person was getting out of the car. How could I be sure, you ask?

BECAUSE IT WAS A MAN.

Yes, a lone man was parking in the expectant mother's parking spot. You can be sure that my frozen face scowled as fierce as one could in the sub-freezing air.

I don't think he noticed, what with his short, warm trip inside the mall.

So, once again, I reminded myself not to judge, and prayed that a real pregnant person was not stuck in the cold longer because of him.

But it begs me to ask -- have you ever parked in that spot when you weren't pregnant? How about the handicapped spot? Ever parked there when you know you shouldn't have?

Discuss.

49 comments:

Mahina said...

never have! my consciences is too guilty to allow me to park in on of those spots! although, i actually qualify for the expectant mother spot for a few more weeks!

it infuriates me when people take advantage like that! grrr!

Melissa Walker said...

I have a horrible one--I hope that my relatives never see this but my father-in-law, whose wife is a doctor, got a handicapped sticker to hang in his rear view and uses it to his advantage anytime he can--Disneyworld, the Conference Center parking, the hospital, restaurants, etc. I was so embarrassed when I was driving with them and we were late, so he pulled out his handicapped hanger and said, "We have to do it." WHAT?! And there is no arguing with him because he thinks he's as entitled to that spot as an actual handicapped person!

Lindsey said...

Being a VERY pregnant woman, who can hardly walk because there is so much pressure on my hips, I would have POPPED THAT MAN IN THE NOSE!!! I don't think I have ever parked in a spot I shouldn't.. and if I have, it wasn't for long.. Like a drop off, or pick up situation where I knew I would only be a minute! :)

Annemarie said...

I used to shop at a grocery store that had about six stork parking spots (that were ALWAYS vacant). I once used one right after my 3rd c-section...is that cheating??
And I won't deny that I do appreciate my sister's handicapped parking priveleges, only used when with her, of course.

I think that guy was class act JERK for taking that spot.

Kimberly said...

Rude! No, never have. However, I've been the pregnant lady who has watched a non-pregnant person park in her spot at Babies R Us!!

diane said...

I have an actual handicapped parking pass. One of the upsides to having a limp. People love to go places with me.

andrea said...

i find it dispicable. i am a woman of few scruples, sad but true, however any selfish and healthy jerk who would willingly force an elderly, impaired or even pregnant individual to walk farther than necessary... should be fined, reprimanded or slapped. and i'll be first in line to do all three.

discussed.

or is that disgust?

Jen said...

That is just plain rude and inconsiderate. I leave those designated spots for people who need them. I still think about parking in the "with small children" spots even though my small child is now 3...but I don't.

Jessica said...

Just the other day I was thinking "I could park in the handicap for class because I'm sure its so cold out the campus police aren't out giving tickets....its just too cold!" Then my better judgment came back! I have to say that I haven't parked where I'm not supposed to...YET!

I can totally sympathize with your situation...it was -4 here today and I thought "its too cold...I don't think I can go to work!" Unfortunately I had to go in....even though it was too cold!

Rae said...

A man?! That is horrible!! I have not taken an expectant mother's spot before BUT I have convinced myself it's okay to take the spot's designated for mother's and babies. JK might be close to 3 but I lug him in to the grocery store still. He's heavier than a new baby for Pete sake!!!

MYSUESTORIES said...

Just my night to stop lurking. I read you every day at work through igoogle, but I can't vomment due to blocks. just want to let you know, I'm out here, reading. And I like what you write. You keep writing, and I'll keep reading. Thanks.

MYSUESTORIES said...

COMMENT! I cannot COMMENT due to blocks. I do NOT VOMMENT over your blogs.

Becka said...

No. Nope. And no way.

I do lots of other things I shouldn't though.

Jenny from Chicago said...

Okay, I totally forget what I was going to say because sue got me laughing. Is vomment a cross between a vomit and a comment...this might be a vomment.

Never on the handicapped spot...I can honestly say I've never thought about it.

Becky said...

Tempted but no. I am not surprised that you didn't do it- you are just nice like that. But, after seeing that man, I bet you wished you had. That dumb dumb guy. Makes me mad.

Brindi said...

Oh, no, never. Can't. Worried too much about doing the right thing. Will sneak grapes in the grocery store, but won't park in the wrong place.

Susy said...

I would never and I would of popped him the nose too if I were pregnant....Like one of your readers!

Terra said...

I have never, would never though...I have to say here the handicap and expecting mother spots take up the first 6 spots in the center 4 rows closest to the stores...and I am sorry -But I have never seen all 24 spots taken at once.

Bridget said...

I have never and will never take an undeserving spot like that. Shame on that man. Shame, shame, shame on him.

AMY said...

I worry too much about all the Sties in the world that would crust me off as they walked by. So, no, never done it. I have glared a few people down though.

brooke said...

I have never parked handicapped or expectant mother except when I'm pregnant. I have however, shamefully parked in the elderly parking once or twice. I know my grandpa would think it was okay since I'm hauling a double stroller, bags and three kids under five. I know, I'm a horrible person.

Meg said...

Two things come to mind...

1) Maybe he's that transgendered "man" who was pregnant?

2) If not, next time you should borrow one of those maternity pillows that make you look pregnant and look extremely uncomfortable as you walk by his car.

Woman Interrupted said...

I have my standards...stork parking, yes; handicapped parking, no. (I'm not a complete animal.)

Since I have been pregnant and have certain, ahem, scars that would be TMI to discuss with complete strangers, I somehow feel this makes me less wrong than the offending man of which you speak.

Laurie said...

Never. But my brother always wants my mom, who has a legitimate handicap permit, to limp when she uses it.

And what's up with the specialty spots for "small children" or "elderly?" I guess Nevada just isn't very considerate because I have NEVER seen those.

Rochelleht said...

Never. I have handicapped plates. I ONLY use them if I have one of my boys with me. And I have seen people who didn't have plates or tags park there and I've made sure to give them dirty looks, as well. Cause that'll show 'em!

mae said...

Definitely not. I have been tempted but could never bring myself to do it thanks to my annoying conscience.

Musings of a Housewife said...

Nope! Like you, I couldn't bring myself to do that. The only exception would be a handicap space when there are TONS OF EMPTY ones and only going in for a sec, but even then, if I've done it, it was only once. I can't recall but I feel like I might have once. It sucks to have a conscience sometimes.

Lee Anne said...

I never have, but I will admit, I love when I am driving my mom's vehicle (and she is with me, of course) and we get to use hers and park up front. As soon as her ankle heals, we will have to go back to parking at the end of the lot. Bummer.

girlymama said...

our grocery store has reserved spots for expectant mothers and parents with young children and they are always taken...
and i continually see oldern men parking their bmws there. it makes me soooo mad, as i'm dragging three kids across the parking lot and i see them getting in or out of their car. parked where i should be.
its so obnoxious. i secretly want to throw a (used) diaper at their cars.

Em-Cat said...

Long time lurker, first time commenter...Love your blog btw.

My husband, when we were dating, had a handicapped placard because he had just had knee surgery. We parked in a handicapped spot once and a lady yelled at us for parking there and called my husband a liar and a bunch of other names he definitely is not. He wouldn't let me say anything, but I wanted to punch HER. She had no idea that his knee was in a brace because it was underneath his pants...So I guess the lesson there is - maybe that guy was a transexual and was actually pregnant. Yeah - whatever - I know...

Lauren in GA said...

I would never have been brave enough to yell to him, "When are you due?" but I really would have wanted to.

I haven't parked in those spaces when I'm not...ya know...in the family way...but I have a friend whose husband wouldn't park in the space when his wife was 7 months pregnant and with him in the car. He told her, "Well, we should save it for someone who is farther along and bigger than you." She was a little miffed. I told her that if he skips one of those spaces again in hopes to fill the need of another pregnant woman...that is not pregnant and uncomfortable with HIS child...she should tell him to look for the space marked, "DEAD MAN WALKING".

calibosmom said...

I'm annoyed by the 50 prego parking spots at Babys r Us but No I do not park in them. I have been in my car and parked in a Handicap spot so I could move if needed (waiting for someone in the store). I'm surprised you didn't say something witty and sarcastic to the man. He deserved a dose of Stie! BTW, all of my scrapbook stuff has been taken over by my Hannah and there is no way I'm getting it back. Oh well, at least someone is using it.

Emily said...

I like the "pregnant/mother with small children" sign. It's WAY more helpful. Who cares if your prego, fatty's have to walk the walk too, pregers is hardly different. I could walk as far as you desire pregnant. It's the carrying of fifty small bodies that wears me out. And I say a small child is much more susceptible to the cold than some round belly. You call that mall and tell them I said so. And then park there with your cute little Hannah. Heaven knows the Princess alone is enough to deserve your own spot--royalty must be respected.

wenderful said...

Never. Although I'm tempted every time I go to Home Depot and see the dozens and dozens of handicap spots ALWAYS vacant.

What was that man doing at the scrapbook store anyhow?!! :)

Hazen5 said...

Happy to say I haven't!

Rebecca said...

Yup, I did this last night.

I got to the library 5 minutes before it closed and parked in a handicapped spot (there are 3, and they were all empty). I parked there because there were only a few minutes before the library closed, and I had to leave my kids in the car (bad, very bad, I know) while I ran in to grab a couple things on hold and return a couple books. I felt a lot more comfortable leaving them right next to the building where they were still in sight.

So, yep, I admit to doing it. I think I might have even parked in a pregnant spot after I had twins--carrying 2 baby carriers along with 2 toddlers definitely is harder than being prego, I promise.

I think you should carry along some notecards and leave a nasty anonymous note when you see jerks disobeying the parking signs.

gab said...

I think you should be able to do some kind of citizen's arrest for that...

And I TOTALLY agree with the comment above. There needs to be valet service for all mothers of twins three and under.

Hollyween said...

I don't do it. I would feel too guilty. And when I was pregnant and saw people doing it, it pissed me off ROYAL. At a small supermarket by my house, there's a 'pregnant and new mothers' parking sign. I parked there once when Faith was about 6 months old and STILL felt guilty. I mean, what is the definition of a NEW MOTHER?? My def. is that if you have to haul that infant car seat into the store, you qualify... at least for the 'new mother' parking.

Ilene said...

I have parked in the expectant mother's spot when not pregnant. But I only did so because I had three children with me one of which was a newborn so I figured I deserved the close parking spot even more than some lone pregnant lady. I sleep just fine at night.

Lynsie said...

I have never parked where I shouldn't have. Its not my spot, why should I take it.
I would have yelled at that man, because many of times have I needed to just run in, while needing to pee just a little. And the walk does me in, then I am stuck searching for the dirty restroom all because baby girl here, thinks its funny, and someone 'needed' that spot more than the pregnant lady.
Ugh people.

Now I have to pee again.

Jessica said...

I'm here to read the comments...and one of the happiest moments of my life was when I was, as a young adult, babysitting a girl who was handicapped...we were driving round and round the parking lot at the movies when all of a sudden she piped up with: "Jessica, why aren't you parking in a handicapped spot?!" I've never been so happy someone was handicapped in my life.

Robyn said...

I'm pretty sure I have...with a newborn baby. To me, it's WAAAAAAY harder to walk from the parking lot to the store with an infant carrier than it is with a big baby in the belly! At least your arms are free! I can't believe a lone man did, though....I would've given him the mother of all stare downs!

Sally said...

I never have, I would feel way too guilty. But I am tempted to frequently.

Honestly, though, I hope I never had a handicapped parking pass.

Cindy said...

I have a hard time parking in an "expectant mother's" stall even when I am 8 months 29 days pregnant.
Who knows, maybe that was a pregnant man (aka woman who takes hormones to look like a man). If it was a pregnant (wo)man, she/he probably needs all of the help he/she can get. Sadly, these days, you never really can tell!

Rosie said...

pfft. There is one spot at our mall designated for expecting mothers. Every time I went to the mall while I was expecting, it was taken. I never saw the person who was parked there, though. I hate it when some lone person snakes their way into a great spot and then I have to lug all the kids in from no man's land. (said with a dreamy, far off look) I want to be the lone person at the store.

P.S. I am almost finished with all the books you lent me. I'll be sending them back soon, but with the hopes of the next installments on a few.

Michelle said...

I can honestly say that I have never parked in a handicaped parking spot. I've never seen a parking spot especially for pregnant women! How nice would that have been?!?!

♥Shally said...

What a JERK!!

Chivalry is truly dead... :(

Kristy said...

Being a special ed teacher going on 14 years & having a blind grandmother...I get a little emotional about the handicapped parking. I know it's hard sometimes when stores have many empty spots, but I could never bring myself to do it. I have, however, parked in the expectant/new mom's spot once at the mall when my kids were 3 and under 1 (not a newborn, but still a baby). It was one of those harrowing trips where all I wanted to get was home...FAST. The baby was fussy, toddler/preschooler was tired. I don't feel that guilty, but would not do it now, of course.

Michael said...

I've got a friend whose grandparents gave her their extra handicap sticker. We use it every Sunday to drive to Church. If we don't, we either have to get to Church an hour early or walk in the blistering cold. There is very little guilt felt with her parking permit.