Today, I overheard a snippet of a phone conversation between a mother and her grown son or daughter. It seems the child had some sort of surgery a while ago, from which she/he has recovered. At he time of the surgery, the kid was issued a "handicapped" tag for his/her car. The mom was saying, "Well, that's a lie. When you change the date on a tag, you are lying!"
So I was trying to deduce the other end of the conversation. Mom says, "To anyone who sees the tag, that's who!" Mom went on to say, "You can try and justify it any way you want to, it's still a lie!"
I would like to have jumped in there. It's not only a lie, it's theft. I don't care if there are 17 "handicapped" parking places. The Austin chapter of "Wheelchairs Without Walkers" might suddenly descend on wherever this lazy, selfish twit of a kid has parked his or her vehicle, and need every spot there is.
I remember taking Addy to the grocery store, and seeing not one accessible parking space. On checking, I noted that only about half of the cars in those spaces had "handicapped" plates or tags.
I went straight to Customer Service and complained. Not nicely, either.
The people who deserve those spots fall into several categories. The vast majority of them are old. People who have worked their butts off all their lives (who didn't, in our parents' generation?) and survived this long deserve to have a parking place in the front. Period. Never mind that you are speaking English thanks to a lot of them.
Those who are caregivers for those who can no longer go everywhere on their own have tags, too. Would you like to have to schlep your mother in a wheelchair or with a walker, from the far reaches of the parking lot? If it were Addy, she would be tired by the time we got to the door, frustrated with herself for being so, and grumpy with me for witnessing her weakness.
There are also the people who have temporary tags for the same reasons you have. Surgery, an injury, whatever. I bet, in the weeks following your surgery, you would have considered yourself to be hard done by if you had found spots all filled with expired tags!
And some young people, quite fit-looking, have permanent tags or plates, too. Trust me, those tags make a huge difference. Trust me, arthritis can strike in youth, and so can many other illnesses that sap a person's strength.
While I type these words, I feel my mother at my shoulder, because the attitude is hers. My conscience frequently speaks to me in her voice.
As parents, we spend eighteen years, or whatever number of years we get, trying to convince our kids that doing the right thing is a life skill. We try to do this in the face of negative messages that surround our kids for much of the time they are away from us. The music, the movies, the games, all appear to forsake integrity for rebellion. Parents fight a constant and uphill battle to instill that conscience.
I think this kid had told his/her mother about this, either with a snippy attitude: "I'm being selfish and lying and you can't stop me," or just wanted to hear a couple of bars of Jiminy Cricket's tune from "Pinocchio."
I guess you know they're grown up with they conjure your voice on their own, without using up your minutes.