Last week I wrote about receiving my disabled parking placard. This week I’m writing about actually using it.
Let me start by saying that, when possible, I always venture onto the residential streets to try and find a “freebie” spot. While some meters give me an hour for $1, others double that rate. And I know that walking is good exercise for me, so I don’t mind parking a block or so away.
But last week, I couldn’t find a freebie spot, so I was forced to park at a closer spot, one that had a meter. I reached for my credit card to pay the meter and then stopped myself. I had a decision to make. Should I pay like I usually do or park for free by displaying my placard? I was torn and really didn’t know how best to handle the situation. Neither decision felt quite right to me.
I have “earned” this placard (if that’s the right word) and thus was “entitled” (again, not sure that’s the right word either) to free parking.
But I don’t “look” disabled. But, the two dollars won’t make or break me.
And, putting up that placard puts me and my situation out on display.
It wasn’t easy, but I did it. I parked and walked towards my doctor’s appointment, feeling like at any moment someone would call me out as a fraud. I know I’m not a fraud. I know that this, sadly, is my reality. But it’s a reality I sometimes feel unprepared for.