I think the most hurtful kind of discrimination is the kind that tells you that you do not count. You do not matter. The inconvenience to others is more important than the harm to you.
My neighbors have a permit from the city to turn the street into a play street. What this means is that they can forbid through traffic from the street from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM…but not anyone with a business or residence on the block. Like yours truely.
Today, I went out for a parking ticket hearing. I made sure the adults knew I was leaving so they could get the kids out of the way, and drove slowly out.
Hudson got sick. So sick that he started pooping…not just without command, but not even in appropriate places! The first one was in the waiting room for the hearing, and happened slowly enough that I could get a bag under his butt and catch it. So then I took him out to a planter, where he peed and then seemed done, so I started walking on to where I knew there were outdoor trashcans I could throw the poop in. I am not going to leave dogshit in a waiting room people have to sit in! He started to hunch and slow down as we crossed the street, something he does sometimes when scared, so I assumed the big SUV was bothering him. Nope. More poop. I swore under my breath, cleaned up what I could, and headed on to the nearest planter. Before we got there, he crouched again…and this time, it was diarrhea.
Crap crap crap. Not good. Keeps stopping, more diarrhea. I got him to the planter and he showed no interest, so I kept him there a while. When he continued showing no interest, I decided that we were probably safe and started walking towards the trash can again. Right next to the trash can…he crouches again. AGH! More diarrhea, more liquid than before. Great.
At this point, I realized that this was probably serious. I tried to call the vet, but got a telephone tree that sent me into message boxes. I try again, with the same result off a different option. Then I called my service dog organization, and dialed the wrong extention but got a live person. Great! She said she’d try to find a trainer. I started driving home, and tried the vet’s office again…and yay, live person!
She said they didn’t have any appointments, but she was going to see if I could be squeezed in and call me back. I finished driving home…and THAT was when the slap in the face happened.
I stopped at the end of the block and asked the adult there to please move cones and caution tape so I could get home. He did, very grudgingly, when the lady who kind of runs things told him that yes, I live here.
After I parked, the lady who kind of runs things walked over to me and asked me to park at the end of the block from now on. So…despite the fact that I’m disabled enough that I have a parking placard and a service dog to help me walk, I should walk half a block so that they are spared the inconvenience of actually managing the kids. This is particularly problmatic as the sidewalk is broken badly between there and my house, and there’s broken glass all over the sidewalk – just what I want my service dog walking in.
And then another woman who was out there started screaming at me. I was called ‘rude and ignorant’ because I had calmly and politely explained to the lady running things that she has a right to block through traffic – traffic that uses our street to get from one place to another – but not all traffic. Not me. The fact that we have 90 year old neighbors who do not complain about parking off our street and walking meant that I had no right to complain. Oh, and she threatened to take down my plate information and call the cops with it. Cute.
You know how it is. I don’t count. I don’t matter.
Scream about the safety of the kids how you will, but the fact is this – the safety of the kids is the responsibility of their parents, largely by teaching them traffic safety.
I don’t mind driving slowly, making sure the adults know I’m going to be moving the car, etc – that’s just being a reasonable neighbor.
But being told that I don’t have a right to park close to my house, even with a disability? Nope. Not happening.
I’ve looked up the law and made certain that I have the right of things, and I do. It specifically qualifies the blocking traffic to NOT include people who live or have businesses on the block.
So now the question is this – how do I deal with my neighbors without giving up my right to park near my house or making them despise me?
The naughty part of me wants to call the local precinct (non-emergency, of course) and have them send out an officer to explain the law to my neighbors. I’m worried that might get my car keyed or similar nonsense, though.