Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Handicap Parking Privileges

The latest internet outrage has been about someone who left a note on a windshield saying "You are clearly not disabled.  Shame on you" given to a woman parked in a handicap spot.

Privilege:  (noun) a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

I have a handicap tag for my rear-view mirror.  I'm not old, I'm not in a wheelchair, I walk around on my own two feet and other than being overweight, you wouldn't think me handicapped as I walk into a store, the mall, or Walmart.

But did you know that I am recovering from a broken neck?  That I'm overweight from the inactivity during my recovery?  Did you know that for two years I was in physical therapy and the fact that I can walk on my own two feet is a blessing?

Some days I park in handicap, some days I don't.  It depends on the amount of cars in a parking lot and how much shopping I will be doing.  When I do utilize this option, I always pick the furthest spot and never in a van accessible space.

I don't use the store scooters, I try my best to continue walking on my own and hoping the day comes when I won't need that tag.  I'm not taking advantage and I'm not even complaining.

But I've seen the looks.  

The snotty, holier-than-thou looks by others as I hop out of my SUV and enter a store, happy and perky.  If you've never seen disdain, wake a cat up.  Same look.

But where are you halfway through my shopping where I'm sweating and leaning on the buggy?  Where are you when I literally cry out in pain as I put bags in my car?  Where are you as I struggle to even get in the car, then sit there panting from pain unable to turn my neck or start the car for a while?  Sometimes having to wait for medicine to kick in while I sit in the heat.

Did you know that the weight gained has stressed my heart so that just doing day-to-day activities could cause it to rupture from all the strain, lifting and pushing heavy things?  Can't see that can you?

I passed out in a Walmart once.  As I was blacking out, people just walked past me, stepped over me or ignored me.  Finally, a worker came to my rescue and called an ambulance.  

Those people who didn't give a damn?  Same ones giving me that look as they walked into the store.  Did they remember I was the one they mocked?  I bet they didn't notice anything except I was blocking the DVD New Release section.

Not every handicap is visible.  Stop judging others based on what you believe to be right.  I'm so sick of people like that.  I believe in the full circle of life and I have a photographic memory.  So if Karma doesn't get you, I may walk past you one day in your time of need.  

Maybe I'll help, or just maybe I'll step over you and keep going...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Behind The Curtain

Everyone remembers The Wizard of Oz.  The Great and Powerful Oz was nothing more than a little man behind a curtain with a projector and megaphone...

But what happens when you look behind the curtain of your hero?  

Sometimes we learn that those we admire, those that lifted us up, or those that inspired us...are just ordinary people with problems just like ours.

I recently found out my hero was worse off than I was.  Did I really derive all of my strength from someone who could be so weak?

I'm so disappointed.  

I'm not even sure if it's because I looked behind the curtain or if because what was revealed was such a lie.

I'm not a present-shaker.  I don't peek.  I wasn't the one that pulled back the curtain.  But what I saw behind there almost left me bereft.

The lesson I took away?  I'm better off being my own hero.

I shall make my own magic, lift myself up, and inspire others to do the same.  Heroes are for kids.  As adults, we need to be our own hero and stop depending on other people to inspire us when the world is ripe for our own inspiration.

Don't look behind the curtain.  Look beyond it, to the world that awaits...

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Reality Of Middle Age And Fashion

I recently started receiving catalogs from many new companies I've never shopped with before.  Perhaps they are affiliates of my favorite boutiques?  Maybe they got my name off some obscure website I visited once upon a time.

No matter, it's the target audience I'm questioning.  For me, "cold shoulder" equates to "room for arm fat".  And what's with this top?  Are we going into battle on a futuristic planet?  Why is she squatting?

My lithe twenties have passed me by decades ago.  Although in my dreams I am my current older self, I am often once again thinner and able to move without creaks and pops.  In real life, it takes me twenty minutes to get out of bed and into the bathroom because my joints don't quite work the way they used to.

I flip through these tantalizing pages of potential beauty and sex appeal and laugh.  Usually out loud.

The other day I was shopping for a tee shirt.  A specific one at Eddie Bauer.  They didn't have that particular style, but I was offered by an eager sales girl some "fabulously comfortable leggings" with a printed tee that wouldn't even cover my mid section.

Seriously?  I get those "People of Walmart" memes, I know what she's up to and I wasn't born yesterday!

I have feet like Bilbo Baggins.  Try squeezing my size tens in those and you'll have toes poking out like weeds in sidewalk cracks.  Forget trying to walk in these.  I have visions of scraped palms, a bone shattered (possibly a hip), but in none of my fantasies does a handsome doctor roll my stretcher into the Emergency Room, look me over and say, "Sexy shoes.  Are you married?"

The reality would be, "Are you crazy?  You can't walk in shoes like that with your weight balanced on a toothpick.  Nurse call psychiatric while we put her in X-ray.  And somebody cut these things off her feet, her toes are purple from lack of circulation..."

And what the Hell is that?  In case I get mugged by a sea urchin I'll have the ability to fight back?

Do I want to be old?  NO.  But please, can't we make sweats/yoga pants and large tees somewhere between bootylicious and old-lady-cruise-wear for normal, every day people?  

We are moms, or even grandmothers, we have kids, pets, car pools, jobs, and errands.  I don't dance on a pole, battle medieval knights, or frequent street corners outside trendy clubs on weekends.

I love heels, I do, even at five foot nine, I'll tower to six-one in a normal looking shoe with some comfort padding in the insole, I mean you know, to dinner and back and they usually end up being carried into the house, but I love a good, pretty shoe.  

I'll even put on a nice leopard or zebra print.  I'm not so stymied that I'm in a monochromatic cotton jumpsuit, but I certainly don't need a top where I have to tape it down so my nipples don't show or wear something underneath to keep my twins from taking center stage.

I would love to not only find a pair of boots that would fit over my jeans like every little girl on TV, but how about a pair that fits over my bare calf for the love of God?!?  Why are things only made in size swizzle stick??

And this:

This is not a costume.  This is an actual jacket for sale for every day wear/use.  Unless I start handing out poisoned apples, I'm pretty sure it will never grace the inside of my closet.

**These are actual, current fashions from catalogs I've received within the past two weeks.  Can someone please tell the fashion world that it is OUR generation that spends the most money on fashion and they'd sell a lot more it they'd tone it down, cover it up, and make it comfortable, not creepy?

My Zimbio
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