Mike's blog - why do I feel guilty using my Blue Badge?
Why is it I feel guilty using the spaces that have been set aside for Blue Badge holders?
I have a Blue Badge. I don’t need a wheelchair. OK, so I’m not the most agile any more, but I’m not incapable of using my own two feet. In fact I still drive – albeit it’s an automatic which takes away the inconvenience of needing three pedals, leaving just the two most important ones. So why do I feel so uncomfortable about using up a spot that could be populated by someone worse off?
It’s the disabled logo that shouts out above these spots.
The assumption is that anyone considered disabled ‘rides’ a wheelchair - either that or we spend our time welded to an industrial sized toilet.
It annoys me that people assume if you are parking in a disabled space you will either exit from the vehicle in a hoist, on crutches and in plaster, or be ‘helped’ straight into some other wheeled mode of transport.
The disabled logo is known by all, but fundamentally flawed in the message it sends out.
Maybe it’s the official looking people who wander up to the car before I have even got out of it, and check I am displaying my badge that proves I’m considered acceptable to park so close to the entrance.
Maybe it’s because it’s always me they seem to eye up so suspiciously...
...“Why’s he been deemed disabled?”...
...“Seems alright to me”...
...“Who’s he trying to kid?”
... It’s as if I should exaggerate my condition to justify taking up such a convenient space.
Actually, I do remember one afternoon, long before I had been diagnosed, noticing my wife had developed a terrible limp. It got more and more exaggerated the closer she got to the car, until, by the time she returned she was almost dragging her leg behind her.
She had stopped, totally illegally, in a disabled bay, and spotted from some distance away, a traffic warden fast approaching the car. She had left me sitting in the passenger seat watching the scene unfold in the door mirror, while she ‘just popped out’ to look in a shop window.
At the time we didn’t speak of her sudden ailment, and it was only when the warden had moved us on, after a stern talking to, that her new condition was mentioned.
“It seemed like my only option was to play the sympathy card!” she said.
Maybe, just maybe, that’s where the guilty feeling is from!