Ilustration by Bob AulSend anonymous thanks, confessions or accusations—changing or deleting the names of the guilty and innocent—to "Hey, You!" c/oOC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247, or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Mom and I were taking a trip to the grocery store; I came along because we enjoy each other's company—and because Mom's health isn't what it used to be, and shopping tires her out. As we entered the store, you walked between us and demanded, "Is one of you handicapped?" "She is," I replied. Yes, people often mistake us for sisters because she looks so young, but Mom does have serious health issues. Due to these problems, she is permanently disabled, and the state has issued her one of those blue parking-space plaques. From time to time, some skeptic will harass Mom about this because she's in her early 40s and doesn't require a wheelchair. We usually try to brush off these people and get on with our day. But you insisted on complaining that in crowded OC shopping centers, your disabled mother can never find a free disabled parking space. Mom tried to explain that she is, in fact, in constant pain. But you wouldn't stop. You continued to rant that some people really need disabled parking spaces, and we shouldn't be keeping them from the truly needy. Okay, so Mom doesn't tote her medical files with her to prove to any asshole on the street what she already had to prove to the state and federal governments. Would you ask a wheelchair-bound person who still has a full set of lower limbs to prove that those limbs don't function properly? Probably. I'm so sorry that Mom isn't disabled enough for you. But thanks for berating her, for reminding her how fucked-up her health is, and for getting her so upset that she began crying in the middle of the bread aisle and had to be driven home exhausted and without accomplishing anything of use during her single daily outing. I sure hope that whatever you had to get at the supermarket was more important than another human's well-being.