Woman gets nasty note for parking in handicapped parking spot

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I have never parked in a parking spot designated for drivers with a disabled parking placard. That didn't stop a stranger from leaving a nasty note on my car accusing me of parking in a handicapped parking space. They were wrong.

It was a hot summer day. I parked my car in a massive parking lot outside a discount store and went inside. It wasn't even a particularly good parking spot. It wasn't the closest spot to the store, not even close. Furthermore, the parking lot was nearly empty.

In other words, I had all the options in the world when it came to parking. The last thing I would have done was to park where I didn't belong.

When I returned outside with my bags of shopping, I noticed a piece of paper beneath one of my windshield wipers. I felt puzzled.

At first, I thought it was a flyer for a local business. However, as I got closer, I realized it was a note from another driver.

I put my bags in the trunk and took the paper off the windshield. Then I unfolded the paper and read it to myself. There, in a hastily scrawled message, someone had accused me of parking in a handicapped accessible parking spot and threatened me with further action if I ever did it again.

There was only one problem. I had not parked in a handicapped accessible spot.

I felt so ashamed and embarrassed. I wanted to sink into the ground and disappear. Even though it wasn't true, the note made me feel like a terrible person.

I couldn't help but wonder whether the person who had written the note was watching me. I hoped they were.

I circled my car and checked for any signs I may have missed. There were none. I made a show of it, circling slowly and pointing at where a sign might have been... if there had been a sign, which there definitely was not.

Then I got into my car, backed out of the spot, parked the car, and got back out. I examined the area beneath my car for any marking that would indicate I needed a placard to park there. Once again, I turned up nothing.

I looked around the parking lot in case my mysterious accuser was watching and threw my hands in the air in an exaggerated shrug. All I wanted was for my accuser to know I wasn't guilty. I didn't see anyone watching me. They were long gone or well hidden.

Instead of leaving a nasty note, the other driver could have contacted parking authority, who would definitely have vindicated me. I cannot stress it enough: I did not park in a parking spot designated for drivers with a disabled parking placard. After receiving that note, I felt as if I did something wrong.

Although it's been years since the hot summer day when someone anonymously accused me of parking in the wrong spot, I'm still bothered by it.

What would you have done in my place? Comments are welcome.

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