Feb. 28th, 2017

cereta: Barbara Gordon, facepalming (babsoy)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Amy: My beloved father-in-law passed away a few months ago. Before he died, he was bedridden for several years. He received a handicap parking permit. During the years of his sickness, mom proudly displayed it whenever she parked, even though dad was not with her.

Now that he has died, she still uses it everywhere she goes, even though she is very healthy and walks 2 miles every day.

Recently, my wife and I took her out to dinner. I was very embarrassed when she pulled the permit out and told me to park in the handicap space. I offered to drop her off at the door and park in a normal spot. She would have none of it.

To avoid an argument, I parked in a handicap space. Afterward, I vowed not to do that again because it is illegal and wrong. My wife thinks that I am overreacting. She wants to appease her mother and believes the permit reminds her of dad. Please help.

— In a Quandary

Dear Quandary: A parking permit is a strange totem to attach emotional meaning to. Perhaps you should simply assume that your mother-in-law is attached to the convenience of illegally using a handicap permit.

When you are transporting people in your own car, you get to say how and where you will park. Your offer to drop off your mother-in-law at the entrance was the appropriate gesture to make. Your wife could have easily walked with her to the restaurant entrance and waited inside while you parked in a regular spot.

Because you know it was wrong of you to park in the handicap spot, you might have made your point clearly if you had told the group before the meal: "I feel terrible about taking up that spot while we are sitting here eating. I'm going to move the car now. When we leave, I'll retrieve it and pick you up at the entrance, if you don't want to walk."


Agony Aunt

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