Yesterday I stopped by Trader Joe's on our way home and wanted to park at the far end of the lot to get some exercise, but didn't because my mother was in the car and wanted to rest. I parked her in one of the many handicapped spots available by the store so that she would be safe and able to get out to use the restroom if she needed to.
When I came out a few minutes later a woman in an SUV almost ran me down as I entered the crosswalk. I said "Thank you" a bit sardonically, and began loading the groceries into our car. The SUV whipped around and tried to get into the parking spot next to me, and the woman yelled "That's so uncool, man, so uncool, using a handicapped space while you shop." I told her that I had to park in the space to allow my mother to get out safely if she needed to, and unwisely mentioned that she had almost driven over me in the crosswalk. The woman, who took four tries to get into her very large and open parking slot, started shrieking profanities at me, so we left as quickly and quietly as we could.
I called the police to double check, and yes, handicapped people with caretakers can still park in handicapped slots. That poor woman was obviously having a bad day, and had bigger problems than me, but still, it rankled. People can be so judgmental and hostile. I wish I had been kinder to the woman, but since I had just been hit by a bad driver who totaled our car, I was a bit edgy myself.