Etiquette School is in session! > "What an interesting assumption."

"You're so young, why on Earth are you parking in the handicap spot?!"

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I'm recovering from having my spine almost completely destroyed in a car accident (it was rebuilt with titanium and I am, thankfully and miraculously, able to walk and take care of myself now), and for a long time I didn't know how to respond to confrontational, usually older people asking me why I was getting in/getting out of my car that I had parked in the handicap zone. I really don't like having to justify my handicapped placard to anyone, but these confrontations were a bit shocking and so for a while I'd go into a long discussion about my health and recovery. Recently, though, I've found it works well to simply say: "Sometimes bad things happen to young people, too."

Does anyone have any other suggestions of things to say? I don't want to appear rude, and when imagining it in my head, "What an interesting assumption" might come off as condescending.


--- Quote from: britannialamode on October 24, 2011, 10:06:15 PM ---... Recently, though, I've found it works well to simply say: "Sometimes bad things happen to young people, too."...

--- End quote ---

I can't think of a better one that what you just said.  It is nice and vague, while at the same time pointing out to them that they shouldn't assume that young=perfectly healthy.  And if said in the right tone of voice, it would not sound condescending nor accusatory.

"Because it's medically necessary even though that doesn't show."

I still need my tag but look pretty spy to the casual observer. Even though I don't really need it at home, I take my cane with me so I don't get questions. It also has saved me from being jostled more than once so I'm glad I have it, it has helped me catch myself when I tripped once, and people don't look at me as entitled when I ask them to please get something from the lowest shelf for me. (I can't bend over yet.)

I do love your "Sometimes bad things happen to young people."

OP, I am so glad that you are healing so well! I'm just over 6 months out from breaking my leg in 2 places from a wreck as well. (pretty sure it didn't compound because of my weight) I hated the looks I got when we were out running errands with me, though the lookers usually left us alone when mom got the wheelchair out.

I use a cane now, for balance and making sure I sit on the shuttle on campus- I can't stand on it anymore...

I love what you say though. Of course you can always say that you are really 85, but you know a really good surgeon :P


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