On Saturday, Feb. 16 my sister offered to take me for a relaxing day of spending time in Princeton. Since I am disabled with rheumatoid arthritis and don’t very often have days that physically would allow me to be so active as to visit stores and do some shopping, I was thrilled at the idea. We went to a number of retailers and were treated very well by employees and the general citizens of Princeton. I thought, “What a great day!”
Our last stop was for lunch at Culver’s. We parked in a handicapped spot (displaying my handicapped placard) and went in to enjoy our lunch. Finishing lunch, we left the parking lot and noticed a note stuck under the windshield wiper. We pulled into another business’ lot to retrieve the note. What I read truly shocked me. This note referred to my sister and myself as “The Lazy Blondes.” I was appalled, insulted and hurt.
The note said when we pulled up, this person felt sorry for whomever in the vehicle had a disability, but after seeing us get out of the car and enter Culver’s, she felt we were just being lazy and careless. She had no basis for her opinion, but felt inclined to share it with us. Well, ma’am, I have a basis for my opinion (your note), and I find you to be narrow-minded, judgmental and a coward.
I have suffered with RA for over 26 years. I have been completely disabled for the last 10. I am not proud of my disability and don’t ask for anyone’s pity but must deal with it every day for the rest of my life. God willing, you or a loved one won’t ever have to deal with anything that completely changes your life. The next time you feel the need to judge someone, think twice. I am past the hurt you caused me, but there are those out there who would not be so willing to move on.
To the citizens and businesses of Princeton, thank you for an enjoyable day. I know this one person is not the model for your citizenry. I hope this was a learning experience for her, and she becomes a better role model for the people in her life than she has been up to this point.
I am not afraid to sign my name.
Shayne M. Sawicki