Grocery shopping with Maggie is always entertaining. I push the wheelchair and pull the shopping cart behind me. We are quite the little train and people just get out of our way. Generally they are suppressing a smile because Maggie is cracking up. Here's a shot of our "Little Engine that Could." I stand between Maggie and the grocery basket. Cornering is not pretty.
It is not the most efficient way to get the grocery shopping done; hence I only bring Maggie occasionally. This week, though we went together twice and both times had very strange experiences in the parking lot.
As we were walking in the other day I pushed Maggie toward the wheelchair cutout. This cutout is in the middle of a slight ramp that extends in either direction. The left takes you to the store, the right gets you to the bike rack, water machine etc. I was just entering the ramp. A shopper was coming down with his groceries and backed up to let us by. Just then an employee of the store started down the ramp from the right. He was pushing extra shopping carts and he was BOUND AND DETERMINED to make sure he beat me to the ramp, even though we were already there and he was about 10 feet away. He actually started speeding up so he could to cut us off. It wasn't even close - he was like a crazed driver on the freeway. I just said , "Hey, You pretty much have to let us go first. One, we are the customers and two it's really bad karma." He slowed down to avoid rear ending us. The other customer caught my eye started laughing and said "Is HE kidding?' I smiled, shrugged and kept going. Bizarre.
Stranger still was the next visit. I was loading Maggie back into the van. The wheelchair loading area is also a pass through for customers returning to their cars. There are other ways to get to the cars, but this is the first one and most people use it. That makes perfect sense to me. Why not use the space for more than one thing. I'll bet Maggie is one of the very few wheelchair users who frequent this particular store. It will only very occasionally be used for both and even then the non wheelchair users have another path back to the parking lot.
Win win, right? Of course not.
As I loaded Maggie in I heard a woman with a strong Russian accent say
"You are blocking" (which sounded more like "blooking")
I just (fake) smiled sweetly and said what was patently obvious to everyone, "Yes I am, but I'm loading a wheelchair."
She said, "This space is for people to get back to cars."
I smiled again, pushed Maggie up the ramp and said sarcastically, "Right it's for both loading wheelchairs and for getting back to cars. I guess when they designed it they figured people might be considerate of the occasional wheelchair."
My sarcasm was completely lost on her, but the man behind her guffawed at my crack. By that time Maggie was in and I pushed the button for the ramp to close, I had to stand there to make sure Maggie didn't get her hand stuck. I "blooked" her for no more than 45 seconds.
The two incidents, which happened about 48 hours apart, were so ridiculous in their own ways that I could not even mock outrage. They just left me shaking my head. I was grateful for the other shoppers in each incident who let me know I wasn't completely crazy.