In Which I Question Legality

Otherwise known as I channel my inner Billy Newton, and/or other social media savvy attorneys.

Since I’m between semesters it’s as good a time as any to take things off the back burner.

I’m in desperate need (or rather I was) of clothing items. Why is it that you need new stuff all at once? Why not one thing at a time?

I’ve needed to go shopping for the last month, maybe two. I keep putting it off because it was either too cold outside or I had a paper due. Now that neither is a factor, I made myself go, on a holiday weekend no less.

I should’ve stayed home. It was too much aggravation for one pair of shorts, which I did buy, just not the ones I was thinking of.

I went looking for a pair of shorts. I don’t really need another pair of shorts, but if I found what I was looking for great, if not that’s OK too.

I’m losing my actual point here.

I’m not the most pleasant person to shop with (or for) if its need based. I know this because I can barely stand myself. Because of this I tend to shop the same stores. I’m in. I’m out. I’m done.

But on this particular day I decided to step (or in this case wheel) out of my comfort zone.

I (literally) hit a few clothing racks on my way through the front of the store. It’s not the most unusual thing for me to do in an unfamiliar store. Clothing racks aren’t like parking spaces. There’s no noticeable standard (is there?). Usually it doesn’t take me very long to adapt to.

It turns out there was no adapting to this particular store.

Not only did I keep running into racks there was NO WAY around some of them. In fact I had to send my mom scouting for clothes I saw on mannequins but not anywhere I could see. I’m pretty sure that at one point we were yelled to each other through a rack of vintage style tops. I wish I could tell you I felt the slightest hint of embarrassment considering the fact that I was calling additional attention to myself, but I didn’t.

I found one item I might want to buy but it wasn’t in the right color and I hate trying on clothes BUT everything was on sale so I waved my moratorium on trying things on.

I should’ve stuck to my guns. I should have stuck to them tighter than glue.

I found the accessible fitting room and waited for someone to unlock the door only to be told that they were “working on cleaning that room out.” She then apologized and unlocked another room for me to use. (I’m not sure how fire didn’t shoot out of my eyes, but it didn’t)

I tried to see if I could get into the changing room with my chair, but it was pretty obvious that it wasn’t going to work. I admit it wasn’t the smartest thing to do but I had ulterior motives so I tried anyway. I wanted the sales person to see what “working on cleaning that room out,” means for people, and for herself as an employee.

I’m fortunate enough to be able to ambulate without my wheelchair so I can use a “typical” fitting room if I need to. However I usually need help in that situation anyway so an accessible fitting room does work out better. My range of motion and tiny rooms (like removing shoes) do not mix.

I ended up making a purchase. However in order for me to make my purchase I had a simple request for the sales staff. I wanted the shorts on the mannequin. Could they undress the mannequin? It wasn’t something I was planning but it worked out that way.

I should’ve just left when the sales person told me the accessible dressing room wasn’t to be used. That would’ve been the smarter thing to do, and next time I will; although I’m hoping there won’t be a next time.

I went into another store and I heard a whine coming from behind me. I assumed it was a child who was unhappy for one reason or another. Then the lady pushing a stroller passed me. I thought the stroller looked a little odd, and then I realized why.

There wasn’t a child in the stroller. It was a dog! It wasn’t a service dog either. I looked for identification, trust me. But let me just say that if I’m wrong and it was a service dog it needs to be better identified.

I couldn’t hold it together anymore, “How is that even legal?” I asked pretty loudly, so someone other than my mom could hear me, at that point I was having a pretty trying day and I was hungry. Translation: I really did not care who heard me, and REALLY hoped the person with the dog would.

So let’s recap, dogs, the pet ones, are allowed in stores in obnoxious little strollers yet management can get away with making their stores so inaccessible that actual people can’t shop without difficulty. I’m not the only one who sees a problem with that; am I?

It wasn’t the biggest disappointment of a day but it did make me wonder how much of a difference the ADA is actually making if this is our present day. Laws are necessary but they don’t do much good if people don’t follow them and/or there’s no one to enforce them.

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2 thoughts on “In Which I Question Legality

  1. I love this post in so many ways. I have a 4 year old son with spastic diplegia, and many times as I have tried to squeeze his stroller through store aisles, I have wondered about wheelchairs fitting. Don’t you wish you could change the world (or at least the store) with one well placed comment (or glare)? And don’t even get me started on dogs. And in a stroller no less. Ridiculous.

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