Sunday, January 16, 2005

An Answer for Cedar

Aubrey and I did talk about it afterward. Sure, basically what I did was assure the clerk that he wasn't alone. That someone else 'saw the monster'. That is okay, but it is passive.
Aren't we behaving like sheep when we don't address the problem at its source? I didn't need to insult this woman, as much I may have wanted to kick her in the shin, but this was an opportunity to SPEAK OUT against intolerance and well, meanness. I really don't think this woman even saw the clerk as another human being.
If I had spoken against her actions, there is the tiniest chance that she might have seen things differently. There's a much better chance she and hubby would have turned their irk on me. Bring it on! I was better equipped than the clerk, not being on Target's payroll. They wouldn't have lasted long in a verbal spar---even Aubrey could've handled them and she's only 13. Maybe that's it. Maybe I was pissed at myself for missing an opportunity to make a speech in Target.
BUT There is a fair chance that those watching might have been made slightly more aware. Did I say 'aware"? How about AWAKE? You asked what could be done to help those described in Barbara Ehrenreich's book Nickled and Dimed. LOTS of things GO ON, and on and on and on, because Baaaaaaaaah we let them. Whatever it is we hope to change, we have to begin by speaking out.
Best to you.


Anonymous said...


Weirdest thing happened to me over the Christmas break and oddly enough it was at Target. A woman accosted me in the parkinglot about my truck. I was apparently at odds with her political views because I drive a 99 Isuzu Rodeo and have a MIA/POW sticker. In her world those things do not mesh. I blogged it in my live journal as follows:

Speaking of poetic justice though and random acts of evil against people I don't know....

I went to Target today to pick up these DVD holders that the company doesn't make any more and I was lucky to find two. As I'm loading up the truck, this woman strikes up a conversation with me. (It happens periodically, but usually in the women's restroom at some club or restaurant.) She asks me about the gas mileage on the SUV and then makes nonpatriotic noises about driving a nonfuel efficient vehicle. What started out as a glancing blow of polite conversation took a turn. I believe I said something to the effect of "It's paid for and it's mine." About this time I've moved away from the back area where I blocked her view of my POW/MIA magnet. This set her off. "How could YOU have something like that when it's obvious that you don't care about this country by the gas-guzzler you drive? There are no vets left in Vietnam and Iraq's not taking prisoners."
I got that tremor in my hands that sends warning flags to my brain that sometimes can stop my mouth. It all depends on how much I've been drinking. :) Today (as most days before noon) I was stone cold sober. "Ma'am, I don't see that how my political views are any of your concern nor do I give a sack of shit about your views."
To which she replied, "Honey, just take this as a lesson in the 1st Amendment."
I still cannot believe this is happening at all. What a freakishly random bitch! "Ma'am, I'm sorry that your HMO has cut off your prescription, but I cannot and will not have this conversation with you."

She follows me around to the driver's door raving obscenities. I smile at her and ask, "Are you looking to learn about the 3rd Amendment?" (Don't fuck with a 5th grade teacher from a low income school.)

I get in the truck and start to drive away when she shoots me the finger. That's really just the last straw. So I go over to the security office patrolling the lot and tell him I saw the woman in purple back there trying to get into a couple of cars. His response was to thank me and head right over. I know it was a lie, but I didn't have the feeling that if I explained the whole thing it wouldn't have the same effect as attempted car theft. I'll take the dark point for it and grin.


Cedar Waxwing said...

Thanks for answering Lisa.

I see your point and agree that if anything is going to change we need to do something. I’ve been sitting here trying to think of a situation I have been in similar to the one you described, but all I come up with are times when I was the one “behind the counter”.

I also congratulate you on raising your daughter to be able to take on the Mr. and Mrs. Mercedes of the world in a verbal spar. My 13 year old would rather drop through a trap door than see me confront anyone, much less do it herself.