You’ve seen the videos by now — someone screeching at a store clerk or receptionist, usually about their constitutional right to walk around without a mask. Brawls in Aisle Four. Demands sometimes so outrageous (and nonsensical) as to require an upgraded moniker. Calling some of these women “Karen” just doesn’t capture the full idiocy and privilege at play.
One of the reasons I was angry at Amy Cooper was how she made me learn the name of the white woman who got Emmet Till killed — an upgrade from ‘Karen’ certainly necessary. If you speak up and call the manager or the police in a way designed to get a Black man killed, I reasoned, maybe you ought to be called after Till’s de facto killer, Carolyn.
NYTimes photo. Article here.
I have two problems with that. One is that I don’t want to memorialize that woman, even if negatively (and even if that’s precisely what I’m doing now). The other is that K’s mother was named Carolyn and one of my boys is named after her.
So, for now shall we settle on: “Karen on steroids”? That would be a white woman pulling a gun in a parking lot on a Black person. That would be calling the police because a Black man is sitting in his car in a place you don’t think he belongs. That would be calling 911 on a bird watcher because he dared to ask you to follow the park’s leash laws.
My favorite new straight up call-the-manager-Karen moment made the twitter rounds yesterday — a dental patient refusing to have her temperature taken. “YOU’RE NOT A DOCTOR! I HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT NOT TO HAVE MY TEMPERATURE TAKEN” (I kid you not). Then threats of a lawsuit. “I TALKED TO MY LAWYER BEFORE COMING TODAY! I’VE WAITED LONG ENOUGH TO GET MY TEETH CLEANED!”
(If that woman has a lawyer, then I’m Cindy Crawford).
I tell you all of this by way of saying how incredibly grateful I am to live with rational neighbors.
Star Market this morning was full of people wearing masks — every single person. No one crowded anyone else. People abided by the red arrows on the floor. This, in a state holding its curve down.
I might have put off going to a big market another batch of weeks, but it is birthday weekend here. Special ingredients were called for.
Scallops sautéed in butter, garlic, white wine
Roasted asparagus topped with lemon zest and Parmesan
Butterhead lettuce salad with shaved red onion
Naan (store bought, but good)
For dessert, there will be his childhood favorite: chocolate cake with mint icing (speaking of Carolyn). I’ve never really mastered the art of icing a cake. Today, I’m really, really gonna try.
PS For all the chatter about what to call the male version of a Karen, I recommend watching Ava duVernay’s sitcom, Twenties. There’s a whole episode featuring that as a subplot. Her characters came up with ‘Todd.’ I think it’s perfect.
It is very hot here again. I’m trying to figure out WordPress’s new formatting feature because perpetually opting out to the old version is getting cumbersome. It’s not going well.
Walking away…. walking away (before I save a post seven edits ago).