why were those men so mean to me?

i went to the grocery store to return my sigg water bottles. i recently learned the “old” bottles contained BPA in the liners. i could have returned them to sigg for a replacement, but since the store i bought them at is usually really good with returns, i decided to take them back there. the girls at the service desk said because it was over $25 with no receipt they had to speak to the manager on duty. okay. no problem. this guy comes over… a 30 something year old black man, and before i can even say anything, he starts giving me serious attitude…. “let me get this straight” he says… acting like i am asking him for the sun, the moon and the stars… “you want me to return the bottles you bought at a different store 2 years ago, because they have WHAT in them??” like i am some crazy idiot who is foaming at the mouth. not once does he offer to reconcile the situation or ask me what would make me, the customer, happy. i refrain from telling him what a piece of dog shit i think he is and tell him that i have a long list of shopping and i will come back afterwards and if he can help me out, great. i shop, come back and he tells me he was looking online and since this is a VOLUNTARY recall by the company, i have to take it up with them. i put my bottles in the cart and leave.

the next morning i call the service manager at the store. we chat on the phone about what happened. he is respectful and calm. he apologizes for the other manager’s behavior. i tell him, it’s not about the bottles, it’s about how he treated me. he thanks me for calling and asks me to describe in detail what the other manager said. he tells me not to worry, he will replace the bottles whenever i come in. he is not mean, he is the opposite of the other manager. i feel better.

i go back to the store this afternoon. the store manager comes over, even though the service manager left a note for everyone that they have apparently discussed this issue with sigg and they are happy to replace my bottles. this manager is a 40 something year old white man. he is gruff with me. he speaks to me in a loud and annoyed tone of voice. i feel i have done something wrong. i don’t know why he is being mean. i try to joke a little with him, he continues being mean. finally i just ask him if we are done and i leave without saying thank you. i don’t know if i should call eric back or not. i think a while about what the difference was with these men.

the difference i think is that eric could not see me on the phone. he did not know i am 40 and fat.

i know i have reached the age where i have become invisible to men. (except the the sweet black guy next door. apparently he is so happy someone sober is living here, he is in love with me!) this doesn’t really bother me much. i’m not really interested in men and unless you are an attachment parenting/homeschooling daddy, i don’t have much to say to you anyway.  i like watching the soccer team that works out in the pool at the Y when i am there with the kids… but that’s about the extent of my interest in the opposite sex that is not my husband. it is clear that beyond my own husband,  i am pretty much a non-person to all men except my friend’s husbands. they like talking to me because i am not “the wife.” i am a mommy, i have a lot in common with them, but there’s no baggage there, so they are safe. and it works for me too. so other then “the husbands,”  the men i speak the most to are the gay guy who runs the cash register at the corner bistro and the redneck dairy farmer i get my raw milk from. yup, that’s it.

my conclusion in this episode is that those men were mean to me because it’s culturally okay to be mean with women who aren’t potential sexual partners. at 43 and 40 pounds overweight i have become a whipping “boy” for men. and that’s all okay with them. imagine how much more mean the republicans would be if Hillary was in office rather than Obama.


~ by nawor on September 5, 2009.

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