There’s a specialty store up in Cranberry, PA that I go to sometimes when I’m up there. It sells obscenely expensive clothing and toys you can’t usually find in Toys R Us. Now, I don’t dress up to shop. I don’t look like the perfectly made-up and styled housewife, though that’d be neat. I guess. But I’m not a complete dishelved misfit looking person either.
Anyway, twice now, I’ve been in there when the owner has been and twice he’s “jokingly” accused me of shoplifting. Or plotting to.
The first time, I had the kids and neither was in the stroller. He sarcastically remarked that I must be planning to bury stuff under their coats and abscond with his merchandise. I laughed it off, but it bugged the shit out of me.
Then just yesterday I bought a few items and on the way out I got waylayed by the sight of the cutest little girl’s stretch pants. I was looking at them marveling at the way the grossly overpriced pants could be so poorly made when the owner came up behind me.
“I see what you’re up to. You’re going to hide those in the bag. Very clever.”
I ignored the comment and mentioned the thinness of the pants noting that they wouldn’t be warm enough for winter.
Again, pissed off. I left shaking my head.
For over twenty-four hours I’ve been seething over this f’ing asshole. Two seconds after leaving I was thinking of all the things I should have said. All I could think about was Larry David. What he’d have said if this had happened to him.
Why does this piss me off so bad? I don’t know. Maybe buried deep in my soul is the desire to steal and he senses it, serving to awaken anger and irrational feelings of…I don’t even know what.
Then I read a piece in the paper this morning about four black women shopping in Shady Side (the ritzy side of Pittsburgh). They were stopped as they left a store, accused of stealing something. The clerk thought they, all four of them collectively, resembled a black woman who had apparently stolen a watch in the store a few days before. What the crap is this woman smoking?
A professor of mine who was on my dissertion committee–the most gentle, so quiet you have to lean in to hear him speak, black man–told me once about all the different times he had been stopped for allegedly doing things wrong. In essence he was stopped for being black.
My experience with the freaking asshole in Cranberry does not make me understand what these people who are black experience in so many disgusting ways, so often in their lives. But it makes me understand, how bad I’d be at handling it.
The bottom line is people are dicks. In so many different ways. And it bothers me in so many different ways.