You will not believe what happened in the bakery yesterday.
I witnessed a crime.
It unfolded before me in the middle of what was decidedly a slow and boring shift. Not many customers, not many cakes to make. The chatty bread man was on break, and the overall vibe in the department had settled into one of apathetic malaise.
And then it happened.
An old 70’s tv show theme song was playing on the piped in muzak. I was slathering Hershey’s chocolate whipped cream (YES that’s a thing. A glorious, wonderful thing.) on a dark chocolate cube cake, when a jangle of keys broke through the haze of monotony. I looked up, and that’s when I witnessed a felony.
Let me lay out the scene for you.
I work in the bakery of a grocery store. In front of my bakery is the produce department.
“I can’t tell if that’s irony or just a really bad design layout, Bethie.”
Mmm, I know. I struggle with that one, too. I think it’s just a “devil on one shoulder and angel on the other” situation. My company likes to really test peoples’ resolve. Set to 70’s tv theme show tunes, it’s pretty sadistic.
Just to the right of the bakery is the food court. The Incident took place kind of in the middle of all three, in a large open area where people often stand to decide just how badly they’re going to blow their diet for the day.
The perpetrator was a woman on a MartKart, one of those electric shopping cart scooters that annoyingly have the same “beep beep” back up warning as the timers on our ovens. Like I said, our company is run by sadists.
The victim is Nameless Man, but I believe through my powers of observation that he is either husband or boyfriend of the perp. He definitely knew her on some kind of intimate level, as his baiting had a very personal snark to it.
I said it was the jangling of keys which drew my attention. Now, I don’t know what happened before I looked up, but what I saw was the victim jangling his keys, and the perp driving away from him in my direction on the MartKart, i.e. weapon. Then it all happened so fast. In the blink of an eye, he barked something, she turned her head. He shook his head, she tried to ignore him and continue towards the bright and welcoming lights of the cake case. He hooted at her, turned around, and started walking away. He had the keys. Clearly he was the one in power, as there was no way she could get home if she didn’t follow. He was using his position of authority to control what the perp could have for snacks.
So, he kind of had it coming.
“Bethie! Are you victim blaming?”
Look, folks. I said we’re the devil on the shoulder, and in spite of the fact that I don’t believe in the devil, it’s an apt analogy. I have borne witness to many couples’ arguments over which one of them should definitely NOT be eating more cake. Sometimes it’s a fat issue. Sometimes it’s a diabetes issue. Sometimes it’s just a stuck up, self righteous, controlling douche issue.
The point is, I know when these types of arguments are going down. This was definitely one of those situations.
Now, maybe it’s not fair of me to give you a description of the sizes of the people involved, but it might just be pertinent for the jury. Helps establish motive and all.
The lady was, indeed, larger than average. Not obscenely large. Not TLC documentary large. Not even large enough for that to be the sole reason she was riding the MartKart. They were getting a prescription at the pharmacy, so I’m assuming she was injured or has an illness. The man was very fit, though, the type to call his sneakers “trainers” just to be a fucking tool. He had his keys on a lanyard, even though he had to be in his 40s, and he wore one of those sausage casing sweaters that make you wonder if he even owns a mirror.
“Bethie, it sounds to me like you ARE victim blaming.”
…yeah, okay. Maybe I’m not the most fair witness, here. I’m trying to give just the facts, but like I said, I’ve seen these arguments play out in front of me, and you know what it makes me want to do? It makes me want to give the person being berated and shamed a free cake to shove in the face of the condescending asswad that feels it’s perfectly acceptable to humiliate someone they love in public.
Fine, maybe they shouldn’t be reaching for cake. You know what? They’re an adult. And if you disagree with it, then you have a PRIVATE conversation where you aren’t making your loved one feel like the lowest pile of garbage because they want what almost EVERY OTHER PERSON wants in front of the public at large.
The things I have heard make my blood boil.
It’s the look on the faces of those getting shamed that really gets to me. I know what it feels like to be them in that moment, and it kills me not to rip into the one doing the shaming. I can’t. I CAN’T. I would lose my damn job SO fast.
The look. It’s the same for every single person, whether they’re told they can’t have it because of a fat ass or a bad blood sugar level or just because Twatty McGee is feeling extra churlish that day, the look is always the same. Hurt. Deep self loathing. Like they wish the floor would open up and swallow them whole.
If you have ever been in a store with someone who probably shouldn’t have a cupcake, and you told that person your opinion in public, you just kicked someone you love in the balls. They KNOW they shouldn’t have it, okay? They get it. They know. No one who is fat doesn’t know every moment of every day that they shouldn’t have a cupcake. They don’t need asshats in trainers and skin tight sweaters to shine a spotlight on the waistline they already loathe just in case someone in produce didn’t happen to notice the fat fuck contemplating one damn slice of cake.
Okay, so that’s what was going down.
MartKart lady had enough. She was facing my direction, and the look on her face changed from “abused puppy” to “NOT TODAY.” She stopped her cart, listened for the telltale squeak of “trainers” approaching behind her, then gunned the engine and whipped the vehicle around, honestly trying to run the man over.
Attempted homicide by MartKart.
…I mean, he easily sidestepped to avoid his own demise. It’s a fucking MartKart. You don’t have much of a chance of headon-ing a pedestrian at 2 mph. A slight shift to the left or right, and they’re in the clear. But she tried, folks, and it’s the intent that would get her locked up.
I must admit, when he started laughing at her, I rooted her on even more. She didn’t get him. Chased him up towards the registers, where I lost sight of her past the ridiculously tall chips and dip display. It’s all on camera, though. If anyone wants to look through the security footage, they could nail her. Lock her up. Put her away for years.
I’m really hoping they don’t. She staged a coup, folks. She drew a line in the sand so few people have the courage to actually draw. That was some straight up Norma Rae shit right there.
In an oddly related note, I cut my hair.
“Uh, how is that related in any way?”
Stick with me.
I cut my hair. Now, unless you are a stalker, chances are that statement is fairly meaningless. You don’t know how long it was before. I cut off over 30 inches, folks. Chopped that shit right down to about 3 inches in length. Think pixie haircut.
ALL GONE, BABY.
And it feels GREAT!
“WHY! Why would you cut off all that hair!?”
Because it’s just hair. It was long enough to stay wet under my work hat all through my shift. It was long enough to give me headaches by the end of the day. It was long enough to wrap around my face at night and flap in the breeze of the fan and feel like a million spiders crawling over my cheeks and eyelids and *shudder*… It was just time to go.
Have you ever had long hair, and then chopped it all off? It’s so very liberating! My head feels light and free and I haven’t once woken in a panic, convinced that the creepy crawlies of the world had staged their uprising.
Now I don’t have to put it up to wear my work hat. Now it dries before I head to work. Now it’s not a heavy, soggy, mess all day that mildews and prunes my scalp. Besides, I think it actually looks pretty cute. I’m old enough to have a decent chunk of gray mixed in with the dark brown, and that looks better short.
But, the biggest “why” is simply that I wanted to.
“Okay, well good on you for that, but how in the hell does this have anything to do with attempted homicide by MartKart?”
It’s more related to the instigator of the crime, the one trying to control the other.
So I lopped off the ‘do. Went to work. Aside from having to answer “why” to every single coworker I saw, you would not believe how many women were aghast. I had five people ask me if my husband was “okay” with it.
Four of them said their husbands would “kill” them if they chopped off their hair. One went into detail about why her husband likes long hair. Let’s just say, TMI.
Did my husband “let” me chop off my hair? This question pisses me off so much.
It’s 2016. FIVE women were honestly horrified that I might have offended my husband by cutting off MY hair!
Let that sink in. Think about what that really means about our “progressive” society.
These were strong women, too. Women in the workforce. Women who have their jobs and careers outside of the home. Two of them are the sole bread winners for their families, for gawd’s sake! These are not Stepford wives. And they were legitimately concerned that I’d just fucked up my marriage because I wanted to cut my hair.
In a relationship where the husband would be furious about a haircut, the problem is NOT with the hair. If you’re in a partnership where you need to ask permission before you decide how you want to look, then you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re a grown up. You get to decide who you are and what you do. Cut your hair. Eat that cake. And run ’em over with a MartKart if they deserve it.
…on second thought, maybe just “run ’em over with a MartKart’ metaphorically. Not, you know, actually commit a crime. That won’t end well for you.
Thus concludes a Musing for Wednesday, October 19, 2016. I’ve chatted too long and now I have to scramble to get ready in time. I don’t even have time to edit, so apologies if it’s a hot mess. I’m off to make more cakes and witness more spousal abuse. One of these days, I’m honestly just going to pie a twat in the face. Boy would that feel sooooo good.