Karen’s Trip to Target

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’ve seen yet another article that tugs at my last nerve. I know. Shocking.

In this blog article, the author, Jennifer, tells us about a trip to Target that she claims was ruined by a Karen. The article is riddled with hypocrisy, self-centeredness, and a generally unkind attitude towards a woman who suffered the loss of her child.

If you don’t want to read the article, the gist of it is that Jennifer goes to Target with her very young daughter, admittedly lets the child trail behind her and then turned a corner where the child is briefly out of sight, when a woman looks “at [her] as though [she] had done something wrong.” The woman says something along the lines of “your daughter is far away from you,” which (the author again points out) was said with “a tone that implied [she]’d done something wrong.”

Already, Jennifer is taking this woman’s actions as an extreme personal offense with an attitude that considers only one person (and spoiler, it’s not her daughter).

I will digress for a moment to say that Jennifer claims her daughter was only two feet away from her. I don’t believe that for a moment. Want to know why?  Jennifer explains: “I have the pitter-patter of her steps imprinted in my heart.”  So, she could hear her child, but not see her child.  Jennifer also states this about the woman: “…she could have simply watched her from afar to be sure she was OK and when seeing the child united with a parent, left it at that.” If the child was just two feet away, why would there need to be a reunion in the middle of Target?

To be clear, I’m not mom-shaming Jennifer (god forbid *insert eye-roll here*) but rather, just empathizing with the woman Jennifer encountered.  There was obviously reason for some concern. I also believe that’s why Jennifer was so offended at a stranger approaching her: she knew the concern had merit.

Once Jennifer hears the woman say, “I had a child who was taken,” her thoughts immediately bounce to, you guessed it, herself. She is overly concerned with her own emotions—not her daughter’s feelings, not her daughter’s safety, not this woman’s profound grief, but her own feelings of discomfort in the situation.

Then, she has the audacity to write that “if what she is sharing is true; silence is the kindest thing I can do in this moment.” Wow. Her invalidation of another human’s experience is automatic. And she truly believes that putting a hand in this woman’s face and saying nothing is the kindest thing she can do.

The blog ends on a note urging readers to “always be kind and sensitive” because her day was absolutely ruined by a stranger who she refers to as a “Karen.” The whole piece is meant to vilify a woman who lived through a parent’s worst fears—losing a child to abduction. If you ask me, there is a Karen in this situation, and her name is Jennifer.

As soon as she found out that the woman had her child taken and likely has PTSD from the horrific experience, the author could have shown compassion (as she urges her readers to do). Saying “thank you for your concern, I’ll keep her close” wouldn’t have been hard to do. In fact, it would have been ridiculously easy. Even taking one moment of consideration for this woman’s pain could have resulted in a very different experience for both parties. The concerned woman would have walked away feeling heard and Jennifer could have walked away feeling good about her day and how she helped a stranger to overcome an anxious moment in the middle of Target.

Instead, Jennifer felt violated that the woman “projected her PTSD” and “mom-shamed” her. She felt strongly enough that she needed to write this entire blog about it.

What is wrong with people these days?

It is so obvious that Jennifer is criticizing this woman for not showing compassion or empathy while at the same time failing to glance at her own reflection. If she were to see herself in the mirror for who she truly is, she would recognize her shortcomings in that department.

Instead of lighting a fire within herself full of distaste, shame, and anger, Jennifer could learn about practicing gratitude for her daughter, kindness towards others, and how to not take everything so personally. If she did that, there would be one less Karen in the world.

Grammar Rocks

Why can’t I say conjunction junction like a normal person?  It’s impossible for me to say these two simple words. I sing them. Every. Time. Even if I’m just thinking them… the words are thought in song.

No, I don’t know why this has come up now… it just has. It’s one of those days.

And if I’m being honest, I can never simply say sing conjunction junction. It’s the whole phrase or nothing at all.

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

There! You sang that, didn’t you!? You did. You know you did. You can’t fool me.

What is wrong with us?

 

 

My Day in a GIF

Did you ever have one of those days where everything at work is going just great and then, at the very tail-end of your day, when you think you’re safe, it just goes to hell?

Things are moving steadily along all morning and then you hit that personal high round about late afternoon when you realize hey, I’m getting everything on my to do list done! I am on a roll! This is an awesome way to start the week!

And then, just when it’s about time to go home, the office gremlin (à la Twilight Zone) says: No! We will create an unsolvable problem for you to solve that must be solved before you leave!

Well, I mean, it is Monday…

my day in a GIF

A New Monday Beckons

We’re on the cusp of yet another work week and as Sunday evening gently turns into Monday morning, we must ask ourselves this burning question: what the hell happened to the weekend!? I mean, honestly, it was Friday like five minutes ago. This is such bullshit.

On another note, it’s always interesting to go into work the Monday after New Year’s. Everyone is full of cheer and high hopes as they ride the waves of their newly minted resolutions. And if you don’t notice them full of cheer and high hopes as they ride the waves of their newly minted resolutions, they will surely tell you all about it over the course of the day. If, in their excitement of “a New Year, a New Me,” they forget who they’ve talked to already, you might just get to enjoy a second rendition.

As for me, I don’t expect my New Year’s resolution to last for long… in fact, I’m guessing it’ll be out the window by lunch time.

 

Let It Glow

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  We may be celebrating a little differently from past years, but I hope this holiday season (and the year to come) sees you all happy, healthy, and loved.

“Let It Glow” by Michael Humphries — When I first saw this artwork, it made me smile. In fact, every time I go back to look at it, it makes me smile.  I love it. He’s such a happy little snowman and it makes me happy just to look at him. I wanted to share that small bit of joy with you.                      Check out the artist’s other work by clicking on the photo.

 

Spark of Hope

The Winter Solstice comes on December 21 at 5:02 a.m. EST. Marking the Northern Hemisphere’s shortest day and longest night of the year, it is also the start of Yule, a celebration of light and warmth rejoicing the return of longer days and more sunlight.  May the coming days shine a warm, comforting light on us all.

Happy Winter Solstice and Blessed Yule to all.

photo credit: Esther Remmington