Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Best Defense

One of the things I really hate is going into stores that are traditionally considered part of the male domain--hardware stores, automotive parts stores. I'm not anyone's idea of a girly girl and still time after time I've been instantly treated as though I were some fainthearted, feeble-minded twit just by virtue of the fact that I'm lacking a particular appendage.

Anyway. Tonight, I had to buy a headlight bulb and I went into the store where I'd bought my last headlight bulb, right to the rack where I found it last time I was there, flipped through the make/model/year guide just to be sure I remembered the right number and just as I reached for it, the twenty-something (male) clerk yelled from the desk across the store, "Anything I can help you with?"

And I said, "No, I'm all set." in a borderline rude voice, so ready was I to be offended by his patronizing tone (even though I'm nowhere near objective enough to determine whether his tone was actually patronizing or whether I was just expecting patronizing so much that I'd have heard it in any tone).

And he shrugged (was that a sarcastic look on his face?), "I could probably find it quicker for you on the computer..." (Not noticing that I have the bulb in my hand...)

And I held the bulb up and waved it in the air a little to make sure he really saw it then walked up to the desk.

I set it down and he said, "Now don't touch the bulb part at all when you're putting it in 'cuz it's a halogen bulb." (Um, it says that right on the package as well as in the instructions in my car's owner's manual, but thank you, you big strong (dorky) man, you.)

Then he says, "Would you like to donate a dollar to St. Jude's Children's Hospital?"

And (still with the bitter bordering on rude tone), I say, "Sure why not?"

Jeez, this punk has reduced me to being flip about St. Jude's. It's pretty bad when a smug little punk can bring out the worst in you in under a minute.


  1. but what a skill to have! :)

    I try to avoid places like that too... Even an oil change place because typically (but not always) they just treat women differently.

  2. Youngest Sister11/15/07, 8:42 AM

    Try WORKING at a hardware store, where you actually have men come in, look at you and ask if there's someone that can help them. What am I????

  3. i had 2 of the nicest boys helping me cuz i don't know the *exact* kind of car i drive ... i ended up calling bear at work who informed me he already changed the lowbeams.

    your friend must know me :)

  4. I just thought you all should know that when I was telling Cranky Boss Lady this story while I was on hold with the gas company, I said, something about how the kid thought I was stupid "just because I don't have a penis" just in time for the customer service representative to pick up. He (of course it was a man) was stunned into momentary silence followed by a clearly amused, "Hi, my name is Bill, how can I help you today?"