November 07, 2005

Pretty Woman

What a morning.
I had a thick nights sleep last night... thick. That’s the only way to describe it... I woke up feeling like I’d slept in molasses. I think it’s the calcium/magnesium I’m taking before I go to bed. The woman at my Vitamin shop in Victoria suggested I take it before bed to help me sleep. I really notice the difference the nights I do and don’t take it.

So woke up. Got out of bed. Dragged a comb across my head. Headed downstairs to the café for my morning oatmeal and toast. Café was closed. WTF? I flagged down my waitress from yesterday (the one with the bad attitude and lack luster service) and asked her if I could sneak in for a bowl of oatmeal. She checked in the kitchen and they still at the oats on the stove... so she poured me a bowl and brought me some dry toast without me even asking. Then she said “No dairy. Right?” She wins some points for that. I left her a giant tip and wrote a little not on the receipt to say thank you for squishing me in when the café was closed. I guess she was having a bad day yesterday.

WARNING
The rest of this ranting blog contains swear words... if you don’t like swear words... don’t read the rest of this post.

Speaking of bad days. I then hit the mini-mall attached to my hotel, some of the stores were closed yesterday and they looked interesting so I was excited to get a chance to look in them before I checked out. The first place I hit was cool.... lots of locally made art and some MOMA stuff. Really neat. I bought a couple of present for my niece and nephew and the gentleman who was helping commented on my socks and told me to hit their sister store at the end of the courtyard because they have all sorts of neat socks. He was sweet.

So I went up there and walked in. The woman who greeted me gave me the once over. I’m not talking about a “oh she has tattoos” once over which I get all the time. I’m talking about a once-over that I could feel. I could feel her eyes roaming all over me and it felt yucky. She asked if I “needed anything” and I said that I was just browsing. Wow. What an attentive lady. She was stuck to me like glue. Seriously. I would walk two steps. She would walk two steps. I would step backwards. She would step backwards. I folded my arms across my chest, so she would get the hint that I wasn’t about to steal anything. I wandered around the store trying to ignore my unwanted shadow.

Another woman came into the store. I guess they work together... they were both middle aged woman... you know... the kind who hit a certain age. Cut their hair short and get a spikey “funky” new do and dye it bright red. They wear “funky” eye glasses that are usually green or blue and also wear “funky” chunky jewelry and soft leather jackets dyed a impossible color like Sherbert Green or Burnt Orange.

So the first “funky” lady says to the second “funky lady” in a loud whisper that I can hear.... “Look at her shirt.” This woman then obviously started to check me out. I smiled at her and said hi. She smiled back.... but not in a nice way. I laughed to myself because I was wearing my Herbivore -Praise Seitan shirt and I just knew that despite the fact that they looked me over like I was a hot guy in a singles bar... They didn’t really take a good look at my shirt to realize it said Seitan and not Satan.

They then proceeded to whisper some more and I went off into the corner of the store to look at socks. I am crouched down looking at socks in a basket... I stand up... step back and back right into one of the “funky” ladies.

“Oh. You scared me.” I said
“I bet I did.” she said sarcastically.

I kind of felt like she was implying I was stealing... or thinking about stealing or something. I was trying my best not to project anything onto their actions and to just enjoy looking around the store and not feel anything for this woman and the situation.

There was a million things I wanted to say like “Back the #*%* up or I’m not going to steal anything or Give me a $*&$(@% break or various things like that... I decided instead to kill her with kindness and I asked her all sorts of questions about this scarf and that sweater and was this made locally and do they do mail order. She hated me so much.... oh my god. I have never been treated the way she treated me. Ever. Ever. Ever. I couldn’t believe how much hate she was dishing out my way. It was crazy.... So I left the store, turning to catch her glare. I glared back with a GIANT smile and said “THANK YOU!”

Jesus.
I grabbed my cell phone and called Josh. I wanted to tell him how much of a kafuffle his shirt caused. We laughed and talked about how silly (stupid) people can be about silly (stupid) things. I then hit the jewelry store across from the other store.

Now this store was fancy. So fancy that you had to ring a bell and they would buzz you in. The woman there were also similar. Spiky hair. Funky glasses etc etc... but wow what a difference. They asked me what my shirt meant, I explained and they laughed. They wanted to know where I was from and the one woman had just been in Victoria on a cruise and we talked all about her trip.

It was a night and day experience.

As I walked back to the hotel I kind of tried to laugh off the bad experience. I mean. What did I expect? I’m kind of a oddnik. I am covered in tattoos and I’m in the middle of yuppie-ville. Wait? What did I expect? I expect to be treated with kindness. I’m a person. Hello!! A PERSON! @&$% that lady. She’s an @$$hole.

So before I went back to my room I stopped back at the first store and spoke to the nice guy who suggested I go to the sister store. I started to tell him what had happened to me in the other store and I started bawling.

Wow. Didn’t see that coming. I mean... I was bawling. I said through the blubber “I know I’m tattoo’d and I know I’m different.” and he touched my arm and he said “It’s just ink. She shouldn’t have treated you that way.”

He was very kind to me and told me he was the manager of both stores and that he was happy I had come to tell him and that he knew exactly who I was talking about and that she was a problem employee and that he would “take care” of things. I don’t know what that means... but I really appreciated how kind he was to me and I hope he kicks her a$$.

Holy shit. What a way to start my morning.
I really felt horrible... I got back to my hotel room and cried for about 10 minutes more. I don’t know if it’s just missing home or the stress of traveling or just the fact that @&^$#* lady was so rude to me... but I totally lost it.

Checked out. Caught a cab to Whole Foods and stocked up on supplies. The cabbie waited for me outside and then drove me to the train station. Of course... my train was delayed by 20 minutes (this seems to be par for the course) and now I’m sitting here typing on my laptop trying not to get motion sickness.

Ok. Wow. This is a long post.
I guess today the lesson is be kind to each other... just be kind.

8 comments:

Josh said...

*&#$ mean people Sarah. I know I have received some strange looks whenever I wear my Praise Seitan shirt, but nobody has ever got down and dirty with me over it. I feel bad for you. Keep your spirits up; only a few more days and you'll be home.

Sarah's Blog said...

Thanks Ninja... :)

Anonymous said...

You must be making alot of moolah from your book! hitting all the hot restaurants, shopping etc. good for you!

Sarah's Blog said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sarah's Blog said...

Ha ha ha... making a lot of moolah. You're funny.

Melissa said...

I am so sorry that lady was mean to you. The stress of traveling.. epsicially alone for a long time... is hard with out rude old sales ladies. I bet that manager was pissed when he heard how she behaved. meh.. I hope you feel better about it now, sometimes rudeness like that sticks with you, but remember you are a successful cookbook author turning hundreds of thousands of people on to veganism..AND you were on the cover of a Baltimore magazine, that lady doesn't anything.

leigh said...

That sucks :( Unfortunately that's the way most women that age think, at least in my experience. My mom would act the same way. :( I am sorry, but I am glad you had great experiences at the other stores!!

Charlotte said...

You know that's ridiculous - it really was like Pretty Woman!!!! (yes, I actually got that reference!!!) I'm so glad though, that you went and complained. Really, in 2005 you'd think that people would realize that the way people look means NOTHING. You could just as eailly be a millionaire as a street bum. (Ok you'd be a VERY cute and clean and healthy street bum... hehe). I'm sorry you had to have that happen!