It’s Karen And Chad, Not Karen And Becky

, , , , | Related | September 1, 2020

I have an entitled parent story to share with you and it gives me no pleasure to say that the Karen in this story is my own mother. I have so many stories about her entitlement when I was growing up but this one is by far the most embarrassing for me. I hope you enjoy.

This happens in 2004 when I am fourteen. We’ve just moved to another country and are living in a small town of around 12,000 people. I should mention that my mother is extremely homophobic, and although there aren’t many gay people — that I know of — around town, there is one couple who doesn’t hide their relationship.

I am nothing like my mother, so although I grew up with her pushing her homophobia onto me, I’ve never shared her views on the topic. I’m actually bisexual, but at the time, I never told her because I knew what her reaction would be.

One afternoon, we go for lunch at a small cafe that serves meals. Apart from a fish and chip shop, it is the only place my choosing beggar mother ever goes to. We sit down and order our food, and while we are waiting, a gay couple comes in and sits at a table near the back. Out of the few known gay couples in the town, these two are the most out and proud of all of them — as they should be, without ridicule — much to my mother’s displeasure. She doesn’t notice them at first, but when she does, the poop storm hits the fan.

She doesn’t say anything at first. She just stares daggers at them, hoping that they will leave on their own. As unsettling as my mother is when she’s giving her infamous death glare, it has a lot less power over others than she thinks it does or should; imagine an angry and red face giving an “I’m going to murder you in your sleep” staring match.

The couple doesn’t even notice her and goes on to order and chat while they wait for their meals. There are no groping or makeout sessions going on, just two grown men sitting side by side, holding hands. No big deal, right? Wrong.

When the server comes to deliver our food, my mum takes the opportunity to say something.

Mum: “Um, excuse me. Can you ask those two to leave? Or at least sit them somewhere else. I don’t want to watch them and their disgusting behavior.”

Server: “They’re not doing anything wrong, ma’am. But there’s a table outside you can sit at if you would like to move.”

Mum: “No, I’m not moving. I’m not doing anything wrong, unlike them. Make those [slurs] move.”

Server: “Ma’am, if you are going to speak like that, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Mum: “What? What did I do?”

She is getting loud and I can tell that the couple can hear what is going on but are pretending not to hear her.

Server: “Ma’am, you have three options: stay here and be quiet, or I can put your food in takeaway containers for you and you can leave. I don’t think you’ll like option three.”

Mum: *Angry and defeated* “Fine, then. I’ll stay. But I’m never coming back here after this horrible service.”

We ate our food while I desperately wanted to leave or sink into my chair out of embarrassment. Mother Dearest was glaring at them the entire time, even though they’d turned their chairs so all we could see was the back of their heads. And much to the dismay of the staff there, Mum came back many other times after that.

A few weeks after this, I ran into the couple in town and apologized to them about my mother. I made sure they knew that I didn’t think the same way as her and they were fine about it. I lived in that town for about a year after this happened and went to live with my dad. My life was much better after I escaped her entitlement and Karen-ness, and I haven’t spoken to her in over seven years. The world is better without toxic people in it.

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