Attack Of The Mansplainer

, , , , , | Right | August 12, 2018

(For several years, my dad and I have been running a booth at a local annual comic book convention where we sell pieces of our comic book collections and some comic book-related artwork. My dad and I are both collectors; he’s been collecting for 60+ years and raised me on comics. This year, my dad is unable to help man the booth due to a work conflict, so I’m working the table on my own. During a lull in business, an older gentleman approaches the booth and begins looking through a box of $1 comics.)

Me: “Hi there! Is there anything in particular you’re looking for?”

Customer: *glancing at me briefly with a sigh* “Are these yours?”

Me: “Yup.”

(He suddenly snatches a comic book from the box and shoves it toward me.)

Customer: “This is priced incorrectly.”

Me: *thinking that he means it’s overpriced* “Oh, the comics in that box are actually only $1.”

Customer: “That’s not what I mean! It’s way under-priced. This comic is worth much more than $1.”

Me: “Well, I know it’s worth a little more, but we’ve got multiple copies of that issue, and we’ve had some trouble selling it, so we marked it down. Think of it like a clearance item. It’s a pretty good bargain.”

Customer: “You really need to charge more for it. Trust me; I know comics. It’s worth more.”

(I glance at the comic and recognize the title. I’m certain that the issue is really only worth about $5, but don’t want to embarrass him by correcting him.)

Me: “We’re really just trying to unload it. It’s hard to sell that issue for more than $1.”

Customer: “Where’s the owner of this booth? I think I should talk to him about how you’re pricing his comics.”

Me: “I’m the owner of this booth, sir.”

Customer: “These aren’t your comics.”

Me: “Actually, they are.”

Customer: “Who paid for the booth? Whose comics are these? That’s the guy I want to talk to. You obviously aren’t familiar with comic books if you think that this is worth only $1. You’re really screwing over the guy who owns it.”

Me: “I paid for the booth, and the comics in that box belong to me. I’m very familiar with comics, which is why I’m working here… at a comic book booth, at a comic book convention.”

Customer: “Then you’d know that this comic isn’t worth $1.”

Me: “That issue is worth only about $5. But if you really want to pay more for it, I can charge you more. What do you think it’s worth?”

Customer: “I don’t want to buy it; I just think you need to do more research before you try to come out here and pretend that you know anything about comic books. You’ll just end up embarrassing yourself. You know, not everyone is as polite as I am, sweetie.”

Me: *obviously insulted, but really just wanting him to leave at this point* “Noted. Is there anything else you want to buy?”

Customer: “Well, let me finish looking!”

(I shut my mouth and sat quietly as he finished rifling through the box. He finished, finding nothing else he wanted, and then walked away without a word. About thirty minutes later, I spotted him at a booth a few yards away, giving grief to another young vendor and lecturing her about how much he knew about comic books and how “annoying” it was to have to deal with so many “fake” female comic book vendors who under-priced their comics. I had never seen anyone so angry about being asked to pay LESS for a product!)

What An Ugly Opinion

, , , , , , | Learning | August 12, 2018

(When I was in high school, being or acting “geeky” was still considered “uncool.” The first couple years were a nightmare. They enjoyed bullying me for being new and for my “nerdy” appearance. It wasn’t until my last year in the school that I earned respect from my classmates and had my own circle of close friends. After a two-week break, I return to school with a new, more modern haircut, which helps me feel a bit more confident in my own skin. As I walk down the stairs during our lunch break, I see a group of elementary-school kids waiting in in a line on the opposite side of the stairs. A teacher who is very popular with most students due to his friendly, casual teaching style, starts walking up and stops midway to greet me.)

Teacher: “Hello there, [My Name]! Good to see you back. There’s something different about you, though.”

Me: “Oh, I just went to the salon the other day and decided to get this new haircut.”

Teacher: “That explains it! It looks great!” *while the little kids are looking at us* “Yeah… Your old haircut made you look a little immature, you know? It hid your features! Now you definitely look like a senior that’s about to graduate!”

Me: *surprised he would mention my appearance* “Thanks?”

Teacher: “Like I always say… There’s no such thing as an ugly girl, just one that doesn’t take care of her appearance!”

Me: *shocked and embarrassed he said in front of impressionable kids* “Wait… Who thinks I was ugly, or that I don’t take care of myself?”

Teacher: *stares at me in surprise*

Me: *as the little kids look at us* “Ugliness comes from the inside, and I’ve never considered myself to be ugly. You don’t have to look a certain way to be considered healthy or be socially accepted. Don’t you think?”

Teacher: *as he starts walking up away from me and the kids* “Yeah, yeah, of course! I was just joking!”

My Friends: *who were in the corner waiting for me to walk down* “About time you stood up for yourself!”

Me: “How dare he? I just didn’t want the little kids to think that was an okay thing to say.”

(After that, that teacher avoided me like the plague.)

Misogyny Is Catching

, , , , , | Learning | August 10, 2018

(My high school gym teacher tends to favor the male students in my gym class, with certain exceptions made for members of the women’s basketball team — he coaches the men’s team. As an uncoordinated female, I am always relegated to the “B-Group” in every sport we learn. During this story, it is volleyball, a sport I actually like and can play to a certain skill level, but I am still in the B-Group. There are no male students in my game rotation, and only one female student — a basketball player — in the A-Group.)

Teacher: *to the players in my section of the gym* “You see, the problem with you girls is that your fathers probably never took you outside and played catch with you.”

Me: *snapping at the term “you girls”* “But sir, my dad taught me how to shoot for the leg for a good takedown and two back points.”

(The teacher could not respond, because my father was the coach of the wrestling team and, indeed, had taught me how to grapple instead of catch. His look of realization was priceless.)

Cultural Mansplaining

, , , , | Right | August 7, 2018

(Four Caucasian customers enter the restaurant and get promptly seated. They are served immediately by the restaurant’s Chinese staff and place orders. One customer has spent some years in Beijing.)

Caucasian Customer: “…and white rice for everyone, please.”

(Moments later, when dishes are brought out:)

Chinese Server: “Here is a bowl of rice for you all.”

Caucasian Customer: “Uh, pardon me, but shouldn’t we each get a small bowl of rice rather than a giant bowl for us to share?”

Chinese Server: “I’m sorry, but our restaurant policy is for a large, shareable bowl for parties of three or more. However, I can go back and bring you guys each a separate bowl of rice, if you’d like.”

Caucasian Customer: “No. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just surprised that you guys don’t give separate bowls of rice by default.”

Chinese Server: “I’d be happy to—”

Caucasian Customer: “No, that’s okay. I just want you to know that it’s how rice is served in China.”

That’s The Tall And Short Of It

, , , , , | Right | August 7, 2018

(I’m a customer in this one, although thankfully not the offender. On my way home from my job, I sometimes like to stop in a convenience store to satisfy my gigantic sweet tooth with the excellent chocolate they sell there. One evening is very busy, and unfortunately the line for their register is horrendously long. I’m standing at the back of the line, when a middle-aged mom rather rudely cuts the line in front of a taller woman.)

Taller Customer: “Excuse me! That was very rude!”

(The cutter doesn’t acknowledge her complaints. The taller one huffs indignantly and raises her voice.)

Taller Customer: “Ex-cuse me! You cut the line! I demand my spot back!”

Shorter Customer: “Leave me alone, you nosy c***!”

(The taller woman is aghast at this, and she immediately starts shrieking at the top of her lungs to all and sundry.)

Taller Customer: “THIS B**** CUT THE LINE, AND NOW SHE’S SWEARING AT ME! MANAGER! I DEMAND TO SEE THE MANAGER!”

(The shorter woman begins screaming at the tall woman just as loudly in Spanish, of which only an obscenity is recognizable. One of the store employees walks over to try to break them up and calm them down.)

Employee: “Please, can we both calm down here? What’s going on?”

Taller Customer: “THIS F****** BORDER-JUMPER CUT THE LINE, AND NOW SHE’S SCREAMING AT ME! I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! I DEMAND YOU REMOVE HER AT ONCE!”

Shorter Customer: “F*** YOU! I HAVE TWO KIDS, AND I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE TO CATCH A DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT!”

Taller Customer: “THAT’S NO F****** EXCUSE!”

(The poor employee is vainly trying to talk over them to get them to shut up. They’ve completely blocked up the line.)

Employee: “Please, could the two of you step out of the line so we can work this—”

(The tall customer rounds on him.)

Taller Customer: “YOU’RE TAKING THIS B****’S SIDE? I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! WHERE’S YOUR MANAGER? I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER!”

Employee: “Listen, ma’am, I honestly don’t know what happened, but you’re blocking the line and we need you to step out so we can work this out.”

Taller Customer: “F*** YOU! YOU’RE JUST REWARDING HER BAD BEHAVIOR!”

Employee: “Ma’am, if y—”

Taller Customer: “I SHOP HERE EVERY WEEK! I’M YOUR BEST CUSTOMER! WHY AREN’T YOU HELPING YOUR BEST CUSTOMER?”

(The short woman has had enough, and drags her two kids out behind her.)

Employee: “Ma’am, could you please calm—”

Taller Customer: “H*** NO, I WON’T CALM DOWN! YOU’VE JUST LOST YOUR BEST CUSTOMER! I’M NEVER SHOPPING HERE AGAIN! YOU HEAR ME? NEVER AGAIN!”

(With that, she FINALLY stomped out in a huff, leaving the poor employee utterly bewildered and a line of people finally moving again.)

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