Dateline: Monday mid-morning, shopping at a local thrift store. After ringing up the items (the total comes to all of four dollars), the store’s clerk glances tentatively at moiself.
Clerk: “Do you…qualify…for any of our discounts?”
Moiself: “Uh, I don’t know what any of your discounts would be.”
Clerk (even more hesitantly, and without making eye contact): “Discounts…do you get discounts…anywhere else?”
Moiself: “Anywhere else?”
Clerk: “Because…it varies….”
Suddenly, I realize what she’s asking.
Moiself: “You mean, do I get a senior discount anywhere?”
Clerk (nodding sheepishly): “Uh huh.”
Moiself (attempting my best, As-a-matter-of-fact-I-do-not-qualify-for-senior-discounts-but-thanks-the-fuck-a-lot-for-asking smile): “Not yet.”
I leave the store thinking, I know I’m didn’t sleep well last night, but these are not the under eye bags of someone who qualifies for a senior discount and geez, lady, you’re at least 15 years older than me and do you really think I look like…
And then my irkiness  morphed into amusement. I walked to my car, smiling to myself as I considered both my petty reaction and recalled a story my FIL  told me, over twenty years ago – about his reaction the first time someone offered him a senior discount. He said he was taken aback when a movie clerk assumed he qualified and gave him the senior discount, a discount which, as per that particular theatre’s guidelines, my FIL did qualify for (but his wife, my MIL, did not, as she was five years younger than my FIL). He then, like moiself now, was subsequently bemused by his own reaction, and pondered why it bothered him. After all, as a good business man, and “If someone is going to offer me a discount, for any reason, I’m going to take it…”
Was it that simple, he wondered? Was he was reluctant to admit that he had joined the ranks of “that demographic?”
* * *
Department Of I May Get Into Trouble For This, But…
A Modest Proposal
When I am working out in my bedroom to an exercise DVD  and the program ends, my little old TV reverts to television mode. That is, it tunes in to whatever broadcast channel was last watched. This quaint feature has given me the opportunity to see snippets of shows I’d otherwise never/rarely choose to watch. My viewing of these shows has been sporadic, but tantalizing enough to cause me to tune in, occasionally, to test a theory about a “pattern” I’ve noticed. This pattern involves talk shows hosted by a panel of women,  shows which are seemingly targeted at or presume a predominantly female audience:
There is a spot on the panel reserved for, and which must be occupied by,
the Sassy, Black, Come-To-Jesus-Woman ® .
The SBCTJW, who is usually/currently unmarried, manages (inexplicably, to moiself) to placate conservatives by preaching about Jayyyysus every chance she gets, even as she also frequently comments about her very active sex life. Her applications of Iron Age philosophy (read: Christian scriptures) to contemporary political and social issues of the day always seem to be welcomed, or at least tolerated, by her fellow/sister hosts. And therein lies the problem.
Any crazy-ass or just plain non sequitur comment SBCTJW makes, when cosseted within the preamble, As y’all know, I’m a woman of faith, is neither questioned nor refuted by the other hosts. The panel will openly argue about politics and current events and the implications of celebrity gossip  – they frequently and freely disagree about those issues, but when SBCTJW spews nonsense (read: quotes her bible), it’s all somber and respectful, “Mmm-hmms.”
I call foul, as well as bullshit. It frosts my butt to see that drivel go out unchallenged, and “respectful silence” (read: non-refutation) implies acquiescence.
Yeah, it’s daytime commercial TV – I realize that there are limiting audience and sponsor considerations. Still, this is 2017. Is there a producer out there, somewhere, with the cojones to reserve a spot on the panel for the Sassy Black (or Brown or Pink or Tan or….) Articulate Atheist?
I respectfully submit just a few nominees for consideration: Feminist/author Sikivu Hutchinson, Mandisa Thomas, president of Black Nonbelievers; journalist Jamila Bey, Debbie Goddard, Director of African Americans for Humanism; community organizer Diane Burkholder, political activist Jimmie Luthuli; Liz Ross (Black Skeptics Los Angeles & Coalition of Vegan Activists of Color); feminist writer/professor Roxanne Gay….
I also realize there is a subject here within a subject (one deserving of far more consideration than moiself can and will handle in this venue): the presumption of religiosity for and among African-Americans is such that African-American atheists, often referred to as a minority within a minority , face additional prejudice both within and outside of their “community” when they are upfront/open about their views. And, frankly, what freethinkers of quality – of any ethnicities or cultures – have the time (or interest) to put up with the constraints that come with such a forum as a daytime TV talk show?
(“We’ll be right back to continue our discussion on the latest recording of a police shooting an unarmed teenager, followed by guest Gwyneth Paltrow demonstrating her crystal energy bladder sling. But first, this word from Coxphase Pharmecuticals about gynecomastia…” )
* * *
Department Of Me, Too…But Me Later
If you haven’t heard about the Me, Too movement,  stop reading right now and go commit an act of humanist reparation.
Moiself, too intends to share my stories, or at least one of them, even as I hold reservations about doing so.  I understand why others whose experiences have been So. Much. Worse. might – despite their fervent hope for the cessation of this dishearteningly widespread sexist abuse and their realization that the cockroaches only scatter when you turn on the light – have no wish to go public, due to the terrible memories and feeling which might be triggered.
So. Maybe…next week.
* * *
May you never be challenged by a Footnote Insurrection Licentiousness;
May you be brave enough to listen to, sans the urge to give advice or commentary,
the me too stories of others;
May you claim the discounts for which you qualify;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Yes, irkiness is a word…at least here. You know exactly what it means in this context.
 FIL as in Father-in-law, the acronym not to be confused with Famously Indulgent Libertarian, Faintly Illuminated Licorice; Frumpy Inebriated Lutheran; Five Ill-tempered Leopards….
 Or FIL as in Frequently Inky Legumes; Freshly Iced Lemonade; First Imitative Liberace – yo, FIL! Stop that, RIGHT NOW. Your footnote relevance has passed.
 Such as The View and The Talk.
 Hey, you’ve come a long way, baby!
 A term in use by social activists for some time which has recently (in the wake of the Hollywood and other sexual assault scandals…please don’t make me type the name Harvey Weinsten) been revitalized by celebrities and others, to encourage women to share their own experiences with sexual harassment and misogyny in the workplace and in other realms both public and private.
 Or as in Festive Imperial Linguini; Feisty Italian Lesbians; Frothy indigent lepers – I MEAN IT, GO AWAY. WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE, ANYWAY?!?!?
The Sharks I’m Not Swimming With | The Blog I'm Not Writing
Nov 17, 2017 @ 00:13:18