Posts Tagged ‘failed vigilante’

i’ve got ninety-nine sense, but a food lion ain’t one.

12 February 2011

dear carol herndon, chief administrative officer of delhaize america,

i haven’t been to one of your food lion stores in perhaps a decade, even though there is a location, on the corner of fleming and inman roads, within five miles from my house. i recently broke that streak because the nearby lowes foods does not carry the welch’s fruit snacks that i was craving. you do. however, i imagine this will be the last time i enter a food lion.

first, i’ll explain why i’ve avoided your grocery for so long: the darkened interiors of your stores remind me too much of the movie the salton sea, specifically the big meth deal scene that ends in a gunfire massacre. it’s difficult to concentrate on shopping when you expect to bump your cart into a prosthetic-nosed vincent d’onofrio with homicidal tendencies as you round the cereal aisle.

obviously i was able to fight back these images on my latest trip, so you are probably wondering why i’m so adamant about never returning. well, your employees kind of treated me like i had been caught videotaping them bleaching expired pork with a camera hidden inside my wig. in the checkout line, with a single box of welch’s fruit snacks, berries ‘n cherries, i marveled at how the woman in front of me had the storage space at home for the nine two-liter bottles of soda, thirty hungry man dinners, and six bottles of salad dressing (mostly variations on ranch) she was buying. another lane opened and the cashier (sorry, i didn’t get his name but he looked like legoland’s redbeard the pirate without the extreme case of jaundice) glanced at me, as i lifted my box to signal him, before calling to the woman behind me to join his line. he then called the woman behind her.

i continued to wait, watching the two women and a man pay for their items, load them in their cars, and drive home, before it was my turn. the cashier, jody, failed to tell me about the mvp special, which would have brought the price from $2.79 to $2.50. this detail is important because i had three dollars in my hand and, after tax was charged, i was a penny short. when i told her that i didn’t have the extra cent, i waited for her to say, oh, honey, it’s fine, as she handed me my purchase, since that is what would happen at any other business. instead she held out her hand to receive another dollar.

please help me find something to do with ninety-nine cents,

scott lefaive


how grown women conduct themselves.

9 January 2011

i don’t often receive comments on this blog, so it’s a very exciting moment when i do. recently someone who identified herself as grown woman sent me a message, voicing concerns about previous entries, especially in regards to tone and my inability to understand the values of true feminists.

i find it ironic that in your november 23rd posting, you comment on eve ensler turning over in her grave in response to oprah’s using slang terms for genitalia, yet in your very next post, you recap your interaction with the girl who gave you directions in costa rica. unless she was seventeen years old or younger, you didn’t get directions from a girl; you got directions from a woman. in all of your righteous feminist indignation, you can’t even get the most basic of sex-oriented terminology right. you can talk about my va-jay-jay all you want, if you’re also referring to your penis as a cock, dick, etc. the reality is slang terms for genitalia are equally represented regardless of sex: very few people actually articulate penis or vagina. as opposed to the open-minded progressive stance you were attempting to achieve, you instead made a pretentious observation that is more related to america’s reserved standing on sexuality and its expression than to feminism and the oppression of women. if you want to keep eve ensler from turning over in her grave, stop calling grown women girls and start addressing them properly as women. note, you didn’t talk about the boy on the bicycle.

i support feminist ideals and a more open-minded viewpoint on sexuality, but don’t confuse a feminist (i.e. gender-related) issue with a cultural one (i.e. america’s uptight attitude towards sex). there are certainly areas in which they intertwine but saying va-jay-jay in the same breath as cock isn’t one of them.

you wanted to make an in-depth observation of how slang terms marginalize women, then try to evolve it into a saccharine reflection of i hope my daughters don’t grow up in this kind of society. yet all you accomplished was reinforcing the problematic mindset of males growing up to be men, whereas females are destined to be girls — indicative of a lack of maturity, knowledge and experience — forever.

there was so much i wanted to say to her, but figured most of my words would be lost on someone who read a tongue-in-cheek entry about hoping my future daughters didn’t grow up to use the word va-jay-jay and took it as righteous feminist indignation, so my response was considerably pared down.

grown woman,

first, i appreciate you reading two of my posts. there are too few people that are driven to write a vitriolic response. i applaud your passion, regardless of its being misguided and misdirected.

the girl that i mentioned in the above post was between the ages of 15 and 19, but, due to the imprecision of carbon dating, i was not able to correctly judge if she was indeed still a girl or if she were a woman. the man on the bicycle was most definitely a man, unless he was suffering from the same disease as benjamin button. if that were the case, i would judge he was around twelve, and i will update my post accordingly.

a few days after reading your reply, i was talking to a bartender in alajuela about laura chinchilla. he was extolling her virtues, telling me she was cleaning up san jose and the corruption of the police department; that she was making the country better, emphasizing education and bringing forth improvements throughout the country. at some point he said proudly, she is our first president who is a girl.

i would have missed a lot if i had allowed my righteous feminist indignation to take over, concentrating on that one word, pretentiously ignoring everything else that was said. i would have missed the fact that he was depicting someone who did not lack maturity, knowledge, and experience.

in the same way, you’ve missed the point. it’s too bad in a post where i’m celebrating people and writing about how communication exists beyond mere words because we’re all intertwined by being human, you’ve only noticed that i may or may not have used the word girl incorrectly.

the girl i’ve described, as you would have noticed if you had bothered to read the entire paragraph, was wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable. she just happened to be young.

i hope my daughters don’t grow up in the kind of society you inhabit. it seems like a pretty miserable place, where one is so focused on criticizing everything that they miss the beauty.

it’s a jungle out there.

23 November 2010

the surreptitious nature of the above picture is intentional as it emphasizes something i want to write about. i’m not going to beat around the bush waste time, so i’ll just come out and say it: why are we women still so uncomfortable with our bodies that we have to make up silly words to hide our embarrassment? have we really come so far, advancing out of the kitchen where we were barely more than birthing machines to our present lofty position where we earn about seventy cents for every dollar that a man makes, to now sit idly, watching it all crumble like so many cookies we eat when our cheating boyfriends break up with us? did we learn nothing from rosie the riveter?

are we really content becoming carrie bradshaw, waiting for charlotte york to sell her ring so we can pay off our massive shoe debt? are we going to run towards big every time our situation becomes particularly hairy challenging?

i for one think we’re better than that. i don’t think a utopian society is required before we can snatch reclaim our genitalia. we need to be able to stand up to oprah when she insists on using slang to describe something that is intimately ours. right now eve ensler is turning in her grave. well, she would be if she were dead; believe me, though, she’s definitely spinning in her desk chair, in a very angry and perplexed way, due to this injustice.

i don’t want to live in a world where my daughters have to hear adult women use terminology that even their young innocent minds know is damaging and pathetic. i don’t want to spend another day at the breakfast table where they ask me why their heroes are always failing them. i just want to eat my bacon strips pancakes and talk about the things they want to achieve. i don’t want them to have to worry about obstacles placed by other women’s insecurities.

as women, we know we are smarter than men, we know we are more patient, our dual role in and out of the house is proof that we are better multi-taskers, and we are more in touch with our feelings. it’s about time we took a stand and said, fuck you, cosmo magazine, this is my vagina and i am proud of it.

they don’t really care about us.

28 June 2009

the bus in front of me turned left as i lightly pressed the accelerator to begin crossing the intersection. i was helped the rest of the way by another vehicle slamming into my car’s rearend, pushing it, the police report indicated, eighty feet before it stopped. in the rearview mirror, i saw the other car, silver in color, quickly turn right. i spun around, watching them disappear away from me, as i contemplated, first, driving in reverse and chasing after them, and, second, leaving my battered car and running to catch them.

i was too stunned to do either, traffic resuming while i sat in the driver’s seat. when i exited the vehicle to survey the damage, no one stopped to check on my condition; on the contrary: they honked, they glared, they sped off. it was just before midnight.

in the days that followed i took extended lunch breaks to walk to the site, making note of the cameras aimed at the area, offering spare change to the homeless for information, collecting evidence. i had found tiny pieces of red plastic embedded in my bumper, and, every time i came across a piece on the street, i picked it up, thinking it was a clue. i found a few larger segments, prying them from the asphalt as traffic continued unabated. at my desk, i pasted them together, returning to the streets to gather more before finding, face down under a parked car, the front bumper plate to which they were once attached. it turned out it belonged to an ohio state fan, irrevocably severing my relationship with that school.

i asked the security of various buildings that lined the street if they would look at their tapes. i’d call back when they didn’t return my calls, pointing out to them, when they told me none of their cameras had a view of the street, that there were at least twelve that met such criteria — and i’d be willing to go through the archives myself.

i wrote to newspapers and put ads on craigslist. i handed the information over to the police officer in charge of my case. i sought the advice of lawyers.

nothing came of any of it. my insurance paid for the repairs, increasing my premium, and i was responsible for the deductible. i know it sounds silly, but something inside me broke when i watched the car that hit me drive away. stunned, i tried to focus on the brake lights of the vehicles dodging around me, converging into vast sea of red. the sensation in my fingertips when i pressed against an object was different, less substantial.

i scanned the parking garages for cars with front-end damage or other tell-tale signs of impact (or allegiance to ohio state university). i became a phantom, sifting under doors and through cracks, hating everyone. i wore the honda symbol from my trunk on a chain around my neck as a reminder that no one could be trusted, and everything would lead to pain.

that is how i changed in the days that followed the accident. for a few moments, though, before everything else, that is, the impuissance of the individual, et alia, entrenched itself in my brain, i was thankful i wasn’t killed, if only because, a year from now, when everyone was busy mourning those whose deaths were reaching a first anniversary, my name would only appear on the tip of the tongue but would remain unspoken, not even as a footnote, as those left behind moonwalked, grabbed their crotches, and tossed their hats aside in honor of michael jackson.

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