Sexism Surprise!

Today I went with my best friend to the Ottawa Cookie Jam. This is a local event, and I think this was its very first year. Overall I’d say there were pros and cons, but the idea and the vibe have so much potential. I look forward to seeing this cookie party growing bigger and richer as each year passes.

sexism surprise

Anyhow, so we went to look at cookies. Of course, the only problem was that most cookies were already gone by the time we arrived – which was 25 minutes after the doors opened. So no pretty cookie pictures for you, because I was too busy running around trying to get the cookies before they all disappeared!

(Maybe next year they should stage the servings, or have more cookies. There’s so much cookie potential!)

Mind you, I’m not meant to be eating cookies in the first place. Since the diagnosis of stage IV, I’m really trying to cut all the sugar. My latest vacation wasn’t too helpful in this area, but I guess God was looking down upon my friend and I today, and said: No MORE SUGAR! So that I restricted my cookie temptation.

However, we did get our 8 cookies worth, and we brought them back to her brand new home in Vanier for a tasting. I mostly just ate one cookie – maple walnut, which was gluten free, lovely, and not too sweet at all . . . but overall it was lovely. We met some more friends and had dark tea with cookies.

Lovely!

But to backtrack slightly, as we left the cookie event we decided to walk home from downtown. This meant we had to walk pass one of the best schwarma places in Ottawa. [Schwarmas are like gyros, pitas, kabobs, donairs etc.] So I thought, “Hey, I’m gonna get dinner and lunch for me and Zsolt.” Their chicken platter is so big, it can stretch two meals for two people eating ‘not too big’ portions.

Right, so my friend and I go into the take-out place on the way back home. And we go in, there’s no line-up. We go up to the counter where two men are standing.  . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

And eventually one of them says, “Hi.”

So I said, “Hi,” and then—

THEN he turns back to the other guy, both of their backs to us, and keeps talking to his buddy.

So my awesome friend says very loudly, “Can we get a chicken platter?”

And this dude behind the counter turns back and says something like, “Okay.”

He makes the food. I go and pay.

. . .

. . .

. . .

After I pay, I am waiting for my food to be passed over. But he’s helping the next people, a couple. Finally, he gets the chicken ready for my order . . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

Then eventually passes it to me.

And as this is all happening, at some point during this exchange since it’s taking SO much time, the less naive side of myself wakes up from her nap and thinks: he is doing this because we are women.

It’s true. I mean, he didn’t say anything like “You Are Women, Therefore You Wait”. . . but he was quick enough in serving the couple behind me and both my friend and I came to the exact same conclusion.

So where does that leave me? In one of the best schwarma places in town, I encountered something I’d never expected to encounter here in Ottawa .  . . sexism from a guy who isn’t even yet my age. And it wasn’t even your expected body-objectification type sexism . . . it was, ‘you aren’t good enough for me to notice you’ type sexism.

WTF?

Of course, since he didn’t hold up a sign saying “I’m one heck of a sexist jackass” I can’t prove the situation was 100% sexism, but it did feel 100% like sexism.

So it makes me wonder, are we being naive to think sexism isn’t happening all the time around us? Well of course it is! And maybe we’re sexist to men, maybe men are being sexist to us, maybe it’s a cultural thing, or an age thing, or a class thing, or a media thing, or a one-individual-who-can’t-get-his-head-out-of-his-ass thing . . .  maybe it’s a lot of things. But it really leaves me extra unimpressed when it’s an intentional thing.

Anyhow, that schwarma shop isn’t quite so attractive to me anymore. That’s okay though, we’ve got many of these shops in Ottawa from which I’ve received excellent customer service when with girl friends. I love schwarma shops for the relationships you can make with the people behind the counter. Today was just ridiculous – so ridiculous it surprised the heck out of me.

And so there’s a little story about my sexism surprise. Plus, of course, the cookie jam. It was a wonderful Saturday, absolutely perfect in every way despite the dude whose head was too far up his ass. I loved today because it had nothing to do with the drama that has otherwise cast a shadow over my life. I loved the freedom of being with friends, going to events, walking through town and now writing it all down here.

So that’s all there is to that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go dance with my husband.

~Catherine

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6 thoughts on “Sexism Surprise!

  1. The sexism sucks – but the normalcy of getting to sweat the stuff outside of the overriding “big stuff” is definitely a lovely thing. Hope the food was good, at least!

  2. Woot! Blatant sexism aside, it was a wonderful afternoon on a beautiful day : ) Who can deny the appeal of friends, cookies, and tea?

  3. dear Catherine,

    when I see that you have posted, I feel happily tweaked – I just know it’s gonna be a good read. and it was! ooooh, I bet when it dawned on you that that guy was doing a sexism number on you, it was pretty shocking. I loved that you wrote he had his head too far up his ass! what a shame he is missing out on all the delightful exchanges of, let me serve you something delicious, and the compliments and thanks for providing some lovely food. but you, in your own unique version of living mindfully with whatever joy and adventure you can possible experience, were able to appreciated the fun and loveliness of a day when you could be with friends, enjoy your walk through town, be satisfied there wasn’t a full on pig out at the cookie jam, then come home and write about it. I hope your dance with Zsolt was romantic and lovely.

    much love and light to you, my friend

    karen

  4. Too me it looks like “I don’t give a damn that you are a paying customer.” My silent response when I get bad service is “I won’t be coming back here, and I’ll tell all my friends and colleagues about it.”

    Dancing with your husband, that sounds like fun. Mine does breathtaking polkas and romantic waltzes, and has won us several bottles of wine in ‘spot’ dances. 🙂

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