I wouldn’t know what that word meant if it wasn’t for my boys. According to dictionary.com, “Karen is a pejorative slang term for an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people's behaviors.”
When I understood the term, I immediately recalled a time when my boys were 8 and 4. The 8 year old had become Student of The Month so I picked them both up from school and took them to John’s Incredible Pizza to celebrate. There is much to do there, pizza being the least fun for kids. There are a myriad of games and each boy was given enough tokens to keep them busy for a while. My oldest apparently had to use the restroom but didn’t want to leave his game. Consequently, he wet his pants. We were 35 minutes from home and really had just gotten started. I loaded both boys into the SUV and headed a block away to Target. I told the boys to stay in the car and I would be right back. I raced in, grabbed the first pair of pants that I could find, purchased and was outside in less than 5 minutes. When the youngest saw the pants his brother got, he also wanted a pair. I raced back, grabbed them in his size, paid and was out the door in 3 minutes. I got an anxiety rush when I noticed three people standing at my car, one woman, wearing scrubs, was peering in my back window. I walked up and the peering woman scolded me for leaving my children in the car, she said they were scared. She pulled out her cell phone and called Child Protective Services (CPS).
I didn’t say a word. It was absolutely none of her business and I didn’t care what she thought. I got in the car and carefully pulled out of the parking lot, not wanting to hit her (the other two had walked off when I got there). I heard her telling the person on the phone my license plate number. Since I never heard from CPS I assumed they thought the accusation was as absurd as I did. Wasting an important organization’s time on something so insignificant should be the crime here.
The boys later told me they were scared because she put her face to the window.
Now THAT was a Karen.
Since I’ve added that word into my vocabulary, I’ve noticed it’s used for anyone, even those who are truly trying to help. I think the word, and what it suggests, reflects how people are more reluctant to do something helpful in our current culture. Somehow helpfulness has become an irritant.
Thoughts that are alien to any of my other projects can be found here.