It was a rare occasion for sure, but Jason and I were out with no children and it was lunchtime. We searched out a Chipotle in Strongsville to get our “usual”. One chicken burrito bowl to share, rice, black beans, corn salsa, lettuce, sour cream on the side. Someone doesn’t like sour cream. I won’t name names. There is something wrong with him though. And of course our own chip bags, both with a side of green chile salsa. Sinus clearing.
We walk in and there is a group of maybe college age guys sitting near the line to order, eating their lunches. Then I hear “Hey, now there’s a ginger!”
Excuse me? First of all, I’m with another guy- the nerve of them to say anything let alone in front of someone that was surely my boyfriend or husband! Maybe they thought he was my brother. I don’t know! Secondly, what is this, the 50’s? Do guys, average guys who aren’t in inner city gangs or who are lazy bums with nothing better to do than shout and whistle at anything with legs that walks by, still do that? I’ve been out of the dating scene for nearly seven years, but my goodness, where are their manners? Thirdly, “ginger”? Unless you’re referring to the Gilligan’s Island character, the spice or the essential oil, I really don’t care for the term. I know it’s more endearing now than it was during that awful “Kick a Ginger Day” business but still. Intentionally flattering or not, come ons are classless and degrading. And can get you a slap in the face. At least in my made up world of things-I-would-do-or-say-if-I-had-more-guts-so-I-just-share-it-with-other-people-who-weren’t-there-to-get-it-out-of-my-system.
Now I’m not one to tell someone off- I save that for family member who I love. So I didn’t. I just gave them the iciest cold stare that is only saved for the most annoying people on earth. Jason hadn’t heard them. They looked a little mortified. Immediately they were quiet. We got up to the start of the burrito assembly line and I glanced in the clean glass window wall beside me and saw the young man who had walked in just after us. He was familiarly chatting and chuckling with the college guys who had harassed me and my red hair. He was too shadowy in the reflection of that glass wall, but I thought I saw something curious. I turned slightly to view the perpetrators of bad behavior with my peripheral vision and felt my icy cold mood thaw slightly. He was a red head. Like not even carrot top. A auburn-red-red headed dude. A ginger, if you will.
A few lessons were learned in that 3 minutes. I’m glad I didn’t decide to have uncharacteristic courage in that moment. An icy stare was enough. Enough to make those guys realize they put their foot in their mouth all because of an assumption on their part that the chances of another “ginger” being right there when they said “hey” to their friend were slim to none since us “gingers” are apparently going extinct. So as Jason says jokingly after we’ve had an argument he has just “won” (or likes to think he won): “What did we learn?”
Well, my boyfriends at the table there learned to be a little more aware of who is around them before they speak. It could be a huge misunderstanding.
I learned not to assume people are ignorant rude perverts until there is real cause to believe they are such.
I also learned for the 100th time to remind the Chipotle worker scooping my rice that one scoop is more than enough. I don’t need a belly full of puffed up starch when I’m through with my lunch.
And lastly, those boys learned that there are more redheads around than they thought.
We are everywhere. And we’re watching. You’ve been warned.