The kids and K and I ran to Trader Joe’s today. The one at Santa Monica and Pointsettia, for locals keeping score. On the way in I noticed a man collecting money in a tin for some charity, standing right in front of the store. On the way out, K noticed him too. He was by then standing even closer to the store, directly in front of the large sign, put there by Trader Joe’s, that informs customers of their right to “Distraction-Free Shopping.” People who are canvasing for causes usually stand across the way from the store, so they are in the shared parking lot rather than on store property.
I couldn’t help myself. As we walked out I said to him, “You know, I am having a great deal of trouble taking you seriously when you’re standing in front of a sign that says you aren’t supposed to be here.”
Was that rude of me? Maybe a little, but I was being honest and I was right. His reaction? He YELLED at me that he is an American citizen and the law says he has a right to be there.
Um. Holy fucking shit do I ever not give a damn where he is a citizen. What does that have to do with anything? I didn’t question his right to be in the United States, just on Trader Joe’s private property. I had not given one single second’s thought to his nationality until he said that, when I noticed that he is Latino. Which, um, so what? Does my whiteness mean that I am discriminating against him by pointing out the amusing juxtaposition of someone soliciting next to a sign that says no solicitors?
He kept yelling at me as I walked toward my car, so I turned around and said, “Being a dick also makes me not want to talk to you.” He yelled something in reply and I wish I knew what it was but I couldn’t hear him. So I am choosing to believe that it was something filthy. Because really, why the hell not?
I just wish I’d noticed what charity he was representing so I could tell on him.