My girls, A and M, and I were walking up and down the aisles of the Silver Spring store. It's smaller than the Rockville store but it's more convenient and has most of what we need. We always get more than we expect there because there are always new things to try. Basically it's a fun store.
As we were walking down the soup/pasta aisle, we encountered a bunch of employees putting stock on the shelves. Of specific interest were two men who were talking to each other pretty loudly. We arrived in front of them mid-conversation so we missed the topic. But we most certainly didn't miss the juicy part:
Dude 1: How did she get that (job, acting part, something like that)?
Dude 2: Well, you know she's a specimen.
Dude 1: (blank stare)
Dude 2: I'm TELLING YOU. She's a SPECIMEN. She's EASY ON THE EYES. Yeah, She's a SPECIMEN.
So the three of us just stop. A woman is a specimen. Huh. We start walking down the aisle again. At this point A is starting to boil a little.
Mom, you have to say something. DO something. That is NOT okay!
I hate this kind of situation. I walked around thinking a bit. The more I thought, the more I got annoyed. She's a specimen. Dude, a specimen!
No. Not okay.
He went to take over for the woman at the sample area. When he was done talking to a teenager (that took quite a while), I went up to him. With my girls behind me I said that we were standing right next to him while he was having that conversation with his co-worker. I told him that while he was fully entitled to his opinions, he might want to remember that he's in a public place and I doubt that calling a woman a specimen represented TJ's views of the world. I couldn't leave without telling him that no woman wants to be called a specimen and that the value of person has nothing to do with whether or not s/he is "easy on the eyes."
He apologized to me. And my kids. And he was about to say something else when I'm pretty sure that "bring it, I will beat you silly" look might have crossed my face.
When we went to pay for our groceries, the gentleman at the register couldn't have been any nicer. He talked to us, talked to the girls about what it's like to be a twin (which was fine because he is one!). He spoke french to us. Super nice dude, which somewhat made up for the caveman we encountered earlier.
Really the dilemma here was my kids. They knew it wasn't okay. They were totally offended. Do something took on a different meaning here.
I'm not so arrogant as to think anything I said to him made any sort of difference. But I hope the thinks about how he speaks when he's on the sales floor in the future.
And I hope he never has children.