My Name is Karen

Really.

Certainly would lay no claim to this unless it were true.

I’ve got to hand it to my mom. She really must have wanted a Karen. When my older siblings were born, there already was a Karen with my last name, so she waited another ten years just to have me (her favorite).

I was one of many Karens in high school. My junior year of pom-pons, there was a Karin C., a Karin K., a Karen K., and me, Karen A. I was always kinda jealous of the ‘i-n’ Karens. Seemed so fancy.

Can’t really say I knew very many Karens in my early adult/mid adult years though. Not a bad thing necessarily.

But in the two years I’ve lived in Georgia, I have met four Karens. Yep. That’s right. Count them. Four.

  • my vegan friend Karen
  • my hairstylist Karen
  • my new neighbor, who, due to Covid, I haven’t gotten to know very well, but who likes wine as much as I do Karen
  • and then there is the doctor who I saw last spring for my frozen shoulder whose wife’s name is Karen (technically, I didn’t meet her, but she is the inspiration for this post)

My doctor asked me how I was handling the whole ‘Karen’ thing. His wife had apparently had enough.

I hadn’t really thought about it up until that moment.

Been thinking about it quite a bit since that time though.

So yes. Here I am. Karen. A white woman blind to my privilege.

While I understand how who I am has entitled me to unearned benefits, I also understand I have privileges I’m not even aware of. I can’t even begin to fathom how many areas of my life I’m blinded by my sense of privilege without even realizing it.

But I do understand when I’m hungry, I can get into a car, drive to the store and buy whatever I am hungry for. I don’t have to use a calculator. I don’t have to use coupons. I don’t have to make a decision between buying food or paying rent. I don’t have to choose the store brand. I can buy organic if I prefer.

I understand all three of my children were planned (Yep. Even Alli who was born 13 months after her brother and 28 months after her sister). Each pregnancy was created out of love. Each child was desperately wanted. I had a happy marriage. I had financial security. I had insurance. I was healthy throughout all of my pregnancies. And if they hadn’t had a partner who wanted the baby, I would have had the support of my family.

I understand I live in a country where my religion is accepted. I can possess a Bible. I can choose which church to attend. My life is not threatened because of my faith.

I understand I haven’t had to worry about my son in ways I shouldn’t have to worry about him because of the color of his skin and where he was raised.

I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to ignore what doesn’t affect me.

I’ve been thinking about how when we surround ourselves with only people who are like minded, false information is spread, judgements are made, and anger builds.

And I’m really thinking about why we aren’t looking at the why’s.

Why aren’t we able to acknowledge that the circumstances of others may be different from our own and therefore the choices made may also be different?

Why do we think our way is the right way? The only way?

Why do we feel sermonizing will ‘fix’ people? Why do we feel we need to ‘fix’ people in the first place?

And why are we spending so much time and energy arguing when we should be having conversations that will address the reasons behind the social issues of this world?

Something to Eat

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

by Epicurious

Ten years ago, I didn’t know what a lentil was. Okay, maybe I knew, but I most certainly wouldn’t have eaten one. Today I am a lentil connoisseur…red, brown, green, black–I love them all, but I do have an affinity for red lentils, which is one of the reasons I love this soup so much. I think it’s a texture thing. Plus, the soup is easy to make and the the taste makes my belly happy. I almost follow the recipe…I just use a bit more lemon juice and sub kale for the cilantro. (Not that I have anything against cilantro, but I’ve still got a boatload of kale in the garden. At the end of November. Sorry…couldn’t resist adding that.)

Something to Read

OMGWTF Does the Constitution Actually Say?

by Ben Sheehan

Let’s just start with this: this is not the best book I’ve ever read; HOWEVER, I am a wiser person for reading it. I enjoyed the author’s humor. It was kind of like in high school when you were listening to your teacher while your best friend whispered smarta$$ comments in your ear. At any rate, it was enough to keep me engaged, and I now have a wealth of knowledge that could benefit me greatly should I ever appear on Jeopardy. It should also prevent me from saying stupid things on social media. I think it should be a prerequisite for every candidate running for office in the hope it would prevent THEM from saying or doing something stupid as well.

Something to Ponder

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird

I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. Mine was good. Different, but good. I know I will have a new appreciation for it next year.

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