We’ve come to call them “Karens”, but the truth is that being an entitled, obnoxious ass transcends gender. It has nothing to do with the haircut, and everything to do with thinking that you’re the center of the universe and that your kids matter more than other people’s. One meme recently defined the “Karen” system as follows:
Know your rights
Request a manager
Escalate to authorities
And while one can be pretty confident that they’ve never been as bad as the woman who called the cops on people barbecuing in a park in Oakland, or the woman who called the cops on the man who asked her to leash her dog in Central Park, or the woman who lost her mind in a Trader Joe’s in southern California after being asked to wear a mask, or the duo who videotaped and tacked a trespassing sign to a tree in front of a black woman who was having lunch on the lawn of a church in order to chase her away, we have all slipped into these behaviors at one time or another.
Because we’re stressed. Because we’re exhausted. Because after years of insufficient sleep, after neglecting our own health and needs, after being stuck in quarantine for months without childcare, we’re about to lose our own damn minds.
But that’s no excuse. Not now or ever. It doesn’t matter that all you want is for your kid to be successful and happy and that college admissions rules are preposterously unfair and corrupt: Bribing your kids is not OK, Karen. It doesn’t matter that the world seems too messed up and broken, turning your kids into political pawns is not OK, Karen. It doesn’t matter that you’ve been provoked, that you’ve been abused, turning around and berating someone in public is not OK, Karen. It doesn’t matter that you’re scared or confused or overprotective, assuming the worst about others or relying on stereotypes is not OK, Karen.
Or Steve. Or Brad. Or Mark, which seems to have become the male name for Karens after the married personal injury attorneys in St. Louis who stood barefoot on the front lawn of their home armed with loaded weapons as protestors marched by.
Remember: Your kids are watching. They are learning from what you do, not what you say. Don’t be a Karen. Or a Mark. Or an asshole. Don’t give into your worst impulses.
P.S. This was originally sent on September 21, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”