hey, i promised you bastards, polygamy, and deadly queen bees, and have them you will.
but first i just wanted to put it out to the blogosphere that something weird and unpleasant happened at my local ToysRUs. i don’t know if it’s part of a wider effort or if it’s only california…
i happened to be browsing in the babies/young toddlers section of ToysRUs hoping to find a cute yellow submarine bath toy for my son when i noticed a tall, older man with a salt and pepper beard (and slightly bald head) chatting in low tones with a couple. he could’ve been a dad, or a granddad, or the store manager. i wasn’t really paying attention. he had a clipboard in his hands. he noticed me glancing in his general direction and stopped talking with the couple long enough to ask me, “Excuse me, are you a registered voter?”
i said i was. suspiciously.
he immediately asked me if i’d like to sign a petition to put a bill on the ballot for parental consent regarding pregnant teens seeking abortions.
it dawned on me that THIS MAN WAS DOING POLITICAL ORGANIZING ON THE DOWN-LOW FOR AN ANTI-CHOICE GROUP. he was doing this with his under-the-radar m.o. and his icky, unctuous peter lorre murmur, surrounded by pastel baby washcloths and high chairs and car seats. i gave him the icy death-ray stare i’d give to a molester and said, “No, I wouldn’t.”*
i feel really strongly that i DO NOT want these questions sneakily shoved under my eyes atop a “survey” affixed to a clipboard by some scuzzy anti-choice guy IN THE BABY SECTION of ToysRUs.
i fumed and walked away. i found the manager. i described and pointed out the man, now busily cruising the people toward the front of the store innocently trying to pick up a last minute birthday present for a kid they know or maybe find a chocolate-shaped santa as a stocking stuffer for their own kid. instead they’re listening to this freak lay weird heavy shit on them while they shop as he’s trying to collect signatures for his ballot initiative.
it turns out the manager had ejected Creepy Man from the store at least once before that afternoon. they knew him and knew the problem. it sounds to me like this ToysRUs was spending time responding to customer complaints about this guy.
i hope next time store management calls the cops. who needs this when you’re in a store, trying to get errands done? is it not enough you’d like to take up residence in my womb and boss me from there, and now you’re polluting my sensory-overload experience at ToysRUs too?
Creepy Man take note: IF YOUR CAUSE IS SO RIGHTEOUS, WHY ARE YOU SKULKING AROUND LIKE A FREAKING PEDOPHILE?
*now, i’m fervently pro-choice and a parent. and i absolutely get what a wedge issue parental consent is, i do: in the best of all worlds, no teenage daughter would have to keep her pregnancy and then her abortion secret from her parents–she wouldn’t be pregnant to begin with, one hopes. but the imperfect world being what it is, i’d prefer that a young woman would be able to choose the fork in the road that she determines she should take. again, i’d hope that she had wise counsel from someone she trusted, someone who knew and had her future in mind long before she was ever pregnant. one hopes. but sometimes you don’t get the wise, supportive, helpful parent or family you wish for. sometimes the decision comes down to you and only you and the clock is ticking and you need to act.
simply put: i believe in the right to a safe, legal abortion as one choice among many for all women of childbearing age.
i feel silly having to declare that which is commensensical to me, and i think someone who essentially agreed with the guy (and not me) still would’ve taken offense. but here we are with this half-lit pipe bomb labeled ‘abortion’ in the room with us, both sides eyeing the fuse and wondering if it’s sputtering or about to blow.
my feeling is, if you want to gather signatures, do it on the up-and-up like the lyndon larouche crazies, who set up their card tables outside the grocery store or wherever. quit lurking around kids’ toy stores and waiting to lunge at fresh meat like some vampire.