Friday, May 18, 2012

Donuts and Discrimination

Today is the day I've been dreading, looking forward to, anxiously awaiting, frantically preparing for, and complaining about for the past several months.
AP geography test.
And now it's OVER!!!!!!OVE
That's a pixel party.
The test consisted of long, boring questions held in a long, boring room at our local high school. Kids from farther middle schools had their parents chaffuer them back, but ours is just down the street. My friends and I decided to walk back, even though it was cold, wet, and I was wearing my nice sandals. We weren't in any particular hurry to get back.
I jokingly suggested we stop at the bakery for donuts. It's a plan we've brought up again and again over the past three years, never actually intending to carry it out.
To my surprise, my friends began discussing how much money we had between us (four dollars total) and how long we were excused for. We were farther behind than most of the other groups, but we weren't actually required to be back until sixth period. This was about halfway through fourth.
So we took a slight detour. When we were entering the store, a large group of people who had taken the test with us were leaving. Pity. We thought we were being terribly original.
Let me explain this bakery. It's a tiny outlet place with three cases of donuts, a soda machine, and a few racks of bread and chips. Everything's cheap. I've come actually seen teenagers working there before, a rare thing in this fabulous economy. But this was 11:00 a.m., so two middle aged women were stationed at the checkout counter.
"Are you all from the high school?" one of them asked as we came in. She probably assumed we were sluffing, a logical conclusions given the time of day and our ages.
We all spoke over each other, eager to tell her how The Test was over.
"We're from-"
"-the middle school-"
"Put your backpacks down," she said.
 I was slightly taken aback. I've heard about this sort of thing before, signs restricting youths to so many at a time and banning hoodies. They're not worn universally by young people, but somehow they're seen as a sign of youth and having something to hide. That and Trayvon Martin.

But it's never happened in my town, not to me.
We set them on the floor.
"Don't block the door," she said.
We moved them and wandered to the donut cases. So many choices. Chocolate, yes, I like chocolate. Glazed isn't bad either, but I'm not going to spend eighty-nice cents on a plain donut, even if it is my friend's eighty-nine cents. Did they have the cream filled ones?
A woman pushed open the door with absolutely no difficulty, thanks to our correctly placed backpacks. The women at the counter greeted her.
Yes, there they are. Fat, round, and chocolatey with a small mound of cream rising up through the center. I set my sight on the biggest 89 cent one of all. Then again, I might not be able to eat all of it before we got back to school. I selected a slightly smaller one.
We grabbed our treats and took them up to the register. The other woman strode past us, a large blue hangbag over one shoulder.
I didn't say anything at the time. The right words are never there when you need them. I tend to plan out whole conversations, insults, discussions, debates, and counter-arguments in advance. If I ever happen to meet Barack Obama, I know over thirty ways to politely and tactfully insult him.
I know now what I should of asked the cashier when she told me us to put our bags down and step away.
"It's just a rule."
"To prevent shoplifting?"
"We don't want anybody bringing in weapons or stealing the merchandise."
"That makes sent. I looked up shoplifting statistics awhile back for a project. Did you know 25% of shoplifters are under the age of eighteen?"
"Yeah, most teenagers aren't up to anything good."
"Do the math. How many shoplifters are adults?"
They've got us outnumbered three to one. It's not polite, appropriate, or even logical to require one regulation of minor customers and not demand the same standard from the majority. This is discrimination, a type nobody cares to protest.
At least the donuts were good.

1 comment:

  1. That was SO MUCH FUN!!!!!
    But the lady was kind of a jerk.
    Oh well, at least we got doughnuts