November 17, 2013

"No, the [Chick-fil-A] CEO did not jump out of the hidey-hole slide, point at me... and yell 'You're one of the gays!' as I had imagined."

Writes Carolyn O'Laughlin, the Director of Residence Life at Sarah Lawrence College, in The Wall Street Journal (which I'm reading because a reader emailed asking what the author's point is, whether her position as Director of  Residence Life at Sarah Lawrence College is relevant to that point, and why The Wall Street Journal is publishing this sort of thing).

O'Laughlin is a member of a 4-person family consisting of 2 adult women and 2 male children, and they're on a road trip where they want to stop at the restaurant with a play area, and it happens to be a Chick-fil-A, which she put on her "list of places to avoid" when its CEO "went on record indicating his support for only families that meet the 'biblical definition of the family unit.'"

But O'Laughlin has a moderate approach to using her spending power to nudge businesses. She wanted to favor J.C. Penney, for using Ellen DeGeneres and "families like ours" in their advertising, but there was a pothole in the parking lot, so she went somewhere else, and she'd like to reward Starbucks, but it's overpriced, so she snubs it.

Noting that life is "complicated" and you've got to see the "nuance" and be "practical," she goes to the Chick-fil-A, buys the food, but hates the atmosphere — not because it's anti-gay, but it's noisy and chaotic (because of the very play area that made her overcome her political aversion to the place).
"Let's get out of here." I say to my boys.... Standing outside, my wife and I look around with road-trip decision paralysis. A kind Chick-fil-A employee comes toward us with four trays. "Y'all could sit on these if you'd like," she says. We smile, thank her, and set up a picnic on the grassy island between the parking lots of Chick-fil-A and Burger King. We're having it our way.
So what's the point? It seems to me that the point is that life is complicated, and we make individual choices to suit our own needs and tastes, some of which include politics and morality, and part of what we get to choose is how hardcore we want to be about where we go and what we buy. Also, the lower-down employees of a company are individuals with their own lives, making their own choices, just like you, and it's good for everyone to remember that.

This not the point of the article, but just something I'd like to add: Picnicking at ground level in a parking lot is not a good idea. Not only is it unfair to the business that has provided tables and chairs and wants to project an image of tidiness, but it's not a clean place to eat. Grassy does not equal clean. Grass doesn't magically repel the filth from the cars, and it attracts dog poop, human sputum, and dog and human pee.

67 comments:

SGT Ted said...

Why would anyone want to picnic in the woods? All the animals poop, pee and die in the woods. Birds crapping all over everything. Plus all that rotting stuff and fungus and mold. Nobody ever cleans that stuff up.

OR swim in rivers and lakes? Fish and animals do all kinds of nasty stuff in those waters. Fish even FUCK in the water. How nasty is that?

SGT Ted said...

Amazing what we all can ignore when we get all romanticle.

MathMom said...

Crikey. Way too much navel gazing for 6 am on a Sunday.

I take away from the article two main points:

1) "Mom" is still too into herself and hasn't learned the First Rule of Being a Mom: Your Life Changes. Little boys need to blow off steam when they are on a road trip, so you should go to a place where that is permitted. Yo! Chick-fil-A realized this and built just such a place! She needs to learn to talk over the din, and realize there is no such place as a small, kid-friendly farm-to-table bistro. Or maybe she can invent a chain of those things.

2) Evil, homophobic, X-tianist Chick-fil-A hires the sort of evil gay H8rs who see, during a busy and chaotic lunch rush, that a family finds the noise in the play area too intense and goes out to the grass to eat. So, being a H8r, she evilly tries to make their day worse by taking trays out to the grass for them to sit on. Who could think up a more evil and homophobic way to treat these customers???

/s

Quayle said...

"...as I had imagined."

In a former day, blacks weren't as lots of people imagined either, but, sadly, the nuances of that historical parallel has yet to be fully realized and internalized by this lady and her fellow-imaginers.

Life is indeed simple when you imagine you know everyone by group, until you stop imagining and life becomes complicated.

Until you realize the beauty of Christ's teachings to love all - every single person - enemy or not - and then it becomes simple again.

betamax3000 said...

I'm Stuck on "hidey-hole slide".

hoyden said...

Chick-fil-A will be more supportive of their family that includes male children than the Lesbian community.

betamax3000 said...

REgarding "Grass doesn't magically repel the filth from the cars, and it attracts dog poop, human sputum, and dog and human pee."

Probably Still More Hygienic Than the Children's Play Area. The Hidey-Hole Slide Doesn't Repel Poop, Sputum or Pee, Either.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "part of what we get to choose is how hardcore we want to be about where we go and what we buy."

Remove Food from the Equation. If the Restaurant Had the Only Bathroom in the Area Would They Still Want to Avoid it on Principle? I Would Think You Wouldn't Want to Use a Gay-Hating Toilet. They Have Detectors, I Think.

MathMom said...

The Hidey-Hole Slide Doesn't Repel Poop, Sputum or Pee, Either.

True, but it gets scrubbed down and bleached every day...

betamax3000 said...

RE: "True, but it gets scrubbed down and bleached every day..."

A Lot of Poop, Sputum or Pee Can Occur in the Twenty-Four Hours Between Cleanings.

Richard Head said...

She's obviously confused - and her writing only provides more evidence of it.

That's my observation.

betamax3000 said...

The Children's Play Area is More Accurately Described as an Incubator of Disease and Filth. Runny Noses Wiped With Chicken-Greasy Fingers, Then Smeared On Unyielding Plastic. Carbonated Burp Vapor, Lingering Then Settling on Colorful Surfaces. Sneezes, Coughs: Hands Unwashed After the Bathroom Visit. Old Fries Under the Slide, Attracting Insects. The Occasional 'Accident'. Teenager Paid Minimum Wage to Half-Heartedly Clean it Up in the Evening.

Snuggle House Shares Some of these Same Problems.

Moose said...

They're having problems walking the walk.

MadisonMan said...

Let me say I am not surprised that her Undergraduate Majors included Women Studies.

Curious George said...

Funny how gays and lefties single out Chick fil a for being "anti-gay" simply because the founder supports traditional marriage, but not one fucking peep about MSNBC and others hiring Alec "Cock Sucking Gag" Baldwin.

betamax3000 said...

"No, the [Chick-fil-A] CEO did not jump out of the hidey-hole slide, point at me... and yell 'You're one of the gays!' as I had imagined."

As She Imagined. Now, We As Understanding Readers Are to Realize that She Didn't 'Imagine-Imagine' This, Only That She is 'Imagining It' to Make a Point from Her Spot in the Center of the Universe Where CEOs Follow Her, Unrelenting. Her Readers Understand Because They Feel That Way, too: Some Probably Imagine-Imagine That Ted Cruz is Following Them, Waiting to Yell "Boo!" and Do That Crazy Ted Cruz Dance Where He Waves His Arms Above His Head and Bounces from Foot to Foot. Rich Inner Lives.

Freeman Hunt said...

The Chick-fil-a here has the indoor play area separated from the dining area by floor to ceiling plexiglass windows. Parents eat and chat while children go wild in their playground box of silence, seen but not heard.

PB Reader said...

I'll take "grassy area" or even the hard pavement of the parking lot and you take your pick of restaurants. we'll take some samples and put them in petri dishes. I'll bet mine is safer than yours.

By the way, urine is sterile.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "floor to ceiling plexiglass..."

Incubators.

Rusty said...

SGT Ted
I get a kick out of environmentalists that want to return our waterways to their pre-columbian pristine condition. Millions of ducks, geese and beaver regularly shat in the water. Not to mention runoff from the millions of buffalo.
Yeah. Let's do that.

Matthew Sablan said...

So, despite her hatred of Chick-fil-A, the employees went out of their way to make the family comfortable. I hope that little kindness, despite her obvious dislike, helped open her eyes.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I was kind of annoyed WSJ paid for the 'once I was an X but Now I am a (insert enlightened religion here or maybe that was into her)' kind of piece. It's a shame they just can't hire a truck traveling around my street blaring 'Amazing Grace.' OTOH you've clarified for me the 'me and my wife' part, a modern amazing grace.

MathMom said...

Rusty,

I lived in Anchorage, AK for several years. There is a lovely park with a beautiful, sparkling creek running through it, which has signs warning that it is polluted.

How could this happen in The Last Frontier?

Moose poop, dog poop, all kinds of poop. Mountains of it. Freezes all winter, then during Breakup it thaws and runs into the creek. The park next to our house smelled like a sewer for a while in the spring. March is when most of the suicides happen, even though the sun is rising. I think it's the thawing poop that finishes them off.

Jane said...

SO what's the secret to getting published in one of the country's top newspapers? Clearly it's not having something profound and insightful to say.

Is it connections? Like the fact that the "man on the street" turns out to be a friend of a friend of the reporter? Should the biographical sentence really read, "Carolyn O'Laughlin is the former college roommate of our Lifestyle editor"? Why is this published, and not languishing somewhere as a blog post?

David-2 said...

Althouse,

Thanks for commenting on this article.

a) If that's the point (as you describe it) ... well, that's rather banal isn't it? Or apparently not, if your mental apparatus regularly engages in group-think. I think Quayle, above, has it right.

b) MathMom is right too. This woman is definitely part of "Generation Me".

c) Once again, Betamax is on a roll (although he/she/it seems to be kind of fixated on bodily wastes, today).

Freder Frederson said...

And what, exactly, is the point of this post?

Bob Boyd said...

"I loafe and invite my Soul;
I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass" - Walt Whitman

"Grass doesn't magically repel the filth from the cars, and it attracts dog poop, human sputum, and dog and human pee." Ann Althouse

David said...

Think of the energy she expends thinking about these issues and trying to conform. What an exhausting, pointless little dance.

C Stanley said...

Are you truly that mysophobic? How did our species survive before we sanitized everything? It happens that we have an internal system for conferring immunity against germs.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "which she put on her "list of places to avoid"

Maybe There is an App for That: a GPS-style Device That Tells You the Political Stances of All the Businesses You Pass By. You Can Set the Parameters to Alert You Only to What Categories Matter to You:

Point One Mile On the Left: Sweat Shop Labor. Meat Products. No Emotional Support Animals Allowed.

David said...

She has a wife not a spouse? It must be fun deciding who is which (and I'm not talking about during sexual activity.) Are they both wives? Is the non-wife a husband? New arrangements getting stuck with old definitions. Messy.

John Lynch said...

I go to McDonald's. Should I write about my experience?

Rusty said...

Mathmom
to the environmentalists it just means it din't take as long to ruin it.
Th crafty native american native american plains indians generally pitched their camps near reliable springs and threw their garbage in the rivers.

Rusty said...

What's wrong with a bench, lady? ya ever hear of ringworm?

SGT Ted said...

Rusty,

That's the whole problem with the notion that nature is "pristine".

It is beautiful, to be sure and invokes an image of pristine, but when you look at the fine details it always is very nasty.

Even people who live in the country, but have never had to deal with really trying to having to live in natures elements constantly, don't necessarily get that, preferring the pastoral romanticism of the early 20th century as fact. Its the same fallacy as the "noble Savage".

Nasty stinky farms always look good in pictures, because you don't have to smell them.

SGT Ted said...

And what, exactly, is the point of this post?

I think the point is that sloganeering is simplistic and easy: "Chik-fil-A are h8ers", while actual reality is far more complicated and even contradictory.

Because despite Chik-fil-A's founders notions about family, I bet he absolutely requires that ALL customers be treated kindly and with respect in his place of business, regardless of their sexuality.

That, of course is ignored by the Gay Mafia, that prefers simplistic black/white propaganda messages about who the haters are, so the witch hunts can be directed to them. And it all comes back to conduct. I actually support gay marriage and have for some time. What I don't support are the tactics of hate and divisive bigotry used by the Gay "rights" crowd. They are just as bad as the 'God Hates Fags" Phelps-ers, they are just for the other side.

This story confounds the gay haters narrative, as does most truth to political assertions about a designated enemy.

Conserve Liberty said...

Adults who lead Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting have been known to joke (only half sarcastically) about the Five Second Rule. That's the rule that says food dropped on the ground is still edible if picked up within five seconds.

A more serious note on Scouting and Adults in general - I've been an active adult Scout Leader for 25 years - well beyond the time my son earned his Eagle Scout recognition. Today I mostly train new adult Scout Leaders how to be adult Scout Leaders.

Long-term Scouters like me think the social issues in Scouting are "Adult Problems" that have nothing to do with delivering the Scouting program to our youth. So we ignore them and focus on the youth.

Good for the writer. She gets it, too - in Scouting and in living.

cubanbob said...

All of this angst over a chicken sandwich? Some people need to get a life and better still-live it.

PB Reader said...

What? They weren't force feeding them tofu burgers and broccoli?

David said...

We all have avoid lists. Mine used to include Starbucks. Standing in line to overpay for flavored water did not appeal to me. I can get a diet coke without a wait at the minimart for under a buck.

There are no Starbucks where I live now.

But we have Chick-Fil-A.

The cows are pleased.

EDH said...

Judging from the power relationship between the parents described in that column, the author is the one who wears the strap-on in that family.

Or are we not allowed to look at power status in nonhetero-normal relationships?

Renee said...

We have a show this fall titled, Paternity Court. Marriage may has lost its meaning, but there is still meaning in having a relationship with your dad. I wonder if that show bothers them?

elkh1 said...

Grassy does not equal clean. Grass doesn't magically repel the filth from the cars, and it attracts dog poop, human sputum, and dog and human pee.

Can she sue Chick-fil-A if she got a stomachache?

Gahrie said...

I always love it when the intellectual elite are willing to go on safari amongst us proles......its even better when they write about it later and discuss how surprised they were to find how similar we are to real humans.....

Bob Loblaw said...

Another prog's bigoted assumptions don't survive contact with the real world.

If she's so willing to out herself as a conservative-acting pragmatist, why do her voting habits likely run counter and along the lines of the ideology-uber-alles approach that she deconstructs in her article?

Sorun said...

My lesbian sister had a Chick-fil-A boycott going on before the last well-publicized one. She'd accused the chain of something they didn't actually do. She got her outrages mixed up, I guess.

John said...

David said he does not like Starbucks. Me either. They have taken something as simple as a cup of coffee and complexified it beyond all reason.

When I go in and just want a plain cup of black coffee, I have been told I need to order the "American". Problem is that they have a different flavor every week. Sometimes it is good sometimes it is undrinkable.

Give me Dunkin Donuts or even gas station coffee every time. Black, no whitener, no sweetener.

Off topic but most people do not realize that Starbucks is responsible for the plague of bottled water we have.

I was at the 1999 National Soft Drink Association conference and the keynoter was the VP of Coke.

At that time personal size bottled water was just taking off and he told how Coke made it happen.

He and some other execs were traveling and in a Starbucks. They started musing about how they could take something as simple as a cup of coffee, add some chemicals (his word) and charge $2.95.

Someone joked that they should take all the expensive stuff (sugar, flavoring, CO2) out of Coke and just sell the water for the same price.

Turned out to be not such a bad idea. Until recently both Coke and Pepsi bottled their Dasani and AquaFina in the same bottles and on the same line, using the same water as they did soft drinks.

Almost pure profit.

The only thing better would be if they could scam us into buying empty bottles.

John Henry

William said...

She spends a lot of time pondering the moral implications of a chicken sandwich. Good idea. There are probably lots of other areas in her life that would not withstand too much moral scrutiny. Best to concentrate on the chicken sandwiches.

chuck said...

Where do colleges find these goofballs? There can't be an infinite supply.

MathMom said...

Back from church. It occurred to me while sitting in the pew, that the nice Chick-fil-A employee who treated this family with kindness and respect was doing it for the perverse reason of making the writer's head explode.

Our writer is now suffering from cognitive dissonance, and it is a thing of beauty. Who knows? It may make her conservative, just like Mary Cheney!

Well done, Chick-fil-A employee. Well done.

EDH said...

chuck said...
Where do colleges find these goofballs? There can't be an infinite supply.

Wrong. Colleges breed them.

Sam L. said...

oooooooohhhhhhh. She went where she expected to be shunned/reviled/hated/dissed...and wasn't. Was treated well. Now experiencing some cognitive dissonance.

John Woycheese said...

So, I really missed something, perhaps because I only scanned the article, but...

She had lunch between the Chick-fil-A and Burger King. Why the angst about Chick-fil-A? She could have just gone to Burger King. And then thumbed her nose at the evil CEO of the nasty restaurant.

Or was she just hankering for something only available at Chick-fil-A?

Birches said...

I declare a new rule: No more talking about Chick-fil-A and their delicious chicken sandwiches on Sunday. I'm hungry now.

Strelnikov said...

The "point" of this article, to the extent there may be one, "I am a lesbian with a forum. Therefore, whatever I say should be important to you peasants."

Strelnikov said...

"grassy area"?

Isn't that where the gay haters killed JFK from? This womyn is important. Hystory is following her out to lunch.

Forbes said...

What names do the two boys use to address their two mommies? MomOne and MomTwo? Seems very confusing.

Michael said...

What dipshits.

Jason said...

Is this satire? It's getting so hard to tell parody from sincerity with today's libtards.

Crazy Jane said...

Jane and David-2 have it right. Our major newspapers open their spaces to the trivial musings of self-absorbed people with what could most charitably described as First World problems.

In recent months millions of refugees have fled Syria and thousands have died in a typhoon in the Philippines, but yesterday the NYT op-ed section published a self-congratulatory musing by a 35-year-old woman who has participated in every kind of sexual activity except penetration and wanted to share with us how she is saving herself for the big experience.

You couldn't make this stuff up because nobody would believe it. No wonder newspapers are losing circulation.

Crazy Jane said...

Jane and David-2 have it right. Our major newspapers open their spaces to the trivial musings of self-absorbed people with what could most charitably described as First World problems.

In recent months millions of refugees have fled Syria and thousands have died in a typhoon in the Philippines, but yesterday the NYT op-ed section published a self-congratulatory musing by a 35-year-old woman who has participated in every kind of sexual activity except penetration and wanted to share with us how she is saving herself for the big experience.

You couldn't make this stuff up because nobody would believe it. No wonder newspapers are losing circulation.

George said...

Life is too darn short to make political points with chicken sandwiches.

George said...

Life is too darn short to make political points with chicken sandwiches.

Andy Freeman said...

Credentialed, not educated, as Reynolds might write.

She's so focused on her "complexity" that she thinks that everyone else is simple. I suppose that makes some sense - she needs focus, or rather magnification, to find her complexity, because there isn't much. Her evaluation of others has the opposite error.

damikesc said...

Sounds like a bundle of fun, that lady. Really.

Crunchy Frog said...

Back from church. It occurred to me while sitting in the pew, that the nice Chick-fil-A employee who treated this family with kindness and respect was doing it for the perverse reason of making the writer's head explode.

A lot of biblical teaching about being extra nice to people who are mean to you (turn the other check, go the extra mile, etc) is for exactly that purpose. Kill them with kindness.

n.n said...

Ironically, LBGTC entertain a narrow perception of reality.