Wednesday, February 13, 2008

pharmacy or the sorbonne?

I went by the pharmacy to pick up a couple of prescriptions I had dropped off Saturday and when I entered, the (female) pharmacist was speaking with a customer about how women had become like men and years ago something like this never would have happened and today people have no souls. I patiently waited my turn and gave her my slip for the prescriptions. She continued babbling about people buying guns (or something along these lines, I was only half-listening), while I tried a couple of times to tell her that I needed to purchase an additional item. I kept thinking “Just shut up, get my stuff and tell me how much I owe already.”

She lowered her voice even though there was no one else around, other than the two (men) employees and told me that a woman motorcyclist had run over a pedestrian just in front of the pharmacy and kept driving. I responded with what I thought was an appropriate eyebrow raise and said “ah, bon?”. The woman looked at me while one of the other employees commandeered the computer for something. I could tell that she was waiting for my outrage to come pouring out at the unbelievable idea that a woman, a WOMAN (insert gasp) could do something so heartless.

Getting into a long French philosophical conversation about how the genders were no longer distinguishable according to behavior, was really not high on my things-I-must-do list. As I stood there I had a couple of thoughts running through my head 1) how do I get out of this quickly without seeming rude and 2) this is a large city, why is a hit and run such a catastrophe, just because it was a woman driving. Shouldn’t the anger be because any human would just drive off?

Part of me considered using the “I’m foreign” route to try to escape but I wasn’t really sure how to insert that without coming off as an insensitive idiot since obviously Ms. Pharmacist believed that anyone and everyone should be upset at this story. So I just stood there. I guess she got the idea that I didn’t want to talk and rang up my order. I think next time I might go to the other pharmacy down the street. They aren’t as friendly but I can get out much faster without trying to figure out some culturally correct conversation escape…

1 comment:

Le Tigre said...

That complaint of 'women becoming like men' thing is so BORING and narrow minded. Actually it's not even that it's just stupid and ill-informed opinions. Moving on! Feminism isn't one of France's strong points ...
Maybe she enjoyed having her father or husband have to open her bank account for her since women weren't allowed to themselves?