Never mind religion. Know your customer, right?
Something … odd … happened today. As I have noted here before, I am not a Christian. I’m either atheist or pagan, depending on your perspective, and this afternoon I was in full-on pagan mode, for reasons that will be elaborated on in the next couple of days.
So I head to a local New Age bookstore to pick up some things I need for a ceremony. I quickly locate what I’m after and go to check out. The nice young woman behind the counter rings me up. I pay and as I turn to leave she says “Merry Christmas!”
I thank her and leave and wait, what? The woman at the counter at the New Age bookstore just wished me a Merry Christmas?
Okay. I mean, thanks. I’m fine with being wished a Merry Christmas even though it ain’t my holiday. Seriously, no problem at all with it. And a Christian working in a New Age store? Sure, okay. You don’t see a lot of that, but maybe it’s a good thing, right?
But … I just bought five candles in colors that any employee at an establishment of this sort should instantly associate with a pagan ritual, and by the way, I also purchased a mortar and pestle with a PENTAGRAM on it. You know, one of these:
Merry Christmas to you, too. But IN A NEW AGE BOOKSTORE purchasing elements for an obviously PAGAN RITUAL? On – and I can’t stress this enough – THE DAY BEFORE WINTER SOLSTICE?
Let me offer an alternate scenario for your consideration. You go into a Christian book store. You purchase a crucifix, a Bible and a Christian flag. On Christmas Eve. As you’re leaving the chipper clerk says “Happy Hanukkah!”
Sweet fancy tap-dancing Jesus, Bill O’Reilly would pitch a galloping hissy fit that might not die down before Christmas Eve next year.
Look, forget the religion piece for a second. This is America and the business of America is business. What about knowing your freakin’ customer?! Does your store’s success hinge on the Christian consumer? Do you get a lot of them buying things with pentagrams on the day before the Sabbats? I mean, the West Highlands and Berkeley neighborhoods are pretty progressive places, but the Christians here aren’t that damned liberal.
Okay, breathe deep. Not a big deal. And honestly, I’m really not offended. She seemed nice and genuine and is probably a wonderful woman. I’m sure she meant no ill will and there was certainly no sinister stealth Jesus agenda at work.
But damn. I am surprised. Just … what the fucking fuckety fuck, you know?
Anyhow, Happy Solstice, everyone.