Thursday, November 08, 2007

invisibility

So. The Idler and I have been going to this sandwich shop for several months now. They make great sandwiches. I can vouch for the veggie cheese sandwich and the eggplant parmesan sub, and according to the Idler, every last one of the meat-bearing sandwiches is a marvel of modern sandwich-smithy. They're fast, the place is pretty comfortable to sit and eat in, and they give you a little baggie of pickles to go with every sandwich. Awesome, right? I know.

But nothing can simply work for me lately, so of course there has to be some major problem with the place. The problem in this case turns out to be one of the owners, one Bob Lovejoy (he's the one on the left in the photo at the top of the website). Bob is the guy who's usually taking orders at the counter. When you give your order, you give a name for them to call when the order is ready. When the Idler and I order, whichever one of us is paying gives our name. We take turns buying lunch, and for whatever reason it's worked out that most of the times we've gone to this place, it's been my turn to pay. Thus, it's my name that Bob has heard most often. And yet, he remembers the Idler's name and not mine — in fact, he started apologizing to the Idler after we'd been there just a handful of times for not remembering his name yet (and at that point he'd probably only ever heard the Idler's name a grand total of twice).

So that was merely annoying for a while. Trying not to default to patriarchy-blaming, I didn't automatically assume it was because the Idler has a penis and I don't; I thought it might be because I only ever order a vegetarian sandwich, while the Idler has ordered basically everything else on the menu. You know, maybe Bob just didn't see me as taking his sandwich art seriously or something. Which would have been reasonable from a certain point of view, though still unfair in my opinion. But then yesterday happened.

When we went in, Bob cheerfully said, "[Idler's name], right?" The Idler said, "Yes, and...?" gesturing at me. Bob said, "Don't push it." Then Bob said, grinning, "My wife says I can't remember girls' names, only guys' names." Then there was a very brief exchange involving cross-dressing (there was a misunderstanding, don't ask). Then Bob started talking to the Idler about the weather. At no point during this conversation did Bob look at me or address his remarks to me, except to ask me what I'd like to order.

This might sound insignificant — after all, it doesn't affect the quality of the sandwiches, or my access to them — but it was pretty intensely demoralizing. The owner of this place's response to being reminded by the Idler that I exist and also buy sandwiches from him was not "Oh, and [my name]!" or even "I'm sorry, I forgot your name" — it was "She's just a girl, and I don't have to remember girls' names. Plus, everybody knows girls are only good for one thing, so I'd get in trouble with my wife if she found out I knew a girl's name. Heh heh."

So. I'm sorry, Idler, I don't see going back there at any point in the near future. Nor will I be suggesting that my company order lunch there again. Women in Santa Barbara, just don't bother with Three Pickes on Canon Perdido. Or maybe just send a male friend or family member in to pick up your order. Bob sure won't notice the difference.


(P.S. - Shosh, you said you missed the blog — be careful what you wish for....)

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3 Comments:

At 3:08 PM PST, Anonymous shosh said...

Maybe you should go back to bike boy. You might not get free packets of pickles, but he would totally remember your name.

And yes, I did so miss the blog. Blog! YAY!

Back to bed now.

 
At 3:13 PM PST, Blogger piehat said...

If the Italian & Greek were still open, we'd absolutely be going there. Unfortunately...

 
At 10:04 PM PST, Anonymous shosh said...

Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Well crap.

 

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