Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Maybe I should cast a spell

It turned out that the store was hopping on Monday as well. Apparently not quite everyone had made it into the store on Saturday, plus, many needed something more on Monday. We didn't have as many customers, but to make up for it, several came in quite a few times on Monday because they forgot something or something wasn't the right size or what they bought turned out to be defective and had to be swapped out for a different one. We ran out of defective slips. The door went ding dong solid all day. The boss had to close off my lane when my drawer got full because there was no 'quiet time' when he could just wander over and do the pick up between customers.

Among the customers I had Belligerent Man. It's quite possible that Belligerent Man has shopped at BiMart many times before, and I hadn't noticed him. He certainly hadn't noticed my ring before.

"Your ring. What's that mean?" he demanded.
"My husband is Irish," I told him. "He gave me this ring."
"Oh come on," he said, turning red. "I mean really."
At that point I started to feel really uncomfortable. I don't like lying, and I felt like he was calling me a liar. Later on, of course, I came up with all kinds of comebacks. "I'm sorry, but that's a bit personal," headed the list. "Would you like my supervisor to explain my ring to you?" "It means I worship God. And Goddess." And possibly my favorite, "Do you want someone else to complete your transaction today?"

Instead (sigh) I said "it means I'm Wiccan."
"Wicked?" he and his friend say in unison.
"Wic-can," I say slowly, trying not to sound defensive while still being loud enough to be overheard over the constant ding of the registers. And remember, too, I'm trying to do my job here. Efficient and accurate. Stop distracting me angry man!
"What's that mean?" he blustered.
Look it up on the internet, geep, unless you think the internet is evil, in which case, rot in ignorance. "It means I respect and honor nature," I say.
"Do you cast spells?"
Okay, now I have to laugh. "No. We honor the seasonal festivals, you know, solstices and equinoxes."
"Would you tell me if you did?"
Wow, he's really into trying to catch me at being evil. Later, boss man had to admit that when he first started working at our store, he recognized that of all the employees I was the one to fear. Yep, I told him. I'm evil.
And I hesitated because for a moment I wasn't sure that I would tell him if I cast spells, which I don't. But that wasn't what he'd asked about. He wanted to know if I'd admit I'm a liar. Huh? Wait a second. This makes no sense.
"Spells don't work," I told him.
"Do you cast spells?" he demanded.
He started to walk away. I don't know what possessed me, but I added, "and my husband really is Irish."

It made me realize that I wanted him to feel okay about me, but I'd never change his mind. And why would I really care what he thought? In order to not make waves in his part of the world? What a wuss I'd been. And now he probably thinks I cast spells and I'm a liar. But honestly, I don't cast spells. You can't get something for nothing. The trouble with 'spells' is that saying things in latin and dancing in a circle three times singing woogy woogy woogy doesn't work, especially if you read it out of a book and try it without having any understanding of why the author put those elements together (which unfortunately is all too often because it sounded like a good idea or s/he thought it looked awesome.) What works is will. What works is pure intent, knowledge of how things operate, skill to operate those things and enough understanding, communion if you will, to direct the energy the way you want it to go. It doesn't really matter whether it's a goverment, someone operating a machine, or a circle focusing their living energy to heal someone. Now if 'spells' worked, witches would rule the Earth and Christians would have to practice in secrecy. But I may just be mincing words when I separate spells from rituals. To me it's always been like the joke of the kid who watches the woman rubbing her naked body in front of the mirror for three nights in a row saying "I want a man, I want a man, I want a man" and then the fourth night she's in bed with a man and they're having raucous sex. So of course the next night the kid is in front of his mirror rubbing his body all over moaning "I want a bicycle, I want a bicycle, I want a bicycle."

It does occur to me that I might be doing it wrong. It may be that all the lottery winners *and* everyone who's made it big in Hollywood is into witchcraft and cast spells for their fame and fortune. Dangit, I knew I should have gotten a real raven's wing to fan my incense. Doh!

So as I left that night I looked out at the parking lot, wondering if he might not be out there with a shotgun, rocking in his pickup chanting "thou shall not suffer a witch to live." He wasn't there. Geh, I don't like this feeling, waiting for the reappearance of Belligerent Man. But maybe he'll never come back. After all, I'm clearly an evil witch. He might warn all his friends not to shop there.

Now wouldn't that be nice!


Ris said...

One reason why I no longer wish to work retail: see above.

I remember every Belligerent Man whoever confronted me during my retail tenure. I use to wake up in the middle of the night reliving the confrontation, years after it happened.

But then I stopped. I refused to give them any more thought. Frankly, they aren't worth my time.

Try to do the same. He isn't worth the effort of fear and you have so much more power. And you are right--is all about will, but fear can be just as powerful and manifest exactly what you don't want to happen. Will him out of your memory and out of your life. Chances are, he's equally eager to avoid you, because, you know, you're different and that scares men like him. And of course you're evil.

Hey, wait a minute. I thought I was the Mistress of Evil!

Carole said...

But the next time he comes in to buy something that you're out of, because you just know he can't get his fill of Bi-Mart goods, couldn't you find it in your evil black heart to sign his raincheck or defective slip with the symbol found on your ring?

If you really wish he'd never come back, it might take such an act.

Kai Jones said...

Educating the ignorant can be exhausting. Who wants to give the Wiccan 101 or Feminism 101 or (the one I am often asked to give) the Judaism 101 lecture every time, and why should I be the one who has to give it?

I admire your resolve to treat with honor and sincerity the questions of an unpleasant person.

KamiZM said...

I'm not too worried about Belligerent Man. I'm fortunate that my brain works in a way that doesn't let stuff like this stick around and eat at me. When there was no sign of him yesterday (the following day) and since no one left a 'Your cashier is evil!' comment card at the front desk I won't be looking for him anymore. If he didn't work himself up to do something in the heat of the moment he won't later. Now if he comes back to shop for something else and seeks me out specifically so that he can bother me, I'll just call my super over. They're ready for him. More than likely if he's armed it'll be with a bible, not with a shotgun anyway. I'm well versed in self-defense vs. "The power of Christ compels you!" or whatever.

I like Carole's suggestion, but I'd have to be subtle or I'd get in trouble. hee hee--I could probably do it loosely with criss crosses on a return slip in the area where I normally just do a swoopy back and forth. But alas, I'm too tender-hearted. He can do his thing and I, as always, will do mine.

Thanks, Kai! I try to be pleasant. Being unpleasant is so ... unpleasant. I don't know how people do it. It's far more exhausting for me to be nasty to someone than it is to educate them. But easiest of all: "My ring? I got it because it has pretty colors." (Note to those of you who haven't seen or noticed my ring, it has *no* colors. It's silver.)

Man I wish I was quicker with the comeback lines.

The Moody Minstrel said...

That's both funny and sad at the same time: funny because people like that are such a laugh and sad because people like that are so pathetic.


Did I ever tell you the story of the Wiccan I knew who did cast a spell...and wound up turning our whole university co-op house into a mass of chaos? (Wouldn't you know it, I wound up missing most of the fun even though I was right at the center of it.)

KamiZM said...

Okay Kevin, now you *have* to tell! I haven't heard this one, and I'm trying to guess if the Wiccan was someone of tremendous will or just clever manipulation. Heh. Why bother summoning the energies of the universe when you can point a finger and say "I hex thee!" and people will completely freak out? BTW I think it's a rotten thing to do, but I'm aware of the potential. Heck, it would bother me if someone did that to me! Or maybe not.

Case in point.

I had a buddy dash up to my room in a total panic. (Names omitted to protect the silly.) "R---- just cast a black magic spell to make you fall in love with him!!"

My reaction?

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! "Really?" (more laughter)

"No, seriously!" she said, pale and frightened.

(more laughter from me)

It's one of those contradictions of paganism: you can know absolutely that things like tarot cards work, and yet dismiss a 'black magic' love spell. You can be pestered by ghosts most of your life and yet have trouble taking people who talk about the wonderful spirits of the forest that want only to live in peace and harmony seriously.

Anonymous said...


So many good lines you could have had...

"Spells? Only on the ones that comment on my ring...

"Only at the new moon, hey isn't today the 16th?"

I like the pretty colors comment..."You have to look REALLY close to see them..."