The Fuss About Karen

Karen is the name that retail workers give to their problem customers.  This person is the divorced mother of three unruly kids and she feels entitled in every store, thus she always finds a reason to speak with the manager, while boasting about how wonderful her kids are.  Karen enjoys voicing her complaints, making demands, and generally being a nag.  Karen buys into MLMs Multi-level marketing which is also called pyramid selling and she spams Facebook all the time trying to pitch the scheme.  Karen is annoying as hell, being an obnoxious, middle-aged white woman and she has short hair and always wears fake acrylic nails.  She has become the butt of many recent jokes like giving out raisins to kids on Halloween.  She drives a Volvo SUV to carpool her kids to soccer practice, and if the ref makes a bad call she will threaten to sue!  Karen loves to use Snapagram, which is basically Instagram and Snapchat mixed together to post her workout selfies and she is also known to sit down with her mom friends at book club and drink lots and lots of wine.

The name Karen might stem from a 2007 bit by Dane Cook called “The Friend Nobody Likes.”  (The friend was named Karen.)  Another explanation is that it comes from the character Karen in the 2004 film Mean Girls, who’s the subject of the popular quote: “Oh my God, Karen, you can’t just ask someone why they’re white.”  It’s even been put forth that Karen comes the even earlier 1990 film Goodfellas, one of whose characters is named Karen.  There are many great women out there named Karen and my sister is one of them, but the name Karen is being gaslighted to make some of these women doubt their own sanity.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Gaslight” hosted by Yves.

15 thoughts on “The Fuss About Karen

  1. I like the name Karen. I also resent the idea that it’s not okay to complain about substandard service and one should just suck it up and accept cold fries or incorrect late charges or whatever because waaah those poor customer service people aren’t getting paid enough anyway. Or somehow it’s only okay to call the cops if a scary looking white person is loitering around. But that’s where we are.

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  2. I watched the video today…I ended up watching at least half of Goodfellas again because of it. One of my favorite movies of all time.

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