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What I get for giving a hoot. (Or for NOT giving a hoot.)

March 11, 2011

So, it’s been a while since I last wrote to you all and I will make no long apologies.  I’ve been mothering and stuff.  Last week, I invited a friend to terrifyingly abuse me if I neglected writing for too much longer, so hopefully with that looming threat over me, I can safely say my hiatus has reached its conclusion.

I’ve been so busy lately being a Becky that I’ve hardly even had time to cook dinner.  (That’s where the not Becky comes in, for anyone new here.)  So we’ve been making regular trips to our favorite family-friendly, Sabbath-keeping, fast food chain—Chick-fil-a.


*Cue angelic moo.*

We’ve been going to CFA so much lately that the workers there are starting to recognize us.  I’m thinking we might need to spread out and rotate between our local stand-alone restaurant and the CFA in the mall, because as we all know, quitting the chicken and waffle fries just isn’t an option.

Anyways, this story isn’t really about Chick-fil-a.  It’s about Hooters.  I know.  I gotcha there.  And before you go calling my pastor, we don’t go to Hooters.  We certainly don’t take children there (though the big old owl on the outside isn’t helping us with that.  Where are all the people who got rid of the cigarette camel when you need them?).

The story is about Hooters because we pass by a Hooters on our way to Chick-fil-a.  And if we’re unlucky enough to be caught by an ill-timed traffic light, we actually sit in front of the Hooters for 2 1/4 minutes and have family discussions about it.  A few weeks ago, in fact, we were held hostage by said stoplight and my 4 year-old boy asked me, “What that pwace?”

I replied with a minimalist response, “just a restaurant.”  But the interrogation was just beginning.  “Why that pwace have an ow-ell?”  “[Errr…] I guess they like owls there.”

“I want to go to that pwace.”  “We can’t because we’re going to Chick-fil-a.”  “But I want to go there.”   The pristine purity of Chick-fil-a had lost its allure for my preschooler.  Doomed.  Try a more thorough answer, Becky.  Scare the boy.

“We don’t go to that place because they aren’t nice to ladies who work there.”  “Why?  Why them mean to way-dees?”

“Well, some people just don’t know how to be nice to ladies, so they embarrass them and make them sad.  Mommy and Daddy don’t like that, so we’re not going there…And, God doesn’t like it either.”  That’ll do it.  God says Hooters is a “no-no.”  End of discussion.

“Why God don’t like those mean people?” he asks, earnestly.  How long is this stupid frf-in’ light?!?

“God loves those people.  Even the mean ones.  And He wants them to stop being mean to women.  He wants them to be nice.”  At this point, the light changed, so I thought we were home free.

“I’m nice.  I can go there and show them how be nice to way–dees!”  Well, now I’m faced with explaining to a 4 year-old what objectification is, or how a boycott works, or what it means to be in the world and not of it.  Either way, his well-intentioned strategy for converting the misogynistic tendencies of an entire restaurant chain with a behavior-modeling session led by  a preschool-aged patron probably wasn’t going to work. (Right?)

“You are very nice, buddy, and I bet God is proud that you want to help those people.  Why don’t we pray that they would listen to God about this?”  “But I can go in there and help them be nice.”  Hmm.  An evangelist who won’t take no for an answer.  Maybe there’s a little Southern Baptist left in us after all.

“I think it’s better for us to do it this way and just go to Chick-fil-a,” she said, potentially quelling his spirit forever on the subject. How’s that for mom-guilt?

“Oooo-kay.” Resignation!  “I did like that owl.”

“Sure.  Me, too, Bud. [?]”

I have a lot of doubts about how I handled that, in case you couldn’t tell.  I want to be a truthful mom, but there’s only so much truth a kid can handle at his age.  And I can’t deny his idea had some merit.  Maybe we should go in there and try to fix it.  Maybe we should all walk in, wearing properly-fitting tee-shirts that have a woman-empowerment message on it or go old school Becky and leave a big tip with a Gospel tract in it.  We could pull a Sister Act and dress up like nuns outside the front door to put the fear of God in ’em.  I don’t know.

They will follow Him. Follow Him wherever He may go (even if it's outside an "adult" movie theater)

We should *do* something, I think.  But Hooters, while totally gross, seems so harmless compared to the heavier threats women face in our culture.  Nevertheless, it is part of the barrage of messages encouraging us toward self-hatred, and that’s why we don’t go there.  I don’t care what endorsements they get for their stupid wings.

AND they’re tainting the good name of owls everywhere with their Beavis marketing strategy.

Of mice and women: Mrs. Frisby defying intimidation for the sake of her children.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2011 3:37 pm

    This cracked me up! The idea of your son going in there and showing them how to be nice to ladies… I would pay GOOD MONEY to see that.


  1. Hoo-Hoo-Hooters update «

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