The conversation--or rather, "pillow shaming"--went a little like this:
Fall means doing a year-end, mad-dash, wrap-up of the year. For me, that means it's time to invest in certain necessities I'd been putting off. A new mattress is one. New pillows, another.
At the register, I asked for a large bag for the pillows. I had a long walk ahead of me. The clerk shook his head, and reminded: those huge bags are plastic and plastic is evil. In fact, in case I'd forgotten, my city banned those duck-choking, sea-creature-maiming monstrosities years ago.
The clerk offered no alternate solution.
I proceeded to walk out of the store with one pillow in each hand. I looked weird and KNEW that despite being in the heart of quirky acceptance land, SOMEONE was going to raz me. In fact, not one step out of the store and onto the sidewalk, it began. "Gonna have a pillow fight?" he bellowed, with a knowing look. Despite my tight-lipped smile and no response, he continued to yell at my retreating back, "Or at least a good night's, sleep, eh?!"
Pissed off, but wondering if the tactlessness would continue, instead of crossing the street before encountering the next set of upcoming hoodlums--the ones who you'd expect to get baudy--continued on my path past them. Sure enough, "Gonna sleep well tonight, babe?"
While continuing to walk, ignoring weird sidelong glances from hipsters, mulled a series of post-attack, slut-shaming accusations. What if any of those men had jumped me? Would bystanders say, "She had it coming. After all, look at what she was carrying"?
I made it home unmolested.
And made a mental note to not even try to carry that mattress by myself.