"Oh what?" I thought. I realize i'm a bit more hyper-sensitive to discrimination than the average person so i thought i might be reading into it. I kept up a friendly demeanor. As she starting ringing up my purchases i realized the items weren't going through as 50% off. I told her so. To which she responded, "Ugh! Of course!" Here i couldn't help but wonder what she meant by "of course." Did she mean, "Of course, you're Jewish, buying Jew products, Jews are cheap, and you want a discount!" Or did she mean "Of course, way to hold up the line, lady!" I would have absolutely defaulted to the latter had i not been in line after the other two shoppers that held the line up for WAY longer than me. One waited on a price check that took 10 minutes and the other paid with a personal check... The cashier's "of course" could have been in reference to customers always having an issue in her line... or it could have been anti-semitic. There's no real way to know.
I told her, "there's a sign, right there, it says '50% off,' i can see it from here"
"I can't see it! I don't have my glasses" She snapped back
"Oh ok, sorry about that... do you think you can ask someone to check, please?" I was half upset at being treated so rudely, half still wondering if i was reading into it more than i should.
She asked the manager to check and wouldn't make eye contact with me while we waited. The manager told her it was, indeed, 50% off and she rung me up. I paid for my purchases and said "Happy holidays" as i walked away. She grunted back, "Merry Christmas!"
Ok, i get it, there are people who think it's all my fault they can't have Christmas trees up in public places and have to wish each other "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas." But honestly, living in a predominantly Christian country i am WAY beyond carrying if someone wishes me a "merry Christmas." I don't correct them, i don't wish them a "happy Chanukah" back, and i certainly am not bothered by it. I swear, I don't interfere with your Christmas spirit. I sing along to carols on star 99.9, i wear lots of red, and i really love eggnog. Though i avoid the malls this time of year like the plague, i am very not bothered by Christmas spirit, in fact, i enjoy it when (IF) people are slightly nicer to one another. I wonder if that's what the cashier was annoyed by? That i had the audacity to shop in the Christmas Tree Shop and purchase only Chanukah items! Maybe it wasn't Jews she had a problem with but me, for representing the politically correctidness that she now has to trouble herself with? Who knows. I don't. Because maybe she was just anti-semitic.
Either way, treating me differently, and rudely, for being Jewish was wrong and discriminatory - i don't care what her rationale for it was. I wish i had the chutzpah* to have said something, or to have asked to speak with a manager. But again, i couldn't tell if i was being overly sensitive or if it was prejudice at its best. But i guess that's a lot of what discrimination is. Trying to figure out why what happened is wrong and how to rationalize it.
The only other time i was taken aback by blatant antisemitism was the first week of college, freshman year. We went to the dining hall with some new friends from the floor and one of them told a Holocaust joke. I just sat there, baffled that people still did this. I grew up in a very Jewish community, these types of things didn't happen. Everyone laughed until one of my gentile** friends from high school said, "that's not funny." The person who told the joke said, "yes it is! It's just a joke." And my friend said, "No, it's not. Not when you have a Jewish person sitting at the table, and not ever in general." They never said anything anti-semitic around me again for the four years i knew them.
I walked away from the Christmas Tree Shop experience thinking, "yes that sucked, but it's pretty easy for me to hide being Jewish if i really needed to, like if my life was in danger." Many other minorities don't have this option.
*chutzpah: gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, guts.