An open letter to the white man that cut me off at Peet’s

I’ve been brewing over this all day. So you’re all in for a treat.

Before I begin, let me give you a bit of some verbal foreplay. We all need a bit of warming up (let’s be honest, we all deserve it, too).

I had just stepped off the ferry into San Francisco for my morning commute. I sped-walked my ass away from the masses and straight into the Ferry Building. It was a beautiful, violet-skied day. Now, I normally don’t indulge myself in daily coffees, because that shit adds up and your girl is on a budget. But today was Pay Day. Once I reminded myself of this holy fact, I mini-shimmied inside my pea coat and booked it for Peet’s. Yes, I could have gone for that Blue Bottle Coffee, but like I said, ballin’ on a budget. Because we all know paying six dollars for an almond milk latte teeters on the brink of absurdity. So Peet’s it is. I really do believe it’s the little things in life that make up life itself, so I was ready to be corny and cliche as fuck.

I stand in line. I am next. The person orders in front of me and then waits by the bar. I  like to believe I’m a patient person — or at least try to be — so I made sure not to invade anyone’s personal space. But nothing — not even that piece of shit cheeto sitting in the Oval — could get between caffeine and me. Or so I thought.

Some random-ass white man got in my way. He did it. He fucking did it. He sauntered in, eyes glued to his BlackBerry (who the fuck still owns those, anyways?), skipped the god damned line and continued with his order. The cashier even made eye contact with me, and she and I knew exactly what was happening. I didn’t grin at her because I wanted to be polite. I smiled because we both knew this asshole had no idea he just cut six other people, because he needed his coffee. Before you all think I lost my shit on this sea pig of a human, I’ll have you know I didn’t. Even if I’m a dangerously hot-tempered Argentine-American female. Because I am a Civilized Woman and I really would prefer not to be escorted to the San Francisco Police Department for having an “outburst” on a Tuesday morning.

I let it be. I decided not to say anything to the man. I didn’t feel defeated or shy or unsafe. Why? Because I knew the barista would say something directly to him. I like to believe there is a tacit understanding between women when something fucked up happens — no matter how minute or grandiose — you step up.

“Just so you know, there’s a line,” she said.

And this dude whipped his head back towards everyone and began to profusely apologize. I get it. It’s early. You’re probably responding to an email your shitty boss sent you at 4 a.m. Or you’re scrolling through Kendall Jenner’s Instagram. We’re all busy. We all have places to be. But that’s besides the point. And it’s also besides the point that you apologized, dude.

No one wants your apology. I certainly don’t. What I want is awareness. To the white male who cut me off at Peet’s, here’s why I’m posting on my fucking blog about you.

You can chalk up your lack of cognizance and spatial awareness to whatever else is happening in your Uber important life. I don’t care if you’re sorry. Sorry doesn’t cut it. What you should be apologizing for, is not knowing any better. Not knowing that your universe does not come before anyone else’s, nor is it the sole galaxy we all happen to live in. To make it simple for you: you’re more like a piece of a disbanded foreign satellite trash that’s just aimlessly running into shit in outer space.

It doesn’t even cross your mind that maybe you’re not the only one who is on a quest for coffee, let alone the only one who exists in this so-called civilized society. It’s not a matter of being apologetic, it’s a matter of being aware.

I’m not going to sit here and say that you directly attacked my rights and safety as a queer Latina by cutting me off at Peet’s. That you being a complete moron at 8 a.m. is a reflection of your political agenda to oppress and marginalize women like me. That would be taking it too far, and  I know that.

What I will say, though, is that it’s the little things. It’s the small acts of ignorance, the inability to realize your own privilege, that continue to threaten and chip away at safe spaces and the equity of others who may not be white or male. Yeah, I’m not going to give a shit about this in a month (let’s be real, I need a week). But I implore you to take a fucking minute from your shitty BlackBerry and think about where you are, what you’re doing, and if you’re not being an indirect dick to other people. White dude, I don’t have a problem with you. I have a problem with the hegemonic, heteronormative patriarchal society you and I live in. Be conscious. Be aware.

And for fuck’s sake, don’t cut people off at Peet’s.



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