Over the past few years, but especially the past few months the video parade of Karens has been non-stop. The phrase-which is now an infamous part of our lexicon-labels a person due to their hideous public behavior. Too many moms (and dads) seem to believe the world is beholden to them and they let the world know it with each breath they take. These people seem to have no shame with such actions, but the people who know them and have to claim them as a loved are embarrassed and cloaked in shame. Children of these people are especially affected.Redditor u/Matster04 wanted the children of "Karens" to share how they tend to the day to days with their moms by asking.... Children of "karens", what is it like to be their child?
ProfessionalsKaren GIF by moodman Giphy
I got used to embarrassment at a young age so that a pro I guess. Once my mom hit someone in a paint store cause they ask her to wear a mask.
She also doesn't allow me to wear mask and crap.
Now I Know....
Not only is this actually my mother's name, it accurately describes her personality. Growing up I didn't realize how self-centered she was. She was my mom and that's all I knew. As an adult I can't even get along with her. She's always got to be number one in the room. If she's not the center of attention and she's not catered to, there is an impending shit fit coming. She shuns blame for anything she does wrong. It's always someone else's fault.
Looking back I understand why things were the way they were. Why she didn't have friends. Why she couldn't keep a job very long. I understand now that she knows how to stab someone in the back with a smile on her face, and that's why I never knew any better as a kid. It looked polite to me when I was little, but now I know it was all rude as hell.
Not with my Energy
When I was young, I hated it. She would yell and throw fits in public when she didn't get her way. As an adult I think its made me way too easy going. I remember the anxiety and anger that she would exude. It was exhausting. So now I am careful with who I keep around in my life as to protect my energy. I try not to worry about things I cant control. And I have respect and empathy for people.
Woe is her....Karen Narc GIF by MOODMAN Giphy
Yeah my mom used to cry and stuff and about how she didn't know how we'd make rent and so on. As a kid, I'd be like, "Don't cry mom, you can use my college fund." Lol, there never was one-- she made it up because???
My mom "enjoys" (her words) being outraged and upset. It energizes her. But it exhausts me. Her whole attitude exhausts me. It's always a, "woe is me. Screw it, if I can't be a good example I'll be a terrible warning."
Makes me so disappointed in her. Took me a long time though! I came to the realization she did the best she could-- her best just sucks. But oh well, I have more to be grateful for than to wallow in.
My mom's name is also Karen and she acted and still acts exactly like this, down to never being able to keep a job a long time. I'm pretty sure she's a straight up narcissist, and it makes having a relationship with her extremely difficult. I used to hate going out with her when I was a kid (and honestly still do), because things would get so humiliating. She'd complain about things, make a scene, raise her voice. It was mortifying.
My dad is bad at restaurants, he'd always find a way to complain about something and it was super uncomfortable, so me and all my siblings are like you and way too forgiving in those settings. Oh, I ordered a steak but you served me an old car tire filled with razor blades? No worries, mistakes happen, this is basically the same thing.
At the Drive-Thru....
Growing up it was super embarrassing. We lived in a small town, so while she's having a fit at some poor grocery store kid because they're out of basil there is a REALLY high chance I would run into someone I knew from school.
Now I am almost always nice to service people. I think it's a combination of being a normal person with sense, having seen how outrageous my mom came across, and I've worked in call center management, so seeing or hearing people do it to our agents adds a ton of empathy.
The one thing that's hard is a major part of her Karen-thing was that everything was a conspiracy against her. There's a line at a drive thru? Grand conspiracy against her. Sometimes I find myself falling into that trap (never to the degree she would, but to some degree of 'woe is me') and I have to actively make myself knock it off and calm down.
Dump the Sauce on him....Water Douse GIF Giphy
One time a family friend came to the city I was living in and asked me to come join their family for dinner - their treat.
The dad was always a bit of a male Karen but was really on it from the moment we were seated. Ordered for everyone. Ordered off menu.
At one point he ordered roast chicken and an Alfredo pasta on the side. The waiter said they didn't have Alfredo on the menu and his response was "you have cheese? You have cream? You have butter? Then make a freaking Alfredo pasta like a real freaking restaurant"
I slipped away to the restroom and said the same to the waiter and slipped him a 20 and he told me "your mom (actually the mom of the family friends family) already came by and did the same thing. You're good but thanks".
For a 20!
Any time we go out to eat, I always immediately excuse myself to the ladies room but instead find our server. I prepare them for what might happen and apologize profusely. Then go ahead and hand them a 20 dollar bill and tell them I will do my best to keep her contained.
Edit: Thanks for the gold and love! In response to some comments, no she doesn't know that I do this. And she wouldn't care (or change) if she did. For the tirades I fail to prevent, I don't sit idly by when she goes off - I do everything I can to shut her up. My favorite is to interrupt her and say something along the lines of "You need to shut up. I really don't want to eat spit tonight."
They just don't care....new girl facepalm GIF by HULU Giphy
She showed up at my house with my step dad to get their kayaks out of my garage 3 days after he tested positive for Covid and was showing symptoms. Not only do I have a high risk husband, but also have a 22 month old and was babysitting my 14 month old niece.
I remember trying to point out that she was making a scene and I was embarrassed.
"I don't care what people think, this is about the principle of (whatever bull she was upset about that time)"
Ok but I care what people think, I hate confrontation and just want to go home. Why does every outing have to turn into some self-righteous crusade again perceived injustices toward you?
Poor Blokes....So Sorry GIF by memecandy Giphy
I was a server at a fancy steak house. This was not uncommon. I probably received a Karen mercy tip once a month. Always from an embarrassed son or just whipped husband. They were correct. EVERY TIME. I would put on a show for them. I just had to deal with her for a couple of hours. Those poor blokes had a lifetime.
My mom wasn't the worst Karen, but I think my least favorite thing was when she would try and put it on me to go complain or make a big deal out of something. Most of the time I just wouldn't, doesn't help that I am/was always a pretty shy kid. Now whenever she has to deal with customer service I sometime end up taking the call over to figure it out and she is always like "wow how are you so good at dealing with them" and internally Im thinking, its called treating them with some level of respect and being polite, which makes people more likely to want to help you, instead of get rid of you. But I always tell her some BS instead.
She's not Me.
I didn't realize my mom was a Karen until after I left home for college. Now I can't stand to be around her, it's just exhausting because you never know what's going to set her off. Sometimes I have to look myself in the mirror and say "you are not your mother" to remind myself that I'm a good person after a personal attack from her.
EVIL!i am in hell GIF Giphy
Literal hell. she was an emotionally abusive monster at home, would complain and moan and cry 24/7 about how everyone was out to get her and she was so perfect, why did no one respect her. We don't speak anymore; best decision I ever made. I've made it my life's mission to be nothing like her.
"dad, it's fixed"
My dad. At one point he was yelling into the telephone about an internet problem. I couldn't take it anymore. I called them myself, while he was still yelling. I got through the waiting line, talked with a support employee, got the problem fixed. I hung up, walked to him to find him still yelling at that poor customer support person. I told him "dad, it's fixed".
The yelling stopped. He looked at me in amazement. He checked the computer, we had internet again. He asked me how. I just told him "maybe if you weren't busy yelling to the customer support and just be polite they could actually help you".
To my amazement he changed his ways after that. I've never heard him yell at customer support anymore.
My mom was a complete Karen. I used to carry cash with me to tip waitstaff because 95% she would leave extremely paltry tips if any tip at all.
You tend to compensate as the child of an abusive narcissistic parent. I'd carry cash with me for tips. I'd always make sure I had another way home if she offered to drive. I never had to do anything like that with my dad but then he was sane.
Learning in Stages....
When you're very young (0 to 5 yrs), you have no idea. Once you're old enough to realize it (7 to 10ish), you get super embarrassed. When you're around the age of going through puberty, you start to apologize to people for your mom or dad's behavior.
Then, FINALLY, you are old enough to get away (14 to 18) and if you're lucky, you have a lot of excuses to not go places with them - practices, games, rehearsals, concerts, homework, a job.... and so on.
When you're an adult, if you have the balls to do so, you start to point out to them in the moment how absurd and ridiculous they are acting and they learn to not act that way around you... but they still do it when you're not around. You're not around a lot.
I grew up pretty poor. My mom was what I like to call Trailer Park Karen (we lived in a trailer). I remember we were in a KFC and she asked how much a bucket of chicken was. The girl told her and mom starts yelling about how that's ridiculous and she can do better at Albertson's and she stormed out.
The Good Girl....Giphy
My mom was kind of anti-Karen; every now and then, she would ask to speak to the manager and then commend the employee and say that they should be given a raise. Good times. Stuff like that is probably why I make very few enemies. Only 1 in my entire life.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.