By Karen Sullivan

To whom it may concern: Do you think being a Karen is easy?

It was a perfectly good name for years, until you people went and ruined it. We used to be Jedi masters of compassion, generosity, and hairstyle. We used to not worry about the news. Now we never know when we’re going to have to point out and film what’s unacceptable. We can barely count five minutes on our Rolexes before there’s another need for a cellphone video of tyranny popping up in the neighborhood. Staying all Karened up is exhausting and depletes our Qi. So, as a courtesy, we have created FAQs and a hotline. Call 1–800-PER-FECT to chat with a qualified Karen.

Here are some questions you should never ask a Karen, especially when we’ve been waiting in line about to be cheated, or are due an apology. We just don’t want to hear it, alright? You’re welcome.

In a restaurant:

Q: Hi, how’s your happy meal, is anything okay?

A: How can you possibly assume nothing is wrong? Do you not see the cheeseburger on this plate has cheese on it and we ordered it with the cheese on the side, but we only discovered that fact after eating half of it, and now the whole meal is ruined and we are experiencing emotional distress?

In a grocery store:

Q: I’m sorry, but are you aware your coupons have expired?

A: This is not a good look for you. Who are you to tell us there’s no grace period? And we are completely offended by the idea you would think we’re trying to cheat. But even if we did cheat, we’ve decided all Karens should be on the pardon list, if that’s still in the works.

On an appliance service call:

Q: What’s wrong with your brand-new refrigerator?

A: EVERYTHING. You people delivered a refrigerator that wasn’t pre-chilled, and now you want us to wait for it to cool down? We have guests coming over tonight. Do you expect us to serve them warm ice?

Anywhere masks are required:

Q: Can you name one person who’s suffocated wearing a mask?

A: There are millions of them. We just can’t think of any names off the tops of our heads right now because we’re so stressed out by you forcing us into voluntary asphyxiation. This deprives our brains of the oxygen we need to answer your stupid question.

At Nordstrom’s:

Q: Hi, what type of fashion can I help you find?

A. Don’t. Bother. Us. Today. We just got our DNA tests back and we are 65 percent Neanderthal. It also says we have a terrible sense of direction, and pear-shaped bodies. DO YOU REALIZE how much dieting is being defeated by genetics? How little Gucci we can wear now? We are devastated. It’s time for a Dom Perignon colonic cleanse, where’s the exit? The parking lot is so big we’ll never find the car.

On the street:

Q: Am I being detained?

A: You know you are. Walking a mutt in a Bichon Frise neighborhood? While speaking in a language WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND? Are you trying to make us feel unsafe?

At the airport:

Q: I’m sorry, we’re only boarding First Class right now. No, you can’t… oh dear, how mad are you on a scale of one to economy class?

A: Has the word ‘manager’ been mentioned even once? No, it has not. We’re the ones being reasonable here. We will board with the class we truly belong in, and you know we will, because we’ve got the SWAT team on speed dial.

At a National Park:

Q: How has the National Park Service ruined your family’s entire vacation?

A: If we have to tell you, your imaginations are defective. We paid thirty bucks to get in here and there are BUGS that BITE you on the FACE. And moose, good god, can’t you find any more attractive wildlife than that? Who wants to run into one of those battle-axes on the way to the bathrooms in the morning? And your rangers. Nobody is that cheerful. Don’t they know how much we suffer?

At a TED talk:

Q: I’ll take your questions on volcanoes and climate change now. Yes? (points.)

A: You call that an idea worth spreading? Winter is cold compared to summer, and there aren’t any volcanoes around here. We once paid to see a real volcano and they wouldn’t even let us touch the lava!

At a Starbucks:

Q: Karen? Karen. Kaaaarrrennn. Your order is ready.

A. Don’t call us Karen! Even though that’s our real name! Now everyone’s staring. Look what you’ve done to us, and some of us haven’t even hit menopause yet!

You have no doubt found these FAQs useful. Not to humblebrag, but obviously we are the good Karens. We try not to get too worked up about being called Karen, because really, what is more bad Karen than being named Karen and complaining about Karening? We who don’t have the option of not being Karens would never do that. Most of us are growing our hair out, though. Did you know there are more than a million of us? Well don’t you worry about that. Enjoy your day, and remember to live! Love! Laugh!

Photo by Brett Sayles


  1. I think we need to bottle you, so that we can take you out for laughter as needed per prescription. You are the best Karen ever!!!!!!!!!

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