She wants to speak to the manager at Red Lobster because her server had an attitude. She calls Starbucks’ corporate office when they don’t put enough sprinkles on her frappuccino. She pontificates about the government's many conspiracies to her 47 Facebook friends. And she just posted a selfie to show off her new haircut: a side-swept bob in the front with short spiky hair in the back—blonde of course.
You might not know her name, but that’s ok. Just call her Karen.
The “Karen” meme has been sweeping social media for years. It’s been the subject of New York Times articles, trending tweets, and viral videos. But who (or what) is Karen? How did the most basic of names come to symbolize an entire population of insufferable suburbanites? And most importantly, what should you do if you encounter a Karen?