Wednesday, September 25, 2013

DO YOU EVER SUSPECT YOU MAY BE A STEREOTYPE?

Via Look! She's probably vegetarian, does yoga, and probably had to travel a bit to get to this outdoor locale. VYO!
I was talking with my friend the other day, who had finally met someone worth meeting. All was well with the world. She felt their date had gone pretty well, and they'd bonded over all the wrong people they had met, well, before meeting each other. Spectacular and dandy. Here's my reenactment:

She: [about the first date] It was so good. We talked about so many things we had in common - I told him things on the first date that I haven't told guys I've been dating for months.
MeThat's great!*
SheI mean, he's an adult - he has a full time job and a car, and he's willing to drive it.
MeHe didn't say "So....Dutch?" at the end of the meal?
SheNo! No Dutch involved. [We then make snide references to previous dates.]
SheHe was so glad to find out I ate meat! Ha!
MeHa! That's great!**
SheYeah, apparently, all the girls he meets are all the the same: they're these vegetarian girls who do yoga and like the outdoors. He was so happy to meet someone that wasn't into those things! Hahahaha!
Me: Hahahha! (Wait. Mental pause here. Review the factors: 1) don't eat meat, 2) do yoga, 3) like the outdoors. That describes...me.*** Have I become that hippie-dippy-California-female stereotype?)
She: So, then, at the end of the date...[she continues, I am preoccupied]
Me: [Ruminating. Am I exactly like every other trendy boring female out there? What does this mean?]
This was my conclusion: It means nothing. I like these things, and I do them. When I introduce myself, I don't announce myself as V(egetarian)Y(oga)O(outdoorsy) like some sociopath. It's never occurred to me to blog about yoga - so many people talk about it that there's really nothing particularly intriguing that I can add to the conversation. I don't even wear t-shirts with logos, and I don't go moseying around talking to everyone about my three favorite topics of all time. VYO! 

What's funny was my assumption that these qualities were unique to me, like I somehow owned the rights to them.**** I have as much ownership over them as I have over the sun. Interests are there to make life better. They may define me in a certain way - to other people - it's just human nature to categorize and simplify and knowing your interests will help people to do that. It has very little to do with the actual person. I like what I like, and that probably means I fall into one stereotype or another. Identity crisis - averted.


*Not very interesting, I know. There's really nothing you can do with good news except affirm it. If you share your good news at this time, you're stealing their thunder and kind of a dick. 
** I know, I know...I am boring.  
*** Technically, I still eat fish.
*** Interestingly, the presumption of being special or unique can be tied to narcissism.

4 comments:

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