Thursday, January 25, 2007

Who Are You Talking About?

How's this for irony?

So I leave the house around 8am to get to work at my designated time of 9:30am. Typical morning. The first 30-minutes of high-traffic areas add to the day's predictability, and I'm torn between two radio shows and Brian Tracy's "Million Dollar Mind". Okay, so traffic is getting uber slow and I'm shuffling around my options and I munch on a banana. Then panic sets in as I realize that I'm not anywhere close to where I should be at the time of 8:54. I call in and leave a message. I soon learn that traffic lights are out in the downtown area, along with some huge conference at the World Congress Center. Do you know that I didn't get to my desk until NOON!?! Turns out Donald Trump and Colin Powell are here as well as a chicken farmer convention.
(But that isn't the irony.)

So along with having to park 5 blocks away because of full parking lots, I realize that I left my ID badge at home. So in checking in, I run into someone from my elementary school. She didn't recognize me but I recognized her because I saw her on one of the judge TV shows last year. I didn't say anything. I didn't really know WHAT to say. But sure enough, after I handed her my license she asked (in a partial squint) "What elementary school did you go to?" DAMMIT! I answered and she introduced herself and filled me in on some of the other girls we went to school with. It was all good until she said, "I didn't recognize you until I saw your name. You look so different. Like that girl...what's her name..." I just stood there in silence, growing annoyed at the potential of hearing what I always do. She said what I thought and I just smiled awkwardly as we said our goodbyes.

Which brings me to this point...

If ONE MORE gotdamn person tells me I "look like" these two chicks I'm gonna CHOKE something!

I'm telling you NOW this shit stops TODAY.

Both of these women are BI-RACIAL.

Specifically, each of them has a White mother.

Style-wise? Okay. Perhaps I remind you of them? I can see that.
But LOOKS???

Stop it!

*(stepping off soapbox)*

As annoyed as I was, it had me wonder:
How is she going to describe me to the other two girls?

Okay, I have a question. Do you ever wonder how people describe you in those quick, 3-word descriptions? You know what I'm talking about, right? If not, let me illustrate what I mean. The conversation will go something like this:

"Hey, guess who I saw today?"
"Yeah, ________! You remember her, don't you?"
"Short, brown-skinned girl who hung out with that girl with the big teeth who used to like that tall, skinny boy on the track team?"
"Ooooooohhh! HER! I know who you're talking about!"

Like that.

How do you think people will describe you in a quick sentence? Will it be a physical thing? Will it be an association like family or an old relationship? What do think are your standout characteristics that people remember you for? Do you think you even had any?

I don't remember how I was as a child. Everyone always told me how quiet I was. I don't ever remember being quiet. Maybe that's because I could always hear my thoughts.

Now, I imagine mine to be "that tall, loud, light-skinned, Black girl with the hair". I'll probably dispute the light-skinned thing and perhaps the height, but I won't deny my (genetic) vocal volume. Or the hair.

I hold those truths to be self-evident:o)

I wonder if I would be offended if I got to be a fly on the wall during a conversation where I was being described.


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