All of these things have been bouncing around in my head. None of them is quite enough for a post, so instead I’m dumping them all into one incredibly random post with some awkward segues.
I don’t really get why people feel the need to adopt a persona.
I started thinking about this the other day while I was riding the bus to work. I sat down the bench from a young-ish guy (25? 30? 35?) wearing a pinstripe grey suit. He’d shaved his head, not cuz he was a skinhead but because his hair was thinning on top. The thing that threw me was the bowtie.
I mean, a guy is welcome to wear a bowtie. I have no problem with that. I never found bowties particularly attractive. But, you know, to each his own. This, however, was a light blue bowtie with little fish on it. Not masculine fish. Cute fish.
It looked like the kind of bowtie you’d get a clip-on version of for a baby.
To complete the picture, he sat with the New Yorker open on his lap.
This guy was obviously working quite hard to convey a particular image. The suit, the bowtie, the fishies, the New Yorker, it was quite clear who he wanted me to think he was.
I don’t read on the bus (I get motion sickness too easily) so I had my iPod and was listening to a podcast. This left my eyes free to wander around the bus. And my wandering eyes noticed the Anna Faris article in the magazine open just next to me. It has a very bright, distinctive full-page picture with it. I couldn’t quite make out who it was at first so I was studying the face for a while. Then he turned the page. I saw her name in the text and figured it out.
Then he turned the page again.
It took me a minute to figure out what he was doing. He wasn’t flipping like someone who’s done with an article and is looking for the next one. He was flipping far too fast to be reading it.
Then I realized:
HE WAS READING THE COMICS.
This was surprising on a few levels.
- Who actually reads those comics, anyway? For that matter, why do those comics still exist?
- The only time I’ve ever read The New Yorker for the comics was when I was a kid stuck in a doctors office without any copies of Highlights.
- If he was just going to read the comics, why bring the magazine with him on the bus to display on his lap and flip through just slowly enough not to catch anyone’s attention?
The answer I assumed is that he’s a poser.
I hate posers.
I got off the bus just a couple minutes after I made this discovery so I didn’t get to follow up and see any other poser behaviors. I could be wrong. I could have been too quick to reach my conclusion.
But I do have a particular thing about posers. I hate the idea that people aren’t comfortable being themselves. This should not be surprising. I blog about my randomest thoughts. I leave the house regularly without makeup. I post unflattering pictures of myself on the internet.
If this guy was a poser, I’m not sure which category he fell into. In my experience, it’s all manufactured completely on purpose (e.g. teenagers, college students) or they are unaware of the fact that they are not actually the person they are putting forward to the world. The latter category is particularly difficult to spot since it is so convinced that it is what it purports to be that it takes some time to scrape away that outer facade.
(Yes, I do have experience with the latter category and I’m still a bit bitter.)
One thing that attracted me to Eric was how forthright he was. I find it a very admirable quality and it’s one I strive for myself.
This isn’t to say you can’t dress for success. (Segue!) At work recently I’ve found myself avoiding my usual tendencies to dress down and instead I’m happy to wear my slacks and cardigans instead of khakis and tops.
Which brings me to an unrelated second point.
What the heck is up with the waists on womens’ pants?
I have two pairs of these, they make up nearly half of my work-pant wardrobe. But they have FIVE BUTTONS. One inside and four outside. Pants do not need five buttons. And no one is looking at my waist to see them. Even if they were visible, I don’t know why anyone would think, “Whoa. Those pants had 4 buttons. I wish I had some.” Instead they would probably (rationally) think, “Man, those must be a pain to take off.”
Yes, they are a huge pain.
As for the huge pain of rebuilding my coupon stockpile (Segue!) I finally acquired a new coupon binder this weekend. But I cannot call it Jeeves the Second, Junior for short. Because this binder seems decidedly female.
She has a nice soft cover and a nice soft shade of green. I am trying to think of a good name for her. There isn’t really a classic name for a female butler-equivalent. Ideas??
I know I wanted a zipper and a handle. But the only ones of those I saw were so big and bulky. My stockpile was never big enough to merit that, in all honesty. And when I saw this neat girl I was smitten. And the band that keeps her close is way easier to use than a zipper anyway.
And with that (Segue!) I’m out of stuff for now.