Monday, August 21, 2006

Labels

It's ironic how we feel the need to label things in our life. I'll be the first to admit that I initially judge a book by its cover and pick my wine based on the design of the label. Similarly (at least to me), I find myself defining people based on a series of labels or stats. Roommate. Friend. Lover. Boyfriend. Director. Associate. Successful. Old. Young. Hippie. Conservative. Rather than digging further and getting at the heart of who a person truly is we "tag" the people in our lives or at least attempt to. I found myself tagging someone today and began to wonder about how that reflected on me and what it looked like I found important. I realized the way I continued to characterize someone cast a shadow on my intentions. Maybe it's just the area I live in, but do you ever stop to wonder why we characterize the people in our lives by what they do? Maybe I'm the only one that does this, but I don't think so. Rarely, when introducing a new person, do I say, "This is XXXX. He has super quick intelligence and makes me laugh." I* tend to fall back on, "This is XXXX. He works for Senator Dorgan." This makes it appear that I value a person's position more than the traits that attract me to them. Not that I want Steven to start introducing me as, "This is Serena. She has amazing boobs," but you get my drift.

*Tell me I'm not the only one that does this.

4 comments:

  1. Sometimes a person's job reflects the traits you like in them. I'm trying to think about how I categorize people in my mind...

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  2. If there's one thing I hate about D.C. it's that whole "Where do you work thing." I'd much rather know what they've been doing, reading, listening to, seeing.

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  3. i do this a gazillion times a day, except my thoughts are not as organized as yours, which is why i cant blog em' like you've done so well here ;)

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  4. Anonymous3:26 PM

    I agree with you all, and fall in to the habit of doing just that, but honestly I like knowing what people do in DC. This city attracts folks who are passionate about what they do, and for that reason I guess it is also pretty transient...passionate + long hours = burnout.
    What I enjoy is running in to folks who couldn't be more pscyhed about who they work for or the cause and then find out it is exactly opposite of my own opinions. Usually, if parties willing, it can be a fun conversation. On the downside though, there are a lot of emotions on the sleeves of dc residents...I'm probably no different.

    But then again I tend to fall in to the routine of a a small bubble within the city...oy.

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