Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Books, Covers, and Judgment Day

Some conversations are like train wrecks. You know it's impolite to stare, but you just can't help it. Your attention is drawn back to it, despite your knowledge that eventually, there will be blood on the sidewalk. I walked past such a conversation today.

I felt like a medic on the field of battle that is cut-down by friendly fire while trying to help a wounded soldier escape with his life. Of course, in this instance, the wounded soldier was my IQ, and we definitely weren't being assaulted by smart bombs.

"You know how they say that the shoemaker's kids have to go without shoes? Well, girlfriend, the hair dresser's daughter has to go without eyebrow waxings..."

Vapid. So, naturally, it hung around my frontal lobe all night like the fat guy at the party hangs around the food table. It wasn't always there...just more often than not.

My first reaction was to demean the girl for being cheap, shallow and narcissistic. Yet...

Among the multitude of sins I will be asked to answer for upon departing this world and entering the next (provided I get past explaining my whole evolutionary stance) will be prejudging people based upon their appearance. I'm guilty. And I don't know anyone that isn't, despite their vehement claims to the contrary.

Take The Yo!, for example. I can't look at one of these urban white kids dressed like Jay-Z and not write them off as a waste of time. These guys put together their outfits in the morning with the same care and attention that I would in getting dressed for Halloween. In my mind, anyone that is superficial enough to spend that much time in on their exterior (and isn't a woman), is probably lacking heavily on the interior. Usually somewhere close to the brains department.  And by brains, I mean their dicks, because thats where these yahoos keep them. Of course, this may explain the baggy jeans.

Then there are the slobs. The guys that run around in T-shirts that came off their bedroom floor and got the smell test before being tossed on their unwashed bodies. Their teeth look like they're afraid to ask a toothbrush out for a first date, and their hair shares the same awkwardness at getting familiar with a brush. I can't even be diplomatic about it. If you have poor personal hygiene, or present yourself like you do, I wouldn't piss on you to put out the flames, let alone give you the time of day.

Hey, I'm a guy. I've laundered a shirt in the dryer. I've gotten off late and had to do a turn around shift and as a result taken a sink shower. My razor and I have an on-again-off-again relationship. But, I'm clean. I trim my nails weekly, I use soap and shampoo. I work in greasy environment and go to great lengths to keep my skin from looking like a case of road rash. Take. A. Fucking. Shower.

Maybe worse though, is the opposite end of that particular spectrum. Yes ladies, I'm talking about you.

High Maintenance Bitches. You know, the C's that try to pass themselves off as A's? The kind of girl who spends more time on her hair than the Amish take to raise a barn? The ones with that definitive line of make-up around their necks because they seem to be under the illusion that men are looking at their faces, rather than at the pair of breasts they've jammed into a push-up bra two sizes too small? The ones that feel the need to advertise that they're wearing thongs by leaving that 'Y' out of the tops of their hip hugger jeans?

I can't handle these whores. My idea of geography extends beyond which end of the mall Macy's is at. My idea of good literature doesn't include glossy pages that show the Dos and Don'ts of Fashion. The only thing we have in common is that we're both thinking about how good your ass looks in those jeans.

When I encounter a guy in a polo and khakis, I can't help but assume that the walking Ken doll in front of me probably has an elitist streak wider than than a redneck's dream home. (That was indeed a trailer joke, folks. I lived in one, I can make them) And, if said Ken doll has the collar popped on his polo... forget talking. I'm ready to start drinking and emptying my bladder on his Hush Puppies. The 80s are over, and that look sucked back then. The only guys that can pull off the popped collar look and make it work are young, gay black guys. Period.

And while all of this may seem cynical coming from a guy that sports a mohawk and wears superhero T-shirts, I defer to the old expression: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. I find that, I have surrounded myself by people that have succeeded in passing my Book-by-the-cover judgments. And that the inner circle of friends that I have, are among the greatest people I know.

One of my favorite people in the whole world is my brother's girlfriend. She's a cool black chick that can usually be found kicking it in a pair of jeans and a T. Yet, when she does her 9-5 Mondays through Fridays, she wears a business professional that still lets her personality show through. She manages to look every inch the office staple while exuding that clear identity that says: This is who I am. If you don't like me, you can go fuck yourself. If your penis is too tiny for you to fuck yourself, I will gladly don a 12 inch strap-on and rock your fucking world. But, in a nice way.

Maybe I've spent too long working with the public. Or maybe it was the mental health industry that made me so jaded. All I know is, I can look at someone new and know their life story without them having to tell me. They don't need to say anything stupid for me to judge them, the manner in which they present themselves usually does it for me.

I find the whole 'judging a book by it's cover' expression to be idiotic at any rate. If you turn over a book, the back part of the cover is dedicated to giving you a synopisis. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a synopsis is a brief blurb that tells you the basic facts of what is contained inside. It's sort of like a movie trailer, only in words. So, basically, half of the cover is put there by the author with the intention that you will make a judgment on whether or not you wish to further read the book, right? And, if the author's little blurb isn't meant for you to make a judgment upon, the barrage of quotes by literary critics certainly are.

And, in the case of people, you generally can judge a book by it's cover. Here's an example: A middle aged white guy wearing non-Levi jeans and a T-shirt with the local Professional Football Team logo.

Facts: You can turn on this guy's TV and hit 'previous channel' on his remote, and it is going to take you to one of the 5 million versions of ESPN. He has 5 pairs of shoes in his closet; everyday tennis shoes, work shoes, boots, dress shoes, and that one pair of kicks that his wife keeps insisting he get rid of, but he never will. His bathroom will have a copy of Sports Illustrated or Guns and Ammo (or both) within reach of the shitter. The last thing he read that wasn't the sports section was a ghost authored auto-biography of the latest retired professional athlete that he found to be inspirational, profound, and life altering. His beer of choice is either Budweiser or Coors Light. He attends church when it doesn't interfere with the game. He looks forward to Wing Night at the local bar.

I'm stereotyping, I heard someone say. Fair enough. But, the funny thing about stereotypes is that they're often true. They came about for a reason.

I'm a lower income white person. The stereotypes of that type of person? I drink heavily, I have a bad temper that often gets me into trouble, and I love mac 'n cheese. All true. I love mac 'n cheese.

The reality is; we all want people to judge us based off the superficial. If we didn't, we wouldn't have mirrors. We all put ourselves together each day hoping to impress the world based off our appearance.

And, now for a treat...

Here's a second short segment we'll call: Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

Forget the stupid shit you say. The stupid shit you do defines you.

If you are a man, and if you are in the passenger seat of the car, and if you are at a gas station, and if your girlfriend is pumping gas, I should be allowed to pull you out of the car, do society a favor and beat you to death with a tire iron.

I realize that I am the anomaly of my day and age. I worry that my girlfriend won't remember how to open a door if I'm not there to do it for her. I get up at 4:30 in the morning and shovel out her car, pack her lunch, make her breakfast and ensure that she gets off to work in one piece. I don't expect that every man has that type of dedication... but, seriously. Get your fucking ass out of the car and pump the gas. 

I'm not even deriding you for being in the passenger seat. I hate to drive. I only drive when the roads are bad or my girlfriend doesn't want to. 9 times out of 10, she is the captain of our vessel. God bless her. But, I have never...fucking never, sat on my ass in the warmth of the car while she pumped gas. Even on the vague occasion that she has insisted on filling the tank, I have stood outside the car with her.

You sir, are a lazy piece of shit that should have been removed from your mother's womb with a coat hanger in an alley.

End of rant due to insufficient beer...

No comments:

Post a Comment