I had this whole post about labels and labelling written in my head Sunday night, but couldn't get it down because, by the time I was done helping Erick with his homework, I was too tired to watch one of my favorite movies, let alone write. (How do pass up watching a movie with this foxy Scot? I must have been really tired.)
So tonight, while everyone's asleep, I had every intention of sitting down and doing a whole post about labels and how people need labels to define themselves and others to feel more control of their lives.
Dude, I'm exhausted just reading that paragraph.
I'm still really want to do that post, I really do, but I found myself treading a very fine line with the topic. If I kept it light and fluffy and talked about labels in reference to clothing types and personalities, I would feel like I dumbed down the post because I was 1) tired or 2) afraid to piss people off.
If I wrote what I really wanted to write about--how people are so desperate to make sense of the senseless, they slap labels on themselves, their kids, their jobs, everything--I'm pretty sure I would have a lynch mob of villagers at my door with torches and pitchforks, baying for my blood.
(I just made myself snicker at the idea of blood screaming villagers having to get in their cars and driving to MOFN to threaten me, but then getting bored with the idea somewhere along 78 and turning around to go home, texting, "Dude, she lives too far away anyway." back and forth to each other.)
Why are there labels? Are we so frantic as a society to understand why things go the way they do that we need to have everything spelled out for us? I guess it's just human nature.
What makes me laugh (well, not laugh laugh, but chortle in a bemused way laugh) is the way parents--particularly mothers--will label their kids:
"This is my son Johnny. He's got ADD."
"This is my daughter Janie. She's got Asperger's."
Why? Why do we feel compelled to do that? Why do we feel the need to proclaim these things? I'm not suggesting we hide a condition our child might have, but why do we have to define people by their alleged shortcomings? Imagine if we did that with ourselves:
"Hi, I'm Amy. I'm loud and sarcastic, have daddy issues and violent sibling rivalry, develop crushes on unattainable men, and live in a fantasy world where I'm Queen of Narnia so I can make out with Mr. Tumnus."
(Why, hello, Mr. Tumnus. Is that package for me?)
It certainly would make job interviews and business meetings nip along faster, wouldn't it?
I hate labels. I was always labelled 'loud,' 'obnoxious,' 'loser,' or--my personal favorite--'a slut.' Now, this is where my Inner Mom will start saying things like, "They only say those things because they don't know you." or "They only say those things because they're jealous." And now this is where Inner (Teen) Me raises my tear-and-snot-smeared face off the table to wail, "Believe me, Inner Mom, the people calling me those names are, like, popular and stuff: they aren't jealous of me!!"
(That'll be $100 for the hour, Mrs. Stott. My receptionist can validate your parking on the way out.)
I'm guilty of it too, though, the labelling. I'll make a snap judgement in a second. The worst part is, until you prove to me otherwise, I'll keep thinking my snap judgement is gospel. Worse than that? You prove my snap judgement (for example, that you are a total asswipe and douche-canoe) correct.
I would love to Disney Princess out on you and say that we have to learn to live in a world without labels and see past the outside and judge people on their actions and not what we think we know about them, but guess what? Not gonna happen.
Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a dirty, toothless man in a No Fat Chicks tee shirt leaning up against my car. Man, I hate rednecks.
No, that wasn't a label; that was the truth. ;)