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Posts Tagged ‘stereotypes’

So, today someone said something to me that indicated that they could predict my behavior in a particular situation.  Yes, I am being vague on exactly what happened.  But the bottom line is, after thinking about their comment, it struck me how people think they can say certain things because they believe they know you.  Does anyone really know anyone else?  After this person’s comment, I wanted to say to them “You don’t know me.”  Interestingly, I often want to say this to people even when they predict correctly.  However correct, predictions still do not indicate that you know a person.

The desire to predict someone’s behavior reminds me of our strong desire to label people.  I know I do it, but I also know that I hate it when it is done to me.  We also want to prove to be people that we have labeled them correctly.  How many times have you said to someone, “Oh you wouldn’t do that.  I know you.”  Or maybe you have said, “Well, that’s how you are.”  Really?  You mean to tell me that you can predict my behavior in any and all situations?  I don’t think so.  But we do this all the time.

To some, I am a liberal, but I promise you, to others, I am quite conservative.  Labels are never more prevalent than in politics.  I think I may have blogged on this subject before, but am too lazy to look it up.  The reality is, being a democrat doesn’t define who I am.  So, who am I?  In many ways, even I don’t know, but here is some information that I will give you, so that at least on these subjects you can say that you know me:

  1. There is probably nothing I think about more than whether or not I am being a good dad.  I know I am not perfect, but I take my parenting job very seriously and if my daughter ends up on a pole, I will have failed.
  2. I think most people are stupid.  I wish I could sugar coat this fact, but I can not.  It is what it is.  However, I try very hard not to make people feel stupid, despite my feelings.
  3. I have an inner circle of people in my life.  If you are in this inner circle, there is nothing I would not do to help you.  It is impossible to lose membership to this inner circle.  You may have decided to treat me different, but I have not.
  4. Lastly, I require the television to turn my brain off.  I am constantly thinking.  I can’t turn my brain off.  It actually makes blogging a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, it gives me an opportunity to share thoughts, on the other hand, I usually have about 1000 thoughts per day and can often not decide which to blog on.  For example, this blog was not supposed to be the blog, but has bumped my blog on my recent near death experience (To Be Continued).

Is the above list exhaustive?  Of course not, but the reality is that most people do not know me and it is presumptuous to think that you do.  I barely know me.  So, please, please, please do not make predictions about my behavior.  You may be right, but it does not mean that you know me, it just means that you have a label of me in your mind that can’t possibly characterize the whole that is me.

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I got upset at my son, Brett Jr today, because once again he forgot to give us a document from school that needed to be signed.  This document was due Friday, and we just got it today.  This is an old issue, and he knows it.  So, I gave him a talk, signed the paper and moved on.  One minute later, he told me and Leah that he was not allowed to watch TV on Monday and Tuesday.  I told him that I know that he doesn’t forget on purpose and he did not need to be punished.  He said, no, he did need to be punished for forgetting the papers from school.  So, we said OK, no TV on Monday and Tuesday.  My son just punished himself.  That’s crazy.  He is awesome.  Of course, now we have to come up with something to do that does not involve TV.  Well, that sucks!  I’m just sayin …

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So, I have decided that I love old dudes.  I don’t love naked old dudes (see Old, Fat and NUDE), but I do love old dudes.

It all started with a golf course.  I took golf lessons from a guy from a pro at a local 9-hole golf course about two years ago.  It is about 10 minutes from my house.  I enjoyed taking lessons from this guy so much, whenever I get a chance to play golf, I play at his course.  I have played there so much over the past two years that I am officially a regular.  When I enter the pro shop, I am greeted with a “Hey Brett, how is the new little girl?  Sleeping at night?”  As a matter of fact, before Violet was born, for two to three weeks I could not set foot on the course without someone driving their golf cart from another hole after seeing me from a distance (I am not difficult to spot from a distance on a golf course.  It’s like a Where’s Waldo for the blind.) just to ask if my daughter was born yet.  I never pay full price, and sometimes the pro will play a round with me just for fun and I get a free cart.  I am thinking about having my 40th birthday at this course.  I asked the manager about it, and he gave me my favorite line “It is normally 3-4 hundred bucks, but for you, 250.”

Is there a better sentence than one that ends in “…for you, we can do better.”  I love the hook up.  The bottom line is that I love special attention.  The cool thing is, I never ask for it.  If you know me, you know I would never walk into a place and ask everyone to be friends with me, but it just happens.  Interestingly, it happens for my son, Brett Jr. as well.  He hates talking to strangers, but everyone loves him.  It must be a gene.

I digress.  Now, prior to Violet being born, I made one promise to myself: To play as much golf as possible before her arrival.  Because I play on weekdays and usually early mornings, I played golf with a lot of old dudes.  Their average age is probably around 70.  I was even invited to play in their senior league on Wednesday mornings.  I could not commit every Wednesday, but on the days that I showed up, they placed me on a team that needed a player and I was welcomed with open, wrinkly arms.

As a result of my summer experiences and as recent as last week playing with an 80-year-old man, I have come to learn a few things about older men; not only do I love them, but old dudes don’t give a shit.

I am officially looking forward to turning 40 next year and beyond.  Oh to be as relaxed as an 80-year-old on a golf course.  Now that is something to wish for.  They just don’t care.  They are happy to be alive and happy to be playing golf.  They tell great stories and tell the truth about life in the most enjoyable way.  There is no doubt in my mind that I have played with some guys that used to be rich business men, CEOs, criminals, partially and/or fully racists, veterans, and in general crazy dudes when they were younger, but they have drunk the chill Kool-Aid and no longer give a care.  I love ‘em.

What is my favorite thing about them? They love to bad mouth women.  I don’t mean bad names, or degrading words, but the typical stereotypes of men versus women stories are classic.  I am not condoning bad mouthing women, but it is the freedom that they all share about their conversations.  It has made me come to one simple conclusion:  With freedom comes a cost.  You have got to be done with sex.  If you had no desire to ever have sex again, what thoughts in your head would you allow to see the light of day?  Think about it.  I love my wife, and I have a healthy fear of her on a regular basis, but I would never, ever let every thought that crosses my mind out of my head.  I am not stupid.  But what if I was done F#@king?  That’s right, freedom.  Welcome to the world of the old dude.  Say whatever the hell you want plus golf.  It doesn’t get any better than that.  Old age here I come.

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One night I went to the fridge for milk and we were dangerously low.  We did have breast milk though.  Would it have been wrong?  I was also thinking, if I created a drink, like rum, whiskey and breast milk, who would drink it?  You know it would be a popular drink somewhere on this planet.  A weird twisted part of the planet, but it would be popular.  I’m just sayin …

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