Things I (Rightly or Wrongly) Assume About You

So I have been somewhat plagued by insomnia the past week.  Hormones?  Stress?  I don’t know, but I am aware that those hours in the middle of the night amplify emotions because there is no one to share them with.   A shroud of darkness falls over the house and my mind and my thoughts race.  In the morning, I feel better but I have noticed an fascinating phemomenon.  Going back to earlier posts about judgement and the eagerness of our brains to compartmentalize, I realize I am in a state of hypervigilance related to being fucking exhausted.  In my current state, my brain is profiling others at a more rapid rate and it’s been illuminating to look back on what the blog has taught me about my own analysis of my fellow suburbanites.  Having not had adequate time for a scientific study,  my conclusion is that my brain knows I am flagging and is trying to protect me from external threats.  Thank you brain, for my suburban ass is dragging.

It’s not just the sleepless nights, however.  As this blog has progressed over the past months, I have become more and more conscious of the things I judge and assumptions I make with precious little evidence.  I have been compiling a list which I share now at risk of being rudely awakened or embarassed.  I am not proud of some of these thoughts, but am going to come clean in the interest of truth telling and a desperate attempt to shake it off and move on.   So here they are, first the facts followed by the rather crude assumptions.

You are pretty so obviously you don’t have to worry about much, you are used to getting what you want, your heart has never been broken, you always smile at yourself in the mirror.

You have a lot of money so clearly your life has been easy, you have never bought a shirt at Target, nor shopped in the clearance section, you never fight with your husband, you don’t worry about the future, your kids don’t whine about things they can’t have, you don’t suffer from anxiety, fear or doubt and you are perenially put together and would never go to Safeway in your sweats.

You are a stay at home mom so you are always patient, never yell at your kids, get to wear pajamas until noon, have a brain made of mushy Cheerios, you wonder when or if ever you will go back to work, have a knack for the smell and consistency of bodily fluids, get lonely sometimes, alternately feel elated and terrified,  you are lucky to have the opportunity to stay home and you are lucky you have not yet lost your mind.

You work full time so you are pretty much a powerhouse, you take charge in situations where the rest of us falter, you have a command of life outside the home, you cry when your babysitter sends a video of your kids playing in the park, you get pissed when the other moms talk about playdates and coffee chats of which you cannot partake, you fight with your husband over shared responsibilities, you fall asleep standing up often, you are to be pitied because you don’t have time to do yoga or get to the gym but you are to be admired for your tenacity and work ethic.

You drive a huge car so you must be a Republican or a farmer, if that huge car is a minivan, it’s a crap shoot what party flag you wave, you are rich and don’t care about gas prices, you don’t believe in global warming, you have a lot of kids, you are more likely to have those stickers with progressively smaller people and your pets.

You drive a tiny car so you must be a Democrat and very concerned about the Earth, you are thrifty and buy lots of items in trial sizes, you give us the finger while we are pumping at the gas station, you have to rent a car when your family is in town and you can actually reach your child in the backseat.

You have tattoos so you must not be afraid of pain, are open minded and liberal, or have seen military service, you don’t care what people think, you have a story to tell, you are hip and cool, you once got very drunk.  (*all the aforementioned can change depending on the quality, location and number of tattoos).

You have very short hair so you are incredibly in touch with who you are as a woman, you feel sexy, you are sure of yourself, and possibly you are lazy about things like hair dryers and anti-frizz gel.

You have poorly behaved kids so you are questionable if I don’t know you, if I know you and this is not consistent I am willing to let one slide, you don’t know how to control them, you are not getting enough help from your spouse, you are in over your head (* note that this all changes if you make an attempt at disciplining them at least), you are having a shitty day, you are a pushover.  I know, judgemental right?!

You get drunk frequently and forcefully so you must be unhappy, you must have problems, you are trying to escape from something, you have a remarkable constitution, you have too much time on your hands, you came from a family who drank alot.

You curse alot so you are my best friend,  you don’t have a good vocabulary, you come from a long line of foul mouthed hooligans, you express yourself using an alternate art form, you are not extremely religious, you say what’s on your mind.

You do creative things like knitting, re-upholstering chairs or scrapbooking so I am jealous of you, you know how to prioritize, you live a life of balance, you are calm, you are caught up in other aspects of your lives (because how can you sit and quilt when the house is destroyed?  I couldn’t), you are always happy with your creations,  your kids and husband appreciate your skill and overall craftiness.

Your house is well appointed and decorated by you so I am jealous of you too, you see things that others don’t see, your visual sense and feng-shui are exquisitely refined, you are creative in where and how to shop, you don’t care what your husband thinks, your surroundings reflect your need for beauty and order, you have money.

You know everyone and have tons of friends so you are spreading yourself very thin, you have a bubbly personality,  I can’t keep up with you, you plop into bed exhausted every night, you enjoy connecting others and making contacts, you grew up here, you will live a long life, you are sometimes lonely.

You don’t drink coffee so I can’t go on because I just don’t get it.  At least a little caffeine?

You wear pajama bottoms to pick up your kids at school so c’mon people unless you are sick this is unacceptable. You look lazy!  (I’m sorry, that was judgemental too).  By the way, drop off is another story.  PJ’s are okay then.

You are type A and very organized so your life must be easier than mine, your closets must look better than mine, you must never forget anything or let anyone down, you are my role model, you must drive yourself crazy sometimes, you have never torn through all your purses and jackets looking for a set of keys, it must be hard for you to relax, your husband and kids worship you (unlike my daughter, who informed me that her friend’s mom was not a “forgetter” like me).

You have more than two children so you must know how to play zone defense, you are youthful and vibrant and able to multi-task, you are tired alot, you have multiple calendars and carpool situations, you have a hard time getting a babysitter, you have the occasional hi-ball after the kids go to bed, you collapse into bed at night, you have an enormous grocery bill, you are a braver woman than I, you are capable of lots of love and patience.

You text frequently when you are out with your friends so you must not realize that this is really annoying, you don’t have any other time during that day when you could have texted, you don’t hear half of what is being said so it has to be repeated to you, you suffer from panic states if you can’t find your phone.

You are real and honest so you are easy to be around and I hope we get to hang out.

Okay, I could go on as this is actually fun, but I need a nap.  Send me any fun and honest assumptions you make about the people around you.  You might surprise yourself.

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2 comments on “Things I (Rightly or Wrongly) Assume About You

  1. Barbara Paulsen says:

    Oh my! That’s a lot of judging there, Miss Jeanne! You made me really laugh out loud with the tiny car judgement—minivan owner that I am : ) And, I’m right there with you about PJ bottoms. I was at Blockbuster the other night getting a movie for the kids and this woman in front of me was wearing PJs. Here’s what I thought: Did you sleep in those last night and decide not to ever put real clothes on today? If so, Ew. Or did you just put your PJs on before you came to Blockbuster because it’s 6p and you are getting a movie and plan to stay in the rest of the night? If so, couldn’t you wait till you got home so I didn’t have to look at your butt in those fuzzy jammers with bunnies on them. Not pretty on anyone over 12. There. I’m a judger too.

  2. dearsuburbia says:

    Wow! I love it, particularly “you are more likely to have those stickers with progressively smaller people and your pets.” What a perfectly wonderful list of judgments. Thanks for making me smile and truly laugh out loud…and really think about the assumptions I am making about people. I’ve been thinking about you and your blog a lot lately. I’m so often guilty, as well, of making so many judgements about my fellow inhabitants of suburbia. I recently started compiling questions for a survey. I’m planning on going around the neighborhood, door to door if I have to, to really talk face to face with these mysterious suburbanites. I’m hoping to discover each person’s uniqueness, or thisness, and finally dispel all the suburbotypes that so easily pop into my brain…

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