Most people just don't understand me. Well, expecting someone to UNDERSTAND me may be asking a lot. But can't I expect people to "get me"? By that, I mean that I realize it's very hard to put me in a box, very hard to actually understand how I may act in any given moment, in any given situation. But it seems like people who know me - my friends - would know enough about me not to even TRY to put me in a box.
I had a long conversation about my perceived snobbishness with some women I know. Apparently, my appearance - that I don't dress like a slob and try to keep my hair done - the way I walk (apparently with my nose in the air); the fact that I used to leave church without staying and chatting, and my lack of Amens (I guess) during the sermon, led them to think I was stuck up. Oh, and my facial expressions - my normal expression isn't a smile, and when I think of something, my face often shows it.
I don't know if this type of stereotyping used to bother me or not, but it does now. A lot. It bothers me that people often judge me before even getting the chance to know me. It bothers me that if some people just took the time to have one conversation with me, they'd realize that I'm not only NOT stuck up, I'm a nice person. Is it bad that I like to look nice? Is it OK, that I know when my hair's not done, I look a hot mess, so I pretty much keep it done on the regular? Is it OK, if I speak with proper English or enunciate my words? Is that OK?
Is it wrong to want people to try to get to know me? That way they'll realize that if and when I make a weird face, I'm probably not thinking about anything that's being said. I may be thinking, "Oh, shoot, did I let Taz out?" or "I forgot to transfer the phone," or even, "Is that rain I hear outside?"
Now, I know I have to take the blame for part of this. For one thing, when I first meet a person or group, I tend to keep to myself until I am comfortable. I don't know why people automatically jump to stuck up, but I'm not really comfortable jumping into a new group of people. Here's a secret ... I'm self conscious. And insecure. So, I'm not always comfortable walking up and chatting away with a group of strangers. Which takes me to my second point of why I'm partly to blame - I've developed a "socially acceptable public persona." Before the year I served as president for the sorority during undergrad, I remember my LS saying that some of the sorors thought I was too mean. Then I was mean. No doubt. But it wasn't just that - I'm not a hugger, and some people took that personally.Anyway, I digress. Since undergrad, I've tried to be more outgoing and friendly. Smiling and laughing, doing a lot of that ha ha-ing and whatnot. The problem is that it is a persona - not the everyday me. But the me that I feel like I have to be to make others comfortable. And if it's not the everyday me, then I can't possibly keep it up everyday, 24 hours, ya know?
So, here it is, the real me. I like being alone. Now, this doesn't mean I don't like being married or anything, but I do like to have my space. Which means, if I've out all day, I like coming home and just being ... home. During the deployment - just because Woodstock is not here - doesn't mean that I need to be out of the house all day. It's OK that I'm at home with just Taz all day. I don't mind that.
Next, I don't like calling people. I once worked at Glamour Shots and we had to cold call people and say they "won" a photo shoot, which would eventually make it so they'd have to come in and buy a bunch of pictures. Every phone call I made was hard for me. It was a lot of work, I had to take a deep breath before each call. So, I still don't like making phone calls. Especially not random phone calls to people I don't know. And while we're at it, sometimes I can't keep "it" on long enough to have a conversation where we are just chit chatting, shooting the breeze, talking about nothing. I mean, sometimes I can do it, but I'm just saying please don't take it the wrong way if I don't seem chatty. It's not that I'm in a bad mood, or don't feel like talking, or that I'm mad. I just don't have anything to say at the moment. Is that OK?
I don't know, I could go on and on about this, but I won't. I know how people think of me, I know how people see me. And usually it's OK. But I have feelings too. And just because I don't wear them on my sleeve or cry in public .... I still have feelings. So when you meet someone, and she seems aloof or "stuck up," Talk to her anyway, because maybe she doesn't feel comfortable speaking to you first. And if you make a decision about her before you give her a chance, you may just end up missing out on one of the best friends you'll ever have.