Friday, January 20, 2012

First Impressions

   First impressions. They are, as it happens, important. They shouldn't be, not really I mean. The first time you meet someone, you are making a snap judgement. We all do it, admit it.

   You don't agree? Think about it. You see a girl in the grocery store wearing her pajamas. She has her hair pulled up in a messy bun, and she's wearing sneakers. What do you think about her? What do you assume about who she is? And that guy who walks past you, or rather, swaggers past you, with his hat on backwards and a cloud of Axe Body Spray floating along with him, what about him? What about that lady you see with her kids, with her hair disheveled as she tells little Jimmy (for the millionth time), "No,"?

   We all make assumptions, and if you are anything like me, they are usually wrong. Tragically, I'm no Sherlock Holmes, and I guessing that you aren't either. You can't look at someone and know their life's why, oh why do we try so hard?

   You may be wondering what brought this on... never fear, my faithful readers, I will bore you with that story. :)

   So, on my first day of printmaking class, for whatever reason, I decided to wear a skirt. I like skirts. They make me feel pretty, and sometimes you just need to wear a skirt and feel feminine in this world that is constantly removing the femininity of women and replacing it with some strange non-gender-associated thing. Now, on a side note, please don't get me wrong about this.
   I have no problem with women working or voting or getting educations... obviously, I appreciate both these things and others. However, I find myself longing for the days of chivalry. The days when men were men and women were women and each respected the other. The men were gentlemen (or at least, it was more expected for them to be so). They held doors for ladies and didn't try to treat them like "one of the guys", because they realized that they weren't. And ladies did their part, being kind, gracious, and, yes, feminine. I sometimes feel that I've been born into the wrong decade. Then, I remind myself that sin has always been around, no matter what disguise it robed itself in. Anyways... back to the present and the topic of first impressions.

   On the first day of class, I wore my adorable jean skirt. Super cute. I wore a v-neck t-shirt (very modest and not at all low cut), a grey cardigan sweater (which same made me feel very old-fashioned, yay!), stockings, and black flats. I pulled my hair back into a bun.

   Now, this sort of outfit is pretty much stereotypical "Homeschool Wear"... which, being homeschooled, isn't a problem for me. However, "Homeschool Wear" brings with it (of course) the rest of the assumptions about homeschoolers. You know what they are: Homeschool kids don't have friends, have absolutely no media input, are incredibly sheltered, and have no social skills. That's what they say, anyways.

   I don't know who "they" are, but I'm pretty sure that most of the time, "they" are wrong. And in this instance, they most certainly are.

   I will not spend this entire blog talking about the many stupid things people say to homeschoolers ("Do you ever... like... meet people?" ... "Why yes, I've just met you, haven't I?"), but I will comment on how hugely first impressions can impact you.

   The class immediately caught onto my "conservative Christian homeschooler" vibe... though, mostly, it was my instructor. The Greenie, as I now dub him, is usually nice, but I get the feeling that, had I come into the first class wearing a 100% recycled-from-elephant poop and chicken feathers sweatshirt, had my hair flying frizzy and a la naturale, while I was sipping my healthy veggie juice from my eco-friendly cup... he might have viewed me differently.

   I'm not really offended by this, because I've realized that I don't care, but it's interesting the way people look at me when I look the part of a homeschooler. You can tell a lot about what a person is thinking from their eyes.

   Anyways, this whole thing just reminded me of how wrong first impressions can be. I'm homeschooled, Christian, conservative, and proud of it... but unlike the stereotypes, I have friends, social skills, and media input (for better or worse, haha).

   It just makes me wonder... how many times a day do I misjudge people?

   Do I really want to know?

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