Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Getting To Know You

Andrea wrote an excellent post about introducing yourself. As I was responding in her comments, a post idea was forming, so here we are. (Please visit her site if you haven't already, she's a great writer).

The internet is a funny thing in that I feel like I know the authors of the blogs I read and comment on, simply because I'm reading about their lives. I might even recognize some of them if I saw them on the street because of the photos they've posted. But do I really know them? Does anyone really know me?

When I was responding to Andrea's post, I originally started describing myself by my appearance. If I step outside and try to see me as an outsider might, I would see a reasonably well preserved 30-something woman with reddish brown hair, greenish hazel eyes and a semi-height/weight proportionate figure. Sounds like a personal ad.

But is that what defines me - my appearance? Is that how I define people? If I see someone on the street that's nicely dressed, I automatically assume they're a nice person. They could be an ax murderer for all I know. The reverse also applies - if you look like you can't be bothered to comb your hair, I probably won't be bothered with talking to you, and I might be passing up an opportunity to talk to a genius.

All those years of hearing "don't judge a book by the cover" apparently didn't stick. And in true parenting fashion of "do what I say and not what I do," I've told my kids to get to know someone before making a snap decision based on outward appearance. However, I fully admit I'm a hypocrite.

My friends and I used to do a version of this to describe people we saw when we were out at the clubs - bald-headed guy, ugly plaid jacket girl, Velveeta t-shirt guy, white tank top girl. Turning the tables, did they see us as big-boobed girl, tall girl, spiky haired girl, Miller Lite girl?

Does my appearance tell you anything about me? Maybe you can tell that I like shoes and wear a decent bra. Otherwise, does it really convey my sense of humor, my heartache, or my hopes and dreams? If you saw me with no makeup, bedhead and paint-splattered sweats, would you stop to get to know me?


Anonymous said...

Hi Kim, I found your site via Dana's and Andrea's. I try not to judge by appearance. I would not want to be judged that way, especially since I have gained so much weight since my hysterectomy. I prefer to get to know people first. I have met so many people who are so decent looking but have an ugly heart and some who are not so decent looking but have the biggest heart and would give you the shirt off their back, even if it is their last shirt.

Besides if I met you with bed head and paint splattered sweats, I would probably be wearing the same thing and look the same way!


Andrea said...

I'm not the type of person to see someone and approach them. At all. No matter what they look like.

That's why I dig blogging so much. It lets out my inner socialite, if there is such a thing.

If you were standing next to me in a line, say the returns line at a clothing store, I might strike up a conversation with you if I feel good that day. Some days, I just vant to be...alone. However, if the mood strikes me, I might comment to you on your return, on your shoes, or on the weather. I might make a snarky comment, something worthy of putting on my blog, about how long the returns process is at said store. If you laugh, I'll probably keep talking. If not, I'll assume that I'm being too abrasive and probably will fall into silence. But really, my talking to people I don't know out in public depends on so many things, mostly the circumstances, my mood, and the person's receptiveness to my remarks. It all depends.

MP said...

GREAT post Kim.. Good point. My friends and I used to do the same thing at bars.. slut girl, stuck in the 80's guy.. etc..
They were someones best friend.

I think working in a larger office and broadened my thoughts on people..there are people here that I work with that I would NEVER talk to otherwise..I'm learning.

I think Bloggie friends are like the office people except we choose people by what is in their minds and hearts..not by what they look like. Even though we may see pictures we choose to come back due to the insides of someone.

If I had to introduce myself minus appearance, I'd say that I am sarcastic, talkative, and have a good imagination.

A Buns Life said...

I thought it was ironic that you wrote about this subject when I knew what I was going to write about today....

Nancy R said...

Not the same topic but, I think you look like a young Susan Sarandon in your photo. I've thought that ever since I started reading here.