When I drive home on a normal day, people don’t notice me much. Everybody is reasonably respectful. But when I put my sunglasses on and hide my eyes, people get a lot more impatient with me. They pass me quickly, try to zoom ahead of me at stop signs, etc. I’m sure this has everything to do with the glasses and is in no way a reflection of my driving skills…
In the winter, if I wear my crocheted white owl hat with the cute tufted ears on top, people are really nice to me. They bag my groceries with extra care, talk to me like a friend, and look at me fondly. My adorable owl hat makes me an adorable owl hat person. I have learned that adorable owl hat people are very approachable and are already friends with everyone.
If I feel tired and weak, people look more nervous and keep more distance. I’m pale and get really dark lines under my eyes when I feel tired, so I think I can look pretty bad. Some people give me space, some people have a more supportive and protective air and try to cheer me up with careful, gentle jokes.
When I feel really sick and grouchy and have to go out and pump gas in my swishy pants, when all I want to do is crawl under a rock and die and I hate everyone, this is when guys seem most attracted to me. This has led me to the conclusion that there are lots of men out there who want a woman who will kick their ass.
These are huge differences in treatment, based on very small changes such as my mood or a single article of clothing. If you’re walking down the street, how differently do you treat each person who passes? Do you smile at one and not the other, mutter excuse me to one and avoid eye contact with the other? Why?
Once I read an essay or something (I’m sorry to have forgotten the details) by an African-American man. He noticed people getting tense if he walked down a lonely street near them. His solution to this was to start whistling Vivaldi. He said he could see their backs immediately loosen up. Hardened criminals don’t give their position away by whistling cheerful, cultured tunes!
I wonder how much of our personalities, clothing choices, etc are made to get other people to look at you the right way.
I wonder what we would each be if there was no peer pressure. I tell you what, I probably wouldn’t shower.
…who am I kidding. This drawing is my reality.