Thursday, January 06, 2005

IF YOU’RE ZAMBONI & YOU KNOW IT…

Running late on his way home from work, my father picked us up a pair of sandwiches, a thoughtful gesture. He said, “I got you the club. I almost got you the veggie [which is what I always get], but then I remembered that you sometimes like the club.” I thanked him and ate the sandwich, which was fine, but the situation illuminated something troubling: I’ve never had the club before. I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten any club. Harmless misconceptions can end up drastically altering the way in which others characterize someone else. If I died today, what would the person eulogizing me say? “She’s gone to God now, this lover of club sandwiches.” Would they tell the weeping sea of people in the chapel that I actually was good at sports? Would they suggest that I still listened to The Cranberries for two hours a day? (How embarrassing). Perhaps I’d be remembered for being somebody that I never was (or was for a very short period of time). Now in this example, I just seem ridiculous and self-absorbed—fair criticisms, but what about the person who is erroneously known as a petty thief, the person who gets the reputation for being dangerously clumsy? Such false impressions are the stuff of sitcoms that only run two seasons. They can really do a lot of damage. Just to set the record straight, call it a preemptive vindication if you want, I’m not good at sports (my incessant suggestion otherwise is meant to be sarcasm and perhaps a moderate insecurity since I’m actually really bad at sports), I’ll eat virtually any sandwich but tend to order the vegetarian when I’m on my own, and my musical tastes are very broad. They’re so broad, in fact, that it would be an enormous insult to attempt to categorize them by genre or style like so many Columbia House catalogues. Speak up at my funeral if any hot shot tries to tell you otherwise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

upon first reading this brilliant post, i missed the
"r" in "harmless", and it was even better...