To Thine Own Self Be True or I’ll Probably Be Wary of You

I don’t want to sound like a bad person but…do you ever just start mocking people in your head?

It’s not necessarily that I’m judging them (ok, maybe a little, but I’m human and I usually talk myself out of the judgement, so shut up) but it’s that I find how they’re presenting themselves to be a little ridiculous. I think maybe it’s my weird way of trying to understand people.

Usually, when I’m doing this, it’s regarding people who I feel have fabricated personalities.

For example:

While at a beer garden event last year, I overheard a Mum talking to her daughter, who was named Sequoia.

Like the tree.

Imagine this, but wearing a tiny hipster outfit.

The conversation between Mother and daughter involved a little bit of helicopter parenting, in my opinion. Later, I heard the same woman say something about agriculture that, being a child of the agricultural community, I knew to be absolutely incorrect and ill-informed.

Immediately, I found myself mocking her in my head. Not her specifically, but the anxious, overly concerned with appearances, pseudo-informed caricature I had created from my impressions.

See, the thing is, when I’m doing this, I usually insert myself into the caricature. So I was thinking to myself:

“Yes, these are my children. My son, Tacoma Frond Whatevermylastnameis and  Muir Rose Whatevermylastnameis. Oh yes, I’m very socially aware. I read an entire Wikipedia article explaining to me what the topic of a Huffingtonpost article was about, only yesterday. I even donated to keep Wikipedia free. It’s just so important, you know?

Sorry, one moment: TACOMA! TACOMA, THAT PLAY STRUCTURE MIGHT HAVE BEEN MADE WITH NON-ORGANIC METAL. WE DON’T KNOW IF IT’S GMO FREE, YOU COME DOWN RIGHT NOW!

Sorry. Kids, you know? I try to let them really explore who they are and who they want to be but it’s so important I make sure they eat and do exactly what I tell them to without ever explaining the reasoning behind it. I just don’t have the time, you know how it is. I’ll tell you one thing, I am SO glad we didn’t let them take the malaria pills when we went to Brazil. I feel like it’s just a lot of chemicals they don’t need and it’s not like they aren’t exposed to dirt and animals. We have two fainting goats and a chicken that we board at a farm three hours out of town. We only get to see them once a year, but it’s so worth it to give my kids a real understanding of agriculture.”

Now, you might be thinking that’s either really funny or really offensive. What right do I have to be judge-mental?

The thing is, when I’m doing that in my head, it’s my way of working through my frustration with the current situation. I would love to just emphatically point and yell “THIS PERSON ISN’T BEING TRUE TO THEMSELVES AND HAS NO IDEA WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT! NO IDEA. TALKING OUT THEIR ASS. THIS ONE!” Sadly, that’s neither an appropriate course of action, nor is it particularly kind.

So instead, I internally mock. The reason I try to not feel too bad about it is that, when it comes down to it, there’s very little I would judge someone for. Sure, there’s a lot that falls under the ‘I think that’s super weird and I’d never do it but no one’s asking me to so I’m cool with it’ category, but there’s very little that makes me go ‘Urgh, you’re bad and you should feel bad.’

If you sincerely believe something and acting on it isn’t hurting anyone, I say go for it, I’d never judge someone for that. It’s when I think you don’t believe what’s coming out of your own mouth that I’m going to knee-jerk judge you.

If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian because you prefer that style of eating or because you sincerely believe it’s better for your health, or you just don’t feel right consuming meat or animal products, I’m totally fine with that and will gladly cater to your preferences if I’m cooking.

However, if you’re vegan or vegetarian and it’s all you ever talk about or you push it in people’s faces, I will judge you. I will judge you the same way I judge anyone who pushes their perspective on others when it’s not regarding human rights (and yes, I’m referring to gay marriage, or as I like to call it ‘marriage between two consenting adults and none of your damn business if you’re not the one getting married’).

I think the reason I react so strongly to that gut instinct that someone is talking out of their ass, is that my Papa used to say and my Dad says it all the time “If someone has to tell you all the time that they are something, they probably aren’t what they’re telling you.”

It’s a painfully true piece of wisdom. Some of the biggest nightmares in my life have been people who constantly said they were nice or honest. They usually turned out to be neither and those words were code for ‘I’m manipulative’.

So, when I meet someone who seems more concerned with making me or others around them believe that they are the image they’re trying to present to the world, I tend to mistrust them and wonder what’s really going on.

It’s like they’re a big green floating head and there’s a curtain in the distance.

What happens if I pull back the curtain?

Is it a flim-flam medicine man from Kentucky?

I’d say that people presenting themselves as something they aren’t can be blamed on social media and Facebook, but that isn’t true. People have been misrepresenting themselves forever.

Look at all the poetry that used to be written just to present yourself a certain way, look at any and all of Georgian English society, Victorian society, society in the 50’s, actually, just look at society.

Politicians, Actors, Business people: How you’re perceived has long been a marketable good and maybe it’s just that I’m too much of a bargain shopper, but I shy away from anything that doesn’t strike me as being true to the advertisement.

So, sometimes, my low tolerance for seemingly fabricated personalities results in internal mockery. If I’m being honest, over-exaggerating things and being ridiculous is fun and half the time I forget who originated the mental mockery and end up just having fun being ridiculous.

I don’t know.

I’m not even sure what this post was about.

Is there a life lesson here?

A moral?

A message?

Well, since I can’t think of one, please enjoy this video of a fainting goat that farts when he faints.

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Posted on May 14, 2015, in Random Life Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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