February 19, 2008 :: "Tell me who are you...who are you...this time?"
Today I discovered a fantastic, hilarious, painful website called "Stuff White People Like." Follow the link, certainly, but I'll give you a preview. Entries include "Whole Foods," "Gifted Children," "Not Dancing," and "Being the only other white person in the room." It's so spot-on, and I can hardly describe how alabaster, powdered-sugar, web-safe FFFFFF white I am. Well, I don't desire a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and Blake's the one who reads the New York Times, but I will cop to having a subscription to Harper's and a formidable NPR addiction, so I think that makes up for it.
This inspired much pained laughter in the writers' office this morning, and also a discussion about what "social group" each of us fit into. Like, I'm a whitey, yeah, but I'm also probably a "hipster," right? I don't know. I'm donning knock-off Target-ized Vans right now (see the picture. Had to tie it in somehow...) and my significant other wears vintage fedoras nearly everywhere. Well, My colleague J. says perhaps not. Maybe I need a second opinion.
Don't get me wrong, I am both aware that this is a completely inane conversation to have (with oneself on a website or otherwise) and that my general thought on the matter is that it doesn't matter what you are, as long as you embrace that to the nth degree and you're not pretending to be something else concurrently, but I also spent a good long time in a relationship where I was accused regularly of hiding some "true self" somehow, so the subject's maybe a bit sore for me. (A note for the concerned: I have since recovered from that line of ridiculousness and returned to believing that I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam...and have always been so. Whew for that.)
So, what defines us, anyway? I for one like the vintage clothes and furniture, but kind of because I'm also cheap (and often broke when needing such things). My ipod's packed with indie-rock ennui and throwback eighties jams, but I also happen to think Mr. Timberlake can bring sexy back my way any damn day, all day long. I'm all over the local food movement, but I'll haul it over to Kroger because the cheese is cheaper. I like Star Trek and Days of our Lives and endless reruns of Family Guy where I can practically recite the jokes. I'm dubious of the moody, tattooed masses at El Myr, but I still go have a drink there, and like the people I meet a whole lot. I could probably do it at Halo too. (Well, if I hadn't been tossed from there once and vowed they'll never make another cent from me.) But I don't think anyone anywhere is truly any different though. We're all complex. We're all a little of this and a little of that. We're all Buckhead and Marietta, C-Town and East Point in some degree. We're all unique and totally like everyone else.
Our old friend Mr. Waits asks "who are you, this time?" and tells us "we're all gonna be just dirt in the ground," in practically the same breath. (Well, the same album anyway.) So, really, does it really matter. Really??
Regardless, that's my true-self asking that. For sure.