Tuesday, January 13

A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image.

I am talking about stereotyping. I understand we all do take part in this act, but why? Where does it get us? History shows us that it is not always accurate. For instance, statistics show that mass murderers are more likely to be white males, but does that make all white males murderers? No. Suicide bombers are statistically Middle Eastern men, but does that make all Middle Eastern men suicide bombers? Obviously not. I could keep going, but hopefully you are following me.

People stereotype daily and I doubt for positive reasons. How is judging positive? It's not. In the recent weeks since we returned to DC, Lauren and I have had the honor of being blatantly stereotyped.

Stereotype 1: Young people do not have money.

Lo and I went shopping in Maryland to find me some dress shoes. We walked in Saks for Men and the stereotyping began. We browsed the shoes without being asked if we needed help. Note: There were 4 shoe people there standing around watching. I picked a couple of shoes and stood there for a minute. Finally, a young guy comes out from the back room and asked if I had been helped. Picture this: I'm standing in the shoe department with several shoes for the right foot only. Did it look like I had been helped? He would not have known this since he was in the back, but the others did. The young guy ended up being very helpful to my needs. As I tried on the shoes, a foreign couple walked through. Two of the workers threw themselves onto this couple.

Stereotype 2: Foreign people have lots of money.

As I was trying to decide between two of the pairs, I decided to ask the shoe-lady her opinion. Snootily, she replied. "No. They are not dressy enough." I could have lit into her, but decided not to. After trying on several pair we decided to make a purchase. Lauren took the shoes up to the counter. The shoe-man turned and said "Oh..you want me to put those back?" Now if you know my wife, you know shopping is her passion AND that she is very feisty. Politely, (although furious) she said "Actually, we want to buy them, BOTH of them". OHH! Was his reaction. I mean seriously.

PS. I bought the shoes the shoe-lady said would not work. They do work. She's an idiot.

Stereotype 3: Mississippi is worthless and should not be a state in our country.

Yes. Someone said that. I could have choked the ignorant bitch. New Year's Eve, we were at dinner and a group of ladies sat next to us. One of them carried on about Mississippi and how it is the worst state in the country. I'm done with her. Moving on.

Stereotype 4: Young people do not have money.

See a trend? Last night, Lauren and I had a wonderful 1-year anniversary dinner. We ate at Charlie Palmer. If you are ever in a city that has this restaurant, I highly recommend it. We brought a bottle of Dom PĂ©rignon to celebrate (thanks Marge!). Now, CP has waiters and also beverage servers. Our waiter had no idea we had champagne. She wasn't very observant. In the beginning, she rarely visited our table, gave us the wine list only after we asked her twice, and was just not as helpful as she could be. During our entrees, Lauren asked her if we could have some more champagne. She pulled the bottle out, saw what we were drinking, made a face, poured our glasses, and BAM she had a change in how she viewed us. While I was in the restroom, she came two times to check on how we were doing. She came back again several times after that and was OVERLY nice to us. We also got free dessert. Not sure if that was because of our anniversary or our champagne choice. Totally Amazing.

Why do people stereotype? Our waitress did it to us twice! I cannot write here today and say I do not do this because I do, but why? It boggles my mind. In all instances but #3, there were not any physical characteristics that would label us rich or poor, yet because we were young, poor was our label. Little did they know they were right. But seriously, what have young people done (or not done) for society to place this stigma on us? Can we not be successful at a young age? I leave you with to ponder.

Until Next time.


mother teresa said...

This will happen to you all of your life. You are stereotyped when you are young, middle aged, and when you are old. People like to put you in a box. People judge you when you go in a store by the way you are dressed or by the way you act. As I've told you before, we used to go to furniture stores unshowered and not pretty so no one would bother us. Unbelievebly, it worked. Go figure. Don't judge the book by the cover.

Mary Ann said...

Ahhhh! Wesley! Great blog! I totally loved it. I feel the same way ... until I go back to the same store over and over again, and they know I will buy things! hahaha. But very true! I love Mrs. Houk's comment too!