Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Snap Judgements

Tonight while waiting for Eldest at his soccer practice, Charming and I played at the nearby park.

I discovered I'm very judgy.

I know that I live in a rather prosperous location. Not Silicon Valley prosperous, or NYC upper west side (is that the right place?) prosperous, not Naperville prosperous, but this ain't small town, get by on minimum wage because you can, either. (Which is what I'm rather accustomed to.) I also know that I moved here with preconceived notions regarding the locale. (I met quite a lot of them at college and I wasn't quite sure what to make of a people who identified themselves with the county they came from rather than the town. UNTIL I MOVED HERE.) I also know that the first year I lived here, I had a coworker ask me if I felt safe living in the city I live in because it, gasp, is on the county line.

I kid you not.

I drove her home once, by the way, and she lived in a ratty apartment in the "in" town of the county and I decidedly did NOT feel safe in that parking lot. I went home to my county-line-challenged burb so I could breathe.

I'll tell you where I feel safe. Home. Looking out at an empty field. My other home. The one where my parents live. But I do still feel like my county-line-challenged home is relatively safe. When it's light out. And most of the time when it isn't. As long as my husband is home.

Rabbit trail.

So, I confess I have thoughts about county people. Thoughts like, "Seriously. Do you not see that you have the exact same haircut and highlights and sunglasses?" And, "Have I died and been sent to..." Oh crap. It was gonna be catchy, too. That book they made into a movie. The really creepy gross one where all the women were perfect. Whatever. You get my point.

But I've apparently also become a snob. Because there are other people that I see and think they must be trucking a kid into soccer practice from somewhere else. (They are generally very friendly. The friendliness gives them away.)

Which, frankly, is probably what those clones are thinking about me. OH YEAH, I am! From my county-line-challenged city!

 Whew, glad we cleared that up.

So, I was sitting at the park, watching Charming play. I had some dialogue with some people. (Found out they were from small towns outside of the county, which explains why they spoke to me.) They left. There I was, alone with a guy who looked like he could have been a member of a gang and his polite, sweet, clean, daughter who he controlled very well. The man would not make eye contact with me. He never smiled. I couldn't engage him in conversation. So I quit trying.

And then this load of people showed up and my ugly side showed up with them. For even though I didn't really want to talk to the gang banger, he was being a pretty decent father and his presence didn't bother the soccer team was yelling distance away and he didn't glance my way once in an hour and 15 minutes. But that crowd of people brought with them cattiness that there's no accounting for.

They seemed like they could be nice people. And as more and more of them showed up my thought got uglier and uglier (and I wondered why they didn't take their rude children and just leave the park to me and the guy from the gang). And since I caught myself and my thoughts, I tried to analyze WHY I was having them.

I didn't come up with an answer. Except this: I know on first glance whether I will like someone or not. Good, bad, or otherwise. I know within five minutes if I want to be friends with a person. Sometimes time proves me wrong. Many times, time proves me correct. I'm right more than I'm wrong.

So, after I decided I didn't like anyone at the park and that Hubs would have to take soccer practice duty from here on out, I forced myself to look around and find someone I did like. It took 10 seconds. We were engaged in dialog in less than 5 minutes. And not because I chased them down to prove to myself I wasn't a judgy ( )itch. Because they had open, friendly faces and made eye contact and smiled. At their kids. I don't know. The other people probably did, too.

I have GOT to get over myself. And put on God eyes. And remember these people have souls (contrary to the drone way in which many of them behave--STOP IT!). So, in an effort to control myself, I'm confessing ye mine sins one to another. Go forth and sin no more.

So let it be written. So let it be done.


S said...

YES and AMEN! I'll get on board with you on this. After you do it first. Ha. I keep hearing Joyce Meyer say, "THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT!"
I just people watch/stare and let my mind wander all over the place and have decided I know everything about them before they've uttered a word.
Thanks for the challenge. I needed it.

mommy4life said...

First, Stepford wives is the one you were thinking about and second, me too (sigh). I was just thinking about this yesterday. I'm disappointed in myself for not engaging more. Sitting on sidelines as kids soccer games and not engaging. BUT it's hard (whine)!

Wendi said...

I can relate sometimes but feel completely bipolar about this. One day I find myself judging how a frumpy mom is dressed (even though I look like a frumpy mom too) and the next I'm befriending (or trying to) someone I probably shouldn't. Today I just want to stick to the friends I already have and know I like. This county vs. old county does confuse me.