Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Sum of Our Adjectives

Adjectives are words that describe a person, place, or thing.

We all have them, and you start to learn your adjectives at a young age. Young, small, cute, blond, brunett, redhead, tan, pale, feisty, shy. Some of them change over time. Some of them don’t. Some we make change, and some change on their own.

As we grow most of us loose the adjective young. I didn’t. I’m svelte and short depending on the shoes. At 16 I looked 12, and at 24 I’m hard pressed to convince anyone, on looks alone, that I’m old enough to vote let alone drink.

In heels, with makeup, a low cut shirt, and tight jean I could convince you I’m 24, or at least make you be more inclined to want to believe me when I say I’m of a legal age. But it’s a lot of work to make someone else be okay with who I am and how I look, so I usually dress how I dress, look how I look, and let my attitude overpower my appearance.

I’m sure a lot of people have an opinion on how I look, and the majority of those opinions are probably that I look young. When high schoolers keep asking you out it’s not a difficult conclusion to jump to,

But every once in a while someone comes along who doesn’t get that we aren’t the sum of our adjectives. They think that it’s their business to inform us of what we already know. You’re over weight. You’re short. You’re skinny.

You’re young. Really? I hadn’t noticed it what with all the high schools lining up to ask me to prom.

I had one of those moments yesterday in a grocery store parking lot. I was loading up, regretting that I had forgotten to tell the cashier not to bother with the bags just stick the stuff back in the cart, when the people in the car next to me arrive back at their ride. I glance up, notice their adjectives: middle age plus, white, blotchy, over weight, balding for the man, and thinning for the woman.

Then I give a little mental shrug, not my problem, and go back to getting my stuff in the car.

Mr. Balding looks at me, and doesn’t give a mental shrug. Instead, he takes it upon himself to make me aware of some of his other adjectives like rude and creepy. “Wow, you’re young! Are you even old enough to…”

Drink? Vote? Drive? Be propositioned in parking lots? Know not to carry on a conversation with strange men with large trunks in a parking lot?

Yes, yes I am. I’m also old enough to know that rude it a choice and it’s one I’m more than willing to make. “Get in your car and drive away.”

Have your adjectives ever gotten you into an awkward situation?

- Aaron

1 comment:

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

In my latest manuscript, my editor complained that I had too many adjectives in one chapter. I went through it and slashed half of them.