Personal Notes: I (apparently) have a tendency to place things haphazardly about, wherever I am at the moment I need to set something down, or take it off, or whatever. This drives my husband nuts. He hates how I don't really have a "spot" for anything in the fridge, or a hard-and-fast place for any of my pens or notebooks, but the thing that really gets him, the thing that will have him gritting his teeth because he has to ask me to fix it for possibly the third time in a single day, is my leaving my shoes everywhere. I leave them under the desk, in the middle of the bedroom floor, sitting in front of the couch, in short, wherever I am when it occurs to me, taking off my Sketchers.

My mom says with my dad it was socks. That rocks my world.

Situation No. 1.

A middle aged man lives alone in an old two-storey house that hasn't been redecorated since his granny put down her lace doilies. As far anyone can see, he has no job, no source of income, though his friends all have careers (one is even a MLB player). He spends every day with a group of small children, probably between the ages of about five and eight (four neighbors, all male), including one young girl who we assume is not his daughter, and probably not a relative, because she refers to him by his first name, without a title. This last little girl lives with him. On occasion, the boys come over for a slumber party.

What conclusions do you draw about this man? How do you feel about his interactions with these young children?

Situation No. 2

Your vacation takes you to a state known for it's poor education standards, racism, sexism, an ultra-moralistic streak, and drawling accents. As it must for at least all vacations, it's raining one day. You decide to go to the video store and rent something at least until the weather lets up. You pick your flick and approach the counter where you find a very petite, bubbly, teenaged salesgirl waiting to help you. She's engaging, knowledgable, helpful . . . and obviously VERY pregnant.

What do you think now? How do you react? How do you feel about her circumstances, and if you find yourself judging her, do you feel guilty for writing her off somehow, even if it's only momentarily? How do you percieve her?

Perception is a powerful thing. We're geared toward certain view points from the moment we're old enough to understand the consequences of anything, even as simple as "crying=food", as infants. When you write, think about your audience, and what factors are going to influence how they see the situations before them.

Situation No. 1 was taken from a popular Disney children's series called Bear in the Big Blue House. In fact, it is my youngest son's favorite. He's particularly fond of the "Potty Time" and "Dance Party" episodes. The main character is a fantabulous, extra-large-n-fluffy bear named, well, Bear. Ocho is his little bear niece or whatever she is, and their friends are a small blue mouse, an electric purple set of twin otters, and a neon green striped Lemur. The whole set up is designed by The Henson Company, so you know it's charming, excellent quality programming. As a life-time lover of all things Henson, I totally approve.

Situtation No. 2 is taken from personal experience. I live in a tiny, backwoods, extremely Southern town, that strangely enough gets a LOT of tourists because we have gorgeous beaches, and yes, sometimes it rains. And yes, for two years I worked at a video store. I worked there right up until two weeks before I gave birth to my now-two-year-old. A lot of people looked at my little stature, my kind of baby face, and my great big, distended belly and gave me really dirty looks, because they, incorrectly, assumed I was a pregnant teenager, probably one who dropped out. I was 28 at the time. Married for 7 years at that time, and Ben was my third son. I graduated from high school in '98, and went on to college.

Perception, people; consider it.


Post a Comment