Thursday, March 20, 2008

Now, This is No Bullshit...

We did Steps again today. Two days ago I missed the group and didn't hear them in the stairwell so I thought no one showed up. Fortunately, I had my Shuffle with me so I listened to music and went by myself. No way was I going to sit it out: Rebecca and I have been skipping out on going to the gym (as I predicted we would, that's why I didn't want to get a membership) so I had to use the opportunity to exercise. Also, I do these rinky-dink little exercises at my desk, a routine I gleaned from some Workouts for Dummies book. Not much, but better than nothing.

Anyway, today K____ pointed out that my shirt matches my tie and commented on its trendiness. I said I was just lucky to find two colors that matched. Usually I'll try to pair up two garments and, though they're similar on the hangar, they're garish together. She explained that this was "the thing" lately, if you walk through Macy's you see all these purple shirts with matching ties, green shirts with matching ties, etc.

What happened next is something that happens more often than I think: I made up a long-standing opinion on the spot. I formed an opinion and promoted it as though it were something I've been thinking about for a long time, when in actuality it had never occurred to me before.

I was about to say, "I think that's just because those are currently trendy colors, these springtime pastels they're trying to get guys to wear. They're chancy colors, so they don't want to leave it to men to find some complementary color to go with them. It might discourage them from the purchase." I only barely stopped myself from saying this out loud because in actuality I don't think this at all. I never have in the past, this has never come up before in my life. I was about to pawn off this opinion as though... yeah, like I said before.

I wonder how many times this actually happens, how many times I've spoken authoritatively on something completely new and unfamiliar to me. I was on a local goth message board and that went pretty much the same way: I had a lot of sudden opinions and spoke about them emphatically, and people assumed I knew what I was talking about. I became a member of some standing for no good reason. That's not an ability I want to cultivate, I'd rather contribute within a meritocracy. I'd rather get far because I knew what I was talking about and had
expended real thought on a matter.

If I can pull off something as thoughtless and flimsy as this, who else is doing exactly the same thing? How far have they gone with it? Are they in positions of power and influence, whether governmental or medial? This should be alarming, as alarming as a population of adults too easily led by a smooth front.

Then again, that's how most people choose a romantic partner or a fashion statement, so... it's probably one small facet of a much larger, more pervasive problem. All I can do is keep my nose clean.


Boomer said...

I don't see having spontaneous ideas and sharing them with others as a serious problem. You really shouldn't have to preface everything with "I have absolutely no training or previous expertise, but it certainly seems possible that..(insert spontaneous idea)" As far as your idea about tie & shirt color? I'm going to steal your idea and instead of prefacing it with "I think" I'm going to say "I heard from this fashion guru/marketing expert..."

ps. I'm only here because I clicked on Until the End of the World in favorite movies.

Anonymous said...

I've done that before without ever really knowing why. In the same vein, sometimes when strangers (or people I barely know) surprise me or ask me something out of the blue, I will come out with an answer which is completely untrue. It just comes out, with no conscious thought.

I often surprise myself at just how well I can fake my way through certain conversations. I don't know where I get this stuff.

I never do that with people I feel comfortable around, so it must be some sort of bizarre defence/insecurity thing? I dunno. It's annoying, whatever the reason.