Thoughts of an Author in Training
“Are you the chick that sold me weed today?” his finger extended towards me as if extracting the truth with his index finger was possible.
“What?” I said. I was bartending and had complimented the stranger on his Bronco attire that stretched from the tip of his head to the socks on his feet and his response was asking if I had another job dispensing marijuana.
“Are you the chick that sold me weed today?” he said again this time less confident.
“Nope, can’t say that was me,” I said. “Do I just have that drug dealer vibe?”
It was a playful response on my behalf considering I live in a state where it’s legal to buy and sell weed recreationally. I find it crazy how unprogressive it is considering it should have been legalized ages ago. Everybody was partaking anyways for decades, the government just figured out finally that they could make money off of it so why not make it legal.
I’d clearly stunted him. He felt so sure behind his blood shot eyes that I was the one working the medicinal counter at the local dispensary and telling him I wasn’t seemed like a game to him. He decided to play it off by shaking his head and raising an eyebrow as if to signify, I get cha, it’s a secret that you work at a dispensary. He took a sip of his drink while handing me payment and as I went to get change he finally responded.
“All you blondes look alike,” he said, “that’s it.”
I returned with his change and gave him the really? eyebrows and made a stabbing motion towards my heart. A gesture that anyone else would have laughed and probably apologized for their vague ignorance and generalization. But he kept going and it was evident that the universe wanted me to hear this conversation, because no customer came up after him to save me.
“It was a cool chick that gave me weed today,” he said. “She was blonde. That should make you feel better.”
Let me think. Nope, still don’t see the justification in this very misguided conversation. I’m glad to hear that you met a woman who was very cool and had blonde hair, and I’m definitely taking the subtext of this way too far, but when you’re sober and everyone around you is sloshed the conversations get a little muddled in clarity. I keep myself sane by conversing with the subtext in my head. After all, most drunk talk is sober thoughts that we just shouldn’t say.
He’d tried to comfort me in sharing that there was a least one blonde that was cool but in saying that he’d implied that most were not. So along with being bland and unidentifiable out of a group of women, I was also most likely un-cool. Well, I may be un-cool, but that’s because I choose not to be, not because of my hair color. Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to fight some long standing stereotype of the dumb blonde. I’m just trying to point at the strangeness of human beings in general and how our general hardware forces us to make such outlandish statements.
The rebuttals in my head kept growing. I could turn the stereotypes right around and say, “You stoners are all alike, but it’s ok, I meet one this morning that actually thought rationally and didn’t eat everything in my kitchen. That should make you feel better,” but what was the point? He didn’t mean it in a harmful way, maybe he did but the circumstances were forgiving. I just find it interesting how the parameters we’ve built to define one another exclude actual personality traits. It’s all about appearance and what we know.
This has always been a tactic in history. As human beings we feel the need to categorize things, to put them in a box and give them a label because we can’t handle what we don’t know. Control comes out of knowledge and understanding comes from the classification of knowing what you are dealing with. For example we fear death, because there’s no proof, no knowing what’s after life. So we’ve decided to label it anyways, give it guidelines, add a happy ending if you’re morally good and destruction if you’ve been cruel. We’ve decided to make sense of it because otherwise we’d been uneasy and unable to grasp that one day we won’t exist and that is certain. This bleeds in to social interaction where we constantly need to define economic class, gender, race, religion. Humans are not just humans. That’s good in the sense that we are made up of more than just one thing. But it’s bad because we get lost in the labels and stereotypes losing our grounding in equality.
Although I am a blonde white middle-class American female, I’m just like the Bronco-man with his rosy colored eyes and vague conversation. It’s strange the things we learn once we open our ears and close our eyes for a little while. It was like a scene out of Dazed and Confused, where we were both implying that the there was something missing between us, like McConaughey’s joint, something that would have made us a whole lot cooler if we could figure it out.