To some extent, everyone identifies with some type of label. Whether the label is degrading or uplifting, politically correct or incorrect, somewhere in the world a label is waiting for you. Naturally, said labels are also served with a massive, Thanksgiving portion of stereotypes. Thanks to kids these days with their murder and texting* treading lightly is of the utmost significance in handling these labels. Keeping the peace and not telling people how we actually feel is, after all, the basis of American culture.
But it’s not so cut and dry anymore. Back in my day when I was a squirt watching Tales from the Crypt and eating Gushers, labels had 1 meaning. You either were something or you weren’t. Accordingly, you either liked that person for their beliefs for being different or the same as yours or you wanted to bash their head in with a can of Aqua Net. Plain, simple and to the point. We all understood that when you associated with a label, way of life, or belief there was no “fine print” that came with it.
I have loads of friends and family who identify as vegetarian for various reasons. Some dislike meat’s sinewy texture, others do it for health-related reasons, and others are animal advocates whose hearts break at the thought of chewing the calf equivalent of Bambi. But some vegetarians don’t make it so simple for the rest of us.
“Yeah, I’m a vegetarian but can I have some of your $10 salmon? Well, I’m a pescetarian.”
Um…it’s not an astrological sign. You either eat meat or you don’t, PERIOD. The modern vegetarian has made it nearly impossible for the carnivores to determine an acceptable dinner menu to serve your indecisive ass.
Understand you, I don’t. It’s not to say that I don’t get you and your beliefs. I just mean that I literally don’t get it. What are the rules? I feel like it changes daily. How can you live in American and be vegan? If I don’t invite you over for dinner, would you be offended? Right when I think I’ve caught a vegan eating a wild animal, they assure me rabbits are totally fine. I kind of think this is a secret society…
I used to identify as “agnostic” when I wasn’t ballsy enough to tell everyone I don’t believe in God so I get it. You’re not really sure what you believe but you believe in Yoda or some higher power that tells you it’s your destiny to eat that cupcake. But much like your first semester in college, just claim “undecided.” It helps the rest of us know whether or not we can tell the PIC jokes in front of you or behind your back.
Not martians, people who go ape shit for a burlap purse with which to sling their home-grown vegetables in. These people literally kill me. Going green is not a fad or phase, just ask pretty much all of Europe. Having those fun Publix grocery bags that are reusable only make you green if you use them…every time. I can’t deal with the lecture some of them feel obligated to blather on about as they scream at me from their Hummers. Surely every little bit helps but don’t scour at me when I hydrate with a Dasani and you can’t even spell Prius.
It is my belief that if you have to “self-proclaim” yourself anything, you’re probably not. That’s like telling people you’re a self-proclaimed bj specialist. Do you think Jenna Jameson has to let people know she’s good at that? The same is true for this new wave of “nerds” taking over our great nation. Non-prescription glasses and plaid does not a nerd make nor does corresponding hash tags. Speaking in binary and thoroughly enjoying the thrill of building a computer, now we’re talking.
This is not targeted at fans who have no effing clue what’s going on because as I’ve come to learn, that’s more people than you think. Not to mention, sports in this great country includes the experience of the event. But what kills me are those that swear by the Falcons or pray to the Manchester United gods during playoffs, only. Where were you the rest of the year? Where were you when Matt Ryan needed you in game two and you were too busy not knowing who Matt Ryan is? Being a part of the party is fine but then you’re just a party-goer who happens to like the color red, not a fan.
This isn’t meant to deter you from experiencing all that life has to offer and establishing new interests. It is meant to encourage you to know what the hell you’re talking about though.
*My sister is 100% to thank for this phrase and it should be known this is her doing, not my wit.