(perhaps I should hang out with orcs or something)
My views on physical appearance have been made perfectly clear on this blog a number of times, but I’ve never really talked about the physical appearance of others. I’m worried I’m making this into a horrible kind of double-standard, you see, because while I couldn’t care less about what I look like, I often judge everyone from friends to strangers on their clothes, looks and so forth, suggesting that I want them to present themselves in an attractive way for my sake, but that I’m not prepared to return the favour out of laziness and being simply inconsiderate.
This doesn’t just extend to who looks pretty either, I do the thing of judging traits like professionalism and maturity based on people’s clothes – so my mate who seems to perpetually wear a blazer rather fits his demeanour as the reincarnation of Laurence Sterne, whereas I made judgements about a bloke of the same age as me in Sainsbury’s the other day because, irony of ironies, he was wearing a tracksuit – which is rather stupid coming from the guy whose attempts to dress up for a fancy party consisted of making sure his wrist brace matched his otherwise business-as-usual black shirt.
And I know such judgements are inaccurate, harmfully presumptuous and will probably narrow my world view in the long run rather than widen or ‘refine’ it by only hanging around with people I perceive to be ‘good people’ at first glance, but its hard not to do it. A combination of an annoyingly fast-paced life (like, I’ve finished a whole term at uni now. Wut.) that prevents us from actually getting to know people as people, and a fantastically complex society, that forces us to caricaturise and stereotype people, simply so that we have a starting point from which to begin interacting with them, means that we’re not judging books by their covers, but by the frakking font used on it, or some other meaningless feature.
Fortunately, I’ve met friends at this point in the year, so I don’t really need to do any more conclusion-leaping when a first impression is made (I’ve already made the misstep of assuming two people to be arseholes without ever having talked to them, only to later find out they’re lovely and well worth hanging out with). But what happens when I join a new club, or start a new year with new professors, or even when I’m eventually spat out of university into that big scary ‘real world’ I’m supposed to know shit about? I’m in the awkward position of having had a problem – judging people when I first meet them – but not really solved it when I had the chance, so look out for a similarly-worded blog post in four years time when all my friends piss off to become theatre reviewers or NME writers and I’m sat in a single room at the top of some impossibly tall tower banging out confessional poetry on a creaky typewriter under a swinging, naked bulb, like something out of The Nightmare Before Christmas, except without the Christmas because I’ll be sad, alone, and probably allergic to happiness by that point.
But people are confusing, and trying to figure all of them out is like doing a Rubik’s Cube with a million sides where the colours switch places randomly with every turn for no reason; and considering I’m not universally detested, emerging from a string of broken relationships, or being run out of town on the back of a train, I’d say I’m doing passably with human interaction.
Now if only getting a decent relationship with my WiFi connection was as easy (honestly this post has been delayed by three frakking hours because it’s not like students need working WiFi in their rooms, right?).