Everyday Words

Who are you?

March 1, 2002

Yesterday I met with my docent class from the art museum and we were introducing ourselves to others. Of course, people used labels instead of telling us who they really were: I’m a mother, I’m a housewife, I’m retired, I’m a teacher, I’m an office worker.

I didn’t know anything more about them from what they said. What made them tick, were they funny, were their hearts passionate, did they love? Their labels didn’t tell me that.

When it was my turn I said, “I’m Alex. I’m foreign, I swoon, and I terrorise little dogs with my mittens!” I showed them my mittens, which are made of wool and have faces and a bright red tongue sticking out between the thumb and fingers. Everyone laughed, and everyone got who I was; a cheeky git who at twenty eight didn’t care about wearing silly mittens because laughter was more important.

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