I have been really itching to get back to blogging and finding time after a long day to even sort through all the thoughts and ideas I have had has been a task in itself. Recently in a FB group I belong to, (Original Bunker Punks) someone came up with the idea of a word swap, to help those of us who felt ‘blocked’ or ‘struggling’ to find things to write about. We all offered up a word and swapped word prompts. I jumped on the chance to do so and my prompt word was ‘Assumptions’.
We all make assumptions based on many different factors. height, weight, sex, religion, politics, social or even financial status and the list goes on and on. How we carry ourselves on any given day in any given situation puts us all in a position to have people assume something about us.
I will use myself as an example. I have tattoos, I have 12 of them at the moment and I would love to have more. I know the stigma of being a tattooed person, let alone a tattooed woman has lessened quite a bit since I was a kid, but, as a kid people who had tattoos were bad asses who got into bar fights and drank Jack Daniels and rode Harley Davidson motorcycles. It is automatically assumed that if you looked or dressed a certain way you were put into a category. I am also overweight…okay I am fat it isn’t like it is a secret or anything. Some people assume that because someone is fat that they are lazy and just sit around eating all day. Once again, not always the case. Sure, there are some people who are fat because they are lazy and do not know when to stop eating, but there are also people like myself who have medical conditions which make it more difficult to lose excess weight. For me I have had hypothyroidism since I hit puberty essentially. It is one of those conditions that doesn’t have an outward appearance. If someone looked at me they wouldn’t know that. Because of it I often am tired, my hair falls out, my skin can be very dry and I can have trouble with temperatures, (I can have very cool to the touch skin buy internally feel hot), among other annoying symptoms. This condition also makes it hard to lose weight.
Being fat carries it’s own assumptions as I said before. I recall when I was delivering my children who were actually born in 3 different states that each time it was time to start pushing they would bring in extra people to hold my legs when I didn’t need the help at all. It was obvious they assumed that because I was fat that I wouldn’t be flexible enough or have the ability to lift my own damn legs to push out a child. Each delivery I heard the same comment and it always struck me as so weird, “Wow, you are really flexible! We didn’t expect that you could do that”. Each time if I recall correctly my reply to them was the exact same sentence, “Not bad for a fat girl huh?”
I have had so many assumptions made about me for one thing or another and honestly it gets quite annoying and frustrating to be judged like that. I think that it has taught me how to be more tolerant and open minded of other people. I try to remember that everyone has struggles and problems and every person is fighting their own battle whether it is outwardly visible or not. I try hard to give every person a chance to show me who they really are inside without making assumptions. Which isn’t always easy. I have tried to bring up my children to be accepting of people and not make assumptions or judge anyone until you know the persons story.
I remember seeing on television as a kid, I believe it was on the show ‘The Odd Couple’ that Felix went to court for something and wrote the word ASSUME on the chalkboard and he broke it down like this ASS/U/ME. He went on to say that when one assumes they make an Ass out of U and Me. It was funny, I was a kid and they said ass on television!!
So, next time you see someone covered in tattoos, or someone who is overweight or different from you in whatever way they happen to be. Don’t be a douche! Do not assume anything, base your judgement on knowledge, and fact because we all are in this world together, all of us have things that make us different and we all deserve the same respect as humans.