Thursday, July 25, 2013

Labels Are For Jars

The One Spot in Target; a girl's best friend.
Almighty treasures, grand junk, and plastic ridiculousness, for the win.
Month after month as inventory is swapped in and out, the Lil' Dude finds something she needs. Like, need-needs. And month after month, I relent and comply because dude. Life is short, plastic is rad, and what's another $1 or $2 on top of an already atrocious Target bill?

This week's amazingness included a whole slew of these plastic glasses- total hipster, total Russell Westbrook slash NBA, total trend and oh so needed. Yes, add them to the cart!

The label said, "Nerd Glasses" ... oh, Target, why you gotta be like that? Nerd is a label. So is hipster. And trendsetter, which is implied, and so is Russell Westbrook in all honesty. Why couldn't they be simply called "Faux Glasses?"

And my kid, super pumped about her new spectacles, and slowly becoming the lusts-for-words girl her Mama is, asked me what the label said. She wanted to read. I had to tell her they said ... nerd.

Like the candy? She asked.

No, like the insult.

Definition of NERD:

       : an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially: one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits
       - Nerd-i-ness   noun
       - Nerd-ish   adjective 
       - Nerdy   adjective 

-Webster's Dictionary, 2013

Slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits? I'd call that a rockstar. Granted, that was never, ever me in any part of my life, maybe aside from learning all the lyrics to TLC's Creep in 1994, but it's something I would support in my daughter's life, obviously. With great pride.

When I was a kid, my Dad forbid my brother and I from saying three words ... aside from the standard vulgarity already discouraged in children by society, and those words were stupid, retard, and shut up.

Naturally, telling my baby brother to Shut up, you stupid retard! really meant two things- one, I was deliberate and intentional in my anger, and two, I was about to get in the most trouble you can get in as a juvenile. That was for the jugular ... and my Dad would go for mine.

But he made his point by the labels we used and misused. He taught us early about acceptance, ignorance, and slander. He also supported us in our own labels as we grew into ourselves and flew whatever flag we chose.

I already love my daughter's stark independence and comfort in her own skin. I didn't realize upon motherhood that it would begin at such an early age, but I've always been consistent in my observation and commentary about how she dresses, moves, accepts, questions.

A part of me, probably the biggest, hopes she always the tye-dye in a sea of neutral. I'm that way- and it took me about 30 years to get that way and be 100% okay with it. And in general, humanity has evolved that way naturally. Not without resistance, of course, think same-sex marriage rights, think Augusta National Golf Club, think Boy Scouts of America. I know in her kindergarten class there will be kids with pink hair and Mohawks and when I started school in 1995, there wasn't any of that. Just paste eaters, and maybe the occasional kid with a single parent.

Labels are for jars, not people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was just reading some of your posts.....they are amazing! This one reminds me of the Oakland B tye-dye party sophomore year. Remember?

Andrea Raiber