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You know that girl? Of course you do. That girl that is quiet, unassuming, articulate and shy. She doesn't bother anyone or have many friends. She sits at the back of the classroom, gets her work in on time, and doesn't say one peep unless called on. Even then, it's a soft spoken whisper barely heard.
She's in every classroom in America, in the world. She's me.
At first, people whisper about her. They wonder why she sits alone at lunch, why she always carries some type of novel around. They make fun of her hair. They sneer at her clothing. She is an enigma to them, but soon they make their own assumption about her. They decide she came from a cookie cutter family, with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. Then, they slowly forget about her. She is in the very far corner of their minds.
There is no white picket fence around my yard. My mother is dead and my father is a deadbeat alcoholic whom I have not seen in more than ten years, yet no one knows that truth. In their mind, my family is perfect. There is nothing wrong. Morons.
Why do people make assumptions? Why do people let others make assumptions about them, and not bother to correct them? I can answer the second question, in one perspective, at least. In mine.
I let people draw their own conclusions for what I do and the way I act because their ideas are so naive and so far from the truth I relish them. I drink them up like a starving man in a desert. I like to laugh at them bitterly. I like to pretend they're real for one second of the day.
When I'm at school, innocuously passing people rushing by in the hallways sometimes I people watch. I watch how they act. I watch their body language. I watch what they say, and I am astounded by it all. We are such idiots.
I once thought a girl was a tramp because she dressed skimpy and didn't do very well in school, though she did do very well with boys. We are in some of the same classes this school year. I got to talk to her, and realized she is a very sweet girl who doesn't happen to be very bright. That's alright.
I admit I'm guilty of judging and making assumptions before really knowing someone, as stated above. We all are, and it's horrible. Some of the nicest people I know will sometimes state, 'That girl is such a nerd,' or, 'He dresses in ratty clothes, I bet he's poor,' without even having spoken a hello to the person before. It all disgusts me.
We are human beings. We are not perfect, nor will we ever be. We make mistakes and we learn from them. I wonder how long it will be before people realize that. Before people realize the profound effect they can have on another person by just commenting on their state of dress in earshot, then assuming them trashy, poor or maybe even flashy.
"That girl has really ugly earrings, I bet her mom bought them at a garage sale or something because they can't afford anything expensive."