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What Do You See When You See Me?

Submitted by Emily Snedecor on April 14, 2010 – 10:56 pmComments

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Photo by D Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

By Emily Snedecor at Reasonably So

This afternoon as I commuted homeward, I saw a man in the subway about 6′4″, mid-30’s wearing a blue plaid shirt, worn-out light wash skinny jeans, patent leather oxfords, a black scarf, and a black felt fedora. Hipster-esque. Like anyone with an active imagination, I mentally created a life for him as a former member of a punk band who had decided to settle down in Brooklyn with his wife and two toddlers. His wife is petite and surprisingly preppy, from Connecticut, and his children spend their dinners finger-painting their highchairs with organic ketchup. But I don’t know any of that, I just made it up.

You see, I like to imagine what other people’s lives are like based on just a quick glimpse. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I studied anthropology or maybe it’s natural curiosity. Who knows? After seeing these people and creating stories for them I begin to wonder what they see as they look at me.

At the private preschool where I work, I think I may look an awful lot like a mega-liberal hippie. Out and about in general New York, people might consider me somewhat of a hipster. When I hang out in hipster/hippie circles, I’m quite sure I seem preppy and proper.

Strangers who noticed me today would have seen my candy-striped Toms shoes, dark skinny jeans (rolled up), gray v-neck t-shirt, navy cable-knit cardigan sweater, and black and white striped scarf. Did they see a girl heading from her preschool teaching job to an apartment with her tall and friendly boyfriend and a**hole cat? Could they tell I’m trying to get more confident about riding my bike? Did they know that I love to cook?

I always have to remind myself of the greater question: how do I see myself? I’m a person who likes to be happy doing whatever I damned-well please. If that means wearing a blue oxfordcloth shirt and boat shoes, I’ll do it. If it means wearing beat-up cowboy boots with some skinny jeans, I’m there. Some people rock a grunge-look or send off seductress vibes 24/7 and seem totally content. Call me indecisive, but I can’t commit to any one look like that… I like that I can change up an outfit and become someone else. Who will I be tomorrow?

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  • I like the reference to candy-striped toms shoes;)

  • thetarhythm

    dude. I think about this ALL. THE. TIME. Great post!

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