Monday, April 4, 2011

On Clothes

"Excuse me, can you tell me where the bus stop is?", asked a cultured voice in English.

As I gave her directions, I marveled at her command over the language. I know it is no big deal to speak idiomatically correct English, but you don't normally expect it from a lady clad in a burqua.

A burqua brands you not just as Islamic, but as one hailing from a family with conventional values. And such families do not normally educate their girls. And yet, well-educated she definitely was.

Serves me right for make snap judgements based on a person's clothes.
drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

Last year's post - C for Chocolate.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes people surprise us.
You are featured today, Rayna!

Margot Kinberg said...

Natasha - What an interesting example of how we can stereotype people based on the way they dress and/or speak. It's all too easy to judge someone on one of those superficial bases instead of finding out something about that person.

Jen Daiker said...

I love that you showed what you posted last year!!! I've wanted to cheat a few times (when I get stumped) but haven't and it's paid off! I love seeing this. Great post :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rayna .. I know - clothes, and just not being white seem to ensure white people think others can't speak English - but they do better than we do ... quite often!! (Much Better too) ... lovely meeting you and I'll be around for another drabble soon .. good word!! Cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

I tend to think that we do need to be able to make quick judgements based on insufficient information, or otherwise we'd be paralyzed and unable to move - and that can include judgements on people based on clothing.

The key is being able to revise those judgements, just as quickly, when we find out more about them, instead of clinging to the first decision we made and being unwilling to change our mind about that - and also, reviewing those broad preconceptions to determine if they're as accurate or helpful as others that we could use.

Thanks for sharing.

Bz said...

Thanks to Alex's feature I've found another wonderful blog! Nice to meet you! :) good story, straight to the point :)

Siv Maria said...

If clothes do make the person then I am in serious trouble!

Rayna Natasha Iyer said...

@ Alex - thank you, for being such a great blogger and such a good friend!
And one reason I love blogging buddies is because none of you can judge me by my clothes!

@ Margot - so true. Had I passed the lady on the street, I would have given her a very specific back story. Now I really want to find out more about her.

@ Jen - thank you. Reading last year's posts was fun too- you get to see how you have evolved (for better and not) in one year.

@ Hilary - I guess I should be the last person to talk, considering I have been at the receiving end of "not white, so cannot speak English" prejudice. Guess I never really thought about it that way.
I am just a normal girl- maybe that lady is too.

@ kelworthfiles - Thank you! That is so very profound. And you are absolutely right. We do need to be able to make snap judgements, or we cannot function. The key, as you say, is in being open to amending those judgements.
Thanks for dropping by, and I will return the favour soon. Promise.

@ Bz - thank you. And thanks too for dropping by. I will stop by too, soon.

@ Siv - that's one of the reasons for my liking the internet- nobody knows how you are dressed!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

We all make those snap judgments, don't we?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think we're all guilty of doing that.

Dafeenah said...

I am so glad Alex told me about you. I dress like that, but I am American and live overseas. When I speak English heads definitely turn. Alex was definitely right about you. Wisdom suits you perfectly.


Misha said...

Made me think.

It's amazing how quickly we pass judgement on people based on how they look.

It's also amazing how wrong we can be.


Karen Walker said...

Wow, great reminder, Rayna

Ginny the Sock Monkey said...

I learned this important lesson from my boss at work... I've learned to treat each person who walks into my store or who passes me on the street with an equal gaze. However, it is always a good reminder, because our minds sometimes go places we don't necessarily like!

Tina said...

Congrats on the feature! Unfortunately I think most of us do use clothes/other physical cues to form some sort of first impressions. Some take that much further than others, obviously. This is another good reminder that we need to remember that people are individuals.
Tina @ Life is Good

kmckendry said...

Great drabble. We seem to judge people on so many things, clothes being only one.

Martha (MM) said...

It's the old shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.
Stopping by from Alex's place to say hello. I'm playing along on the A-Z challenge too. I'm a new follower.

Nicki Elson said...

Hey, I'm so glad Alex featured you at his blog today. Your story is a wonderful example of something we all need to be reminded of from time to time.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's sort of like you can't judge a book by its cover. And underneath the clothes there are many layers.

Tara Tyler said...

nice post. to go the other direction, many times we assume everyone speaks english.
today is drabble day at my friend, aheila's blog and the challenge is race. yours would fit =)
happy c day!

Marjorie said...

Great post as always!

Tiger85 said...

Really nice post. I like your blog, I found your blog from Alex J. Cavanaugh's post. I'll be folling you. =)

Eileen Bell said...

Hi Rayna. Came here from Alex Cavanaugh's site, and I'm very glad I did! Love your "drabble," both the content of the piece AND the form. I will have to try this! Thank you. I will be back.

Ella said...

It is true, we all do this~ My post kind of goes that path a bit. We have to remember we all have talent. Sometimes it takes longer for us to find it~ Thank you for sharing @>----

Catherine Ensley said...

We also judge people, often, by their weight, and whether or not they are clean. But this too is an imprecise and unfair thing to do. I've known college professors who look as though they could be homeless. Possessing high intelligence doesn't mean one is automatically of normal weight and with clean hair and an unblemished complexion.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Good to see you featured on Alex's blog,
Clothes are things everyone needs and I certainly enjoyed your drabble.


Chuck said...

Rayna, just popped in from Alex's blog. Your drabbles are great. I'll be back!

Milo James Fowler said...

Big fan of drabbles; glad I was directed to your blog!

Jeanne said...

Nice work. I know I have been guilty of those snap judgments. BUt that is why I like people watching so much. TO notice and enjoy that that is different.

Melissa Bradley said...

Too true. And we've all made them at various times. Great post and I look forward to return visits here.

Trisha said...

Very true indeed - but even the most enlightened people make judgements like that sometimes.

Better is Possible said...

How true. As enlightened as I like to believe I am, it is too often that I make snap judgements.

Rayna Natasha Iyer said...

@ Debra - we shouldn't but we do :-(

@ Diane - but like someone saaid, we need to be able to do that to function

@ Dafeenah - now you are making me blush. And it does come down to personal choice, doesn't it?

@ Misha - I like it when I am wrong, because that means I left my mind open. Not sure if that makes any sense

@ Karen - thank you, Karen

@ Ginny - so true. It is the least likely poeple who you often end up having hte best professional relationships with.

@ Tina - they are, aren't they?

@ kmckendry - I guess it would eb sad if we don't leave our minds open to being corrected.

@ Martha - thank you for dropping by, and I will stop by too soon.

@ Nicki - thank you.

@ athursdayschild - so true. And I am a Thursday child too!

@ Tara - read your comment too late, but I do hope the contest was good.

@ Marjorie - thanks

@ Tiger85 - thank you. Following you right back

@ Eileen - thank you so much. I'm addicted to drabbles as you will sooon find out.

@ Ella - thanks Ella. Looking forward to reading yours.

@ Catherine - totally. I look like something the dog brought in most of the time.

@ Yvonne - thank you, Yvonne, for dropping by. Means a lot to me.

@ Chuck - thank you for dropping by.

@ Milo - thank you, and I am addicted to drabbles myself

@ Jeanne - we must be twins. That'e exactly what I feel too

@ Melissa - thank you for dropping by. Will pop across soon.

@ Trisha - they do, don't they?

@ Better is Possible - but I guess as long as we are willing to change our minds when proved wrong, it is okay


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