A most amusing account of my journey through adulthood
Today there was only one fly in my apartment. He met his fate on my glue board early in the afternoon. I’m extremely happy with this improvement, but the whole situation has got me thinking. There are, more than likely, people who were put off and down right disgusted by my last two posts (which are linked to in the related section). There are people who are probably judging me from behind their computer screens and thinking I brought it on myself. After all, flies are dirty. They are attracted to and breed on dirty things. Therefore, anyone having issues with them must be dirty. This post is dedicated to that train of thought, because I’m sure I now have friends who silently swore to never enter my apartment. What makes a person dirty, and what are the social repercussions that come with this label?
Culture is, of course, the biggest factor in defining what makes a person dirty. Perceptions of cleanliness vary depending on one’s location, religion, upbringing, financial status, health, ext. It is important to note these differences if one wishes to avoid judging others rashly. It is not reasonable to expect others to agree with and function within one’s own specific criteria for cleanliness.
However, what I think is more important is how people are treated once they’ve been labeled as unclean. In most cases I feel that this leads to exile, further judgement, and little to no opportunity for redemption. In addition, the redemption that is offered often comes with a list of changes one must make to be acceptable again.
So, as I sit here at 2 am with my half empty can of Monster that’s keeping me awake for work, I can’t help but think of where this can will end up. I know full well that when I have finished my drink the can will be washed out. At the end of my shift the can will find its way into my car and enjoy the short drive home in the passenger seat. When I’ve parked the can will nestle its way into my open hand and be carried towards the dumpster. Then, the can will leave my hand and find it’s home in the hand of the woman who regularly forages through our dumpster for such treasures. The can’s journey will be followed up by a short conversation and a few exchanged smiles.
I’ve often wondered how many people have passed this woman by and refused to look, to speak, to acknowledge her presence. All because she is doing something taboo. She is doing something dirty. She is dirty.
For me, the last two sentences are not one and the same. The first does not make to second true, nor should it. I suppose this makes me odd to some and possibly even dirty by association. However, I cannot bring myself to think of her in such simple terms. I refuse to scorn her simply because the categories others have placed us in do not line up. At the end of the day, she’s a person not a representation of a predefined group. People are filled with any number of complexities, and their inability to fit perfectly into a box is incredibly beautiful.
So I will continue to talk, to give, to smile, to treat a person like a person, and to be dirty by association for as long as being dirty means being decent.