Freaks and Geeks We Meet

My title is offensive on purpose. Why should we call anyone a “freak?” Ugh. Though I’ll tell you that I’ve secretly, silently applied that label (and worse) to people. A friend and I used to joke, though only with nervous laughter since we knew it wasn’t funny, that we went through our days acting as if life were a talent show, and we were the judges. And no one got a very high score.

When do I most harshly judge other people?

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Snap decisions and public transportation

Quick, you’ve just jumped on the subway and you have to grab a seat before the forward motion lurches you into the nearest pole. Without even consciously thinking about it, you’ll make calculations about each of your potential seat mates, and you’ll plop down in what feels like the safest spot.

“Safe” in terms of social cues, avoiding potentially awkward or threatening interactions… “safe” in terms of however you’ve been conditioned to think about various people based on the external visual clues as to their identity.

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