09 November 2009

Chronicling the Human Class

Describing people is a very difficult thing, a hardship comparable only to catching a monkey with merely a lobster cage.  But, like the monkey dilemma, it is possible. The reason I find it hard to elucidate homo sapians is that physically, there is nothing else to relate them to and the variety is eclectic; and in terms of all other aspects composing a man or woman, the characteristics are generally painfully inaccurate. Consider the following arguments:
If I were to describe a new friend I just met at the annual Pokemon Symposium, held in Jakarta, and I said she was a blonde with black highlights, had a large, curved smile and a twinkle in her eye you might envision a nice girl with a banana split for a head. It's perfectly reasonable to associate the blond hair with black highlights to vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, the large, curved smile to a banana, and the twinkle in her eye to an M&M. That would certainly be the first thing to come to my mind if someone described their sister that way. What if I described my girlfriend as having a "Face like a model, body shaped like a bottle." Would you think to yourself that I must be unlucky to be dating a girl with such a skinny neck? Would you in turn think that I was referring to a spray-bottle, and thus implying that I'm dating a woman who spits on me? Would you assume I was dating a camel? Would you wonder what kind of model? A hand model? Eyebrow model? Toy train model? I think you see the fallacies with these descriptions.
Now, physicality aside, talking about one's personality is an equally Herculian effort. How can you sum up an entire being's life experiences in just a few words? -Assuming of course the 'being' is not a silkworm (one word: Silk) or a fruit fly (one word: Fruit). People are sometimes jaunty; they are sometimes jolted. On rare occassions it's jealous, and other times, jaded. They can even be things that don't begin with a 'j,' like jittery. ...maybe they can only be described by 'j' words. I have a one track mind... If I said my best friend was jello-like, would you think he was sweet like gelatin or blubbery like an orca? Would you think he had been jello-like his whole life, or was this just a recent development? Did he used to be more or less gelatinous?

I have belaboured my point. If you ask me to describe what my friend is like, and I say she has a face like a banana split, a figure like a spray bottle, and a jello personality, just imagine the most beautiful girl in the world and assume that's who I'm talking about.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Very interesting, Dave. It makes me wonder how you would describe me. I hope jello would not be included.