The Other

This may not be earth-shattering news, but I’ve been noticing something that a lot of people seem to do.

You bump into someone at work and get to talking about X. You’re surprised, because this guy does Xa, whereas you’ve always done Xb. So you say, “huh, I always did it Xb.”

Really! Crazy! I never heard of that. Seriously?

Eventually, one of you quotes a saying: To each his own. There’s no accounting for taste. Learn something new every day. Whatever floats your etc.

Ok, next stop:

You bump into someone from a region of the country distantly separated from your region. Xa and Xb. You say, “well, HERE we Xb.”

And…

You bump into someone from a different country: “Well, in MY country we Xb.”

But the truth is that people in your region and country ALSO Xa. They do. They really do! You just didn’t know it before, because you haven’t been paying attention, or you considered them outliers when you heard about them.

Next time, just pretend that the person saying Xa is from one block over. Doing so takes away the facile response that it’s a regional or even country-wide difference. Imagine how you’d have to respond if the person were a neighbor. Don’t make it about their country (or even region) and yours.

Because I’m telling you that someone one block over is all about the Xa. Can’t get enough Xa. Has got Xa coming out the yinyang.

This is true whether talking about ice cream preference, coffee, political ideals, sexual mores, sports, and practically everything else.

This is wisdom I’m laying on you. Soak it up.

One Response to The Other

  1. BruceS April 19, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I’ve tended to run into the reverse. For years after leaving the Detroit area, I thought the lack of Devil’s Night celebrations around me was just lack of interest among a small set. I also had no idea that Euchre was regional.

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