I tend to think a lot. Sometimes I think I think too much. I also tend to question a lot of things that people often just accept as the “norm,” which tends to either (1) provoke interesting discussions or (2) just drive other people absolutely crazy. Mainly the second scenario. Anyway, here are some things that I’ve always wondered….
1. Why do we continue to perpetuate the stereotype that women love shoes? And where did this myth even begin? I know that some women do love to buy shoes, and have at least one pair of shoes for every day of the week. However, not all women do–I certainly do not. Actually, I just hate shopping for clothes/shoes in general. I have three pairs of shoes: tennis shoes, slip-on shoes, and sandals, and that is more than enough. Well, unless you count my pointe shoes, which at times can admittedly be just as painful as wearing high heels. Maybe even more so. The only important factor that comes into play when I buy street shoes is how comfortable they are, and I really have no “fashion sense” whatsoever. Perhaps that is why my younger sister told me that my black Dr. Scholl’s slip-on shoes look like men’s dress shoes, and that my Dr. Scholl’s sandals are extremely unattractive. Hey, at least they are comfortable! That’s what really matters to me. I honestly think shoe-shopping is one of the most boring activities on this earth, other than maybe watching golf or reading celebrity magazines.
2. Why do we always use rings to ask someone for their hand in marriage? Why don’t we use something else? OK, so I do understand the general reasoning process behind using rings: they are easy to slip on and off, fend off unwanted approaches by people at a bar, and probably have some sort of symbolic value that I don’t feel like researching at the moment. Also, they contain shiny gemstones that for some reason tend to captivate some women. Still, I can honestly say that on the 0.001% chance that I do end up getting married someday, I probably wouldn’t want a ring anyway, since I dislike jewelry and wouldn’t even end up wearing it. I mean, it’s just an overpriced band of metal with a gemstone in the middle–the important thing is that someone is asking you to marry him or her. I think I’d be perfectly content accepting something more practical in place of a wedding ring, such as a jar of coconut oil or one of my favorite books. You may think I am joking, but I am being 100% serious right now. Mock me if you must.
3. Why do medication advertisements on TV often include peaceful nature scenes and a smooth voice listing the dreadful side effects of the medication while calm music plays in the background? It’s as though they are trying to downplay the possible effects of the medication by inferring that after you take Viagra you will feel like sailing on a boat or fishing on a lake. It just seems almost amusing to hear that smooth voice saying “side effects may include nausea, vomiting, chest pain, constipation, or a horribly painful death” while those oh-so-happy people, now cured of their ailments, walk in a flower-covered garden or sail on a canoe in some gorgeous lake surrounded by pine tree forests. Just saying…
4. Why do we tell teenagers to be cautious and law-abiding drivers, and then when those teenagers get on on the road, they are honked at or speedily passed if they actually follow the speed limit and the rules of the road? People are constantly talking about how reckless and distracted teenagers can be while driving, and how they should strive to obey all the rules of the road, never speed, always err on the side of caution, etc…Yet when teenagers start driving without that handy little “please forgive me, I am just learning how to drive” sticker on their car, they begin to realize that the majority of people out on the roads do speed, do disregard some rules, and do not always err on the side of caution. Of course, I am not trying to say that teenagers should just follow everyone else–I highly recommend being a safe driver, though perhaps that is because I am an overly-cautious driver myself. However, it’s not hard to understand why teenagers may toss aside everything they learned in driver’s education class, and just go with the flow of everyone else on the road.
5. Why do we only commemorate certain people on those random holidays we have throughout the year? Also, why do we even celebrate certain holidays? Why Martin Luther King Jr. and not Rosa Parks? Why Christopher Columbus (who was a rather cruel and racist person anyway) and not Amerigo Vespucci? Why certain presidents and not certain doctors or teachers? I am not saying we should add more holidays to our jam-packed calenders (if anything, we have too many holidays), but it seems rather arbitrary that only some people get to have a holiday named after them. I mean, I think whoever invented toilet paper and indoor plumbing should definitely have priority over someone who murdered and enslaved Native Americans. Or maybe that’s just me? On a related note, why do we even insist upon commemorating holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, when the vast majority of Americans either don’t know what it is actually celebrating, or just use the day as an excuse to wear green, drink beer, and go to parties? The same goes for Valentine’s Day–it is so over-commercialized, and probably causes more stress than happiness for many people (particularly restaurant owners and people who forgot to buy a Valentine’s Day gift for their significant other).
6. What exactly is the point of those food-eating contests that are so popular at fairs and festivals? If you can think of a single concrete and practical reason as to why we should watch people try to shove as many hots dogs down their throat as fast as possible, please do let me know. Because I cannot see any benefits to these disgusting and unhealthy “games” that will almost certainly give you indigestion and nausea, or even make you vomit. And why are they almost always unhealthy foods such as hot dogs or hamburgers? Probably because fiber-rich foods such as apples would be harder to gobble down as quickly. Either way, it seems like a terrible way to gain money and fame.
7. Why do we get so caught up in the lives of fictional characters, whether they are in books, TV shows, or movies? I am certainly “guilty” of doing this, so don’t think I am trying to scorn those people who do this as well. I was crushed when in the final Harry Potter book (SPOILERS) Snape was killed, since he was always a fascinating and intriguing character to me. While reading Jane Eyre, I got totally caught up in the romance between Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, and was inexplicably joyful when the two of them finally decided to get together in the end, despite the rather huge age gap between them (in Jane’s defense, she was mature for her age). I was saddened when, in Doctor Who (SPOILERS again) Rose was sent to a parallel world and would never be able to see the Doctor in person again (well, maybe I shouldn’t say “never,” especially not in Doctor Who). I have found myself talking to the characters in books that I read, chiding them for bad decisions or trying to give them advice. I frequently talk to the people in movies or TV shows, though it is a rather one-sided conversation. Why I do these things I am not entirely sure–there are probably dozens of theories as to why we find ourselves getting emotionally involved in the fictional lives of such characters, but I think it greatly depends on the person.
8. Why do we often start sentences by saying “no offense, but…” or “don’t take this the wrong way, but…”? If you start a sentence by saying “no offense,” then that person will almost certainly take offense anyway, making that opening line rather useless. I suppose we use such phrases in an attempt to soften our words and make it sound less harsh, but does that actually work very well? Not usually. If you are going to criticize someone, you can try to say it in a diplomatic and constructive fashion, but saying “no offense” will not prevent someone from feeling offended. If anything, it might make them even more likely to be offended, since they know you felt the need to say “no offense.” I am not sure that makes any sense, but I hope it does.
Well, I think I shall end it here. I know my posts have been rather sporadic lately, but I try not to “force” myself to write if I don’t feel like writing. That just results in boring or halfhearted posts, which I attempt to avoid at all costs. I hope you all enjoy your day!