Let’s play a little game of word association. Lindsay Lohan: Crazy Waste of Talent. Charlie Sheen: Walking Dead Man/Genius. Frank Sinatra: Legend. Venus Williams: Tennis Star. Peyton Manning: Smartest NFL QB ever. Paris Hilton: Crack Whore. You get the idea. Everybody gets labeled whether we want to, or not. And we all label, whether we want to or not.
Listen, I know the good people of the world think it’s wrong to stereotype or put labels on people. And honestly, I really do try to be one of those good people. But let’s cut to the chase, no matter how good we all try to be, sooner or later, our snarky side will resurface. You know it’s true. No matter how many batches of cookies you make for the neighbor kids or number of times you shovel snow for the elderly couple next door, inevitably you won’t be able to stop yourself from doing a victory dance when somebody graciously mentions that the girl who beat you out for Homecoming Queen has in fact doubled her ass size. And don’t tell me you wouldn’t say, “The bastard got what he deserved!” when the bully that called you a nerd has officially married a raging ass bitch destined to suck the life out of him one nose hair at a time. So let’s just simply embrace it.
The way I figure it, it’s federal law that we have to label soup, sardines, marshmallow peeps, and hot dogs. And it’s not like our jeans and t-shirts don’t have labels, too. Old Juicy Couture wouldn’t be making much money if it wasn’t spread across Mariah Carey’s ass. Even my hairdryer comes with a warning label. So why wouldn’t we put them on people, too?
In fact, I have to think that a lot of the people I know should come with a warning label. It’s kinda like that Bill Engvall thing a few years ago where he’d say, “Here’s your Sign!” What’s wrong with a little post-it note attached to the shirt sleeve that says, Mommy spent too much time at Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow but bless his heart, he’ll carry your groceries for you? Or maybe we could tattoo the back of her neck to say Would Make Great Trophy Wife. I saw a great t-shirt the other day that I think would be a great label for some of my besties: Drinks Well With Others. Maybe yours would say Workaholic or Cheap But Not That Cheap or possibly even Changes Mind Often, But Really Cute. Mine is definitely Must Know Me To Love Me. Those may be a little wordy, but short and sweet would work, too.
And maybe I sound like a bad guy for advocating tagging, but labeling is how we identify people without knowing their names. How else could you tell your spouse about your neighbor if you didn’t call him, Crazy Bird Guy? Oh, don’t forget Topless Tanner Girl that lives across the street, too. He wouldn’t know who you were talking about without those references. And if you find a hot one that you can’t help but fantasize about, how can you talk about her with your friends if you don’t refer to her as Cute Cashier Girl? Labels are necessary no matter what the “good people” say. Maybe the good people have better luck than I do and have managed to avoid Creepy Stalker Man. Maybe they don’t have reasons to use labels, but I do, and you know you do, too.
Everybody has labeled somebody at one point or another. And who’s to say that they can’t be nice labels? There’s nothing wrong with Nicest Guy in the World, Best Work Husband, or Rockin’ Bank Teller Chick.
Would everybody feel better about it if we call them “pet names” instead? Does that make it less mean? Because truthfully, we all know somebody has given us a “pet name” before. Ever wonder what people say about you when you’re not there to defend yourself? I wonder all the time. In fact, I’d hate to guess what I’ve been labeled as. I have to think I’ve been called Random Crazy Blogger Girl or Stupid Ass Woman Driver or Chatty Kathy somewhere along the line (and all were probably accurate at some point along the way). The thing is that even though we’re not supposed to care what other people think of us, deep down, most of us definitely do care. And I’ll be the first to admit, I probably care too much about others’ opinions of me, but then I think maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I know very few people who could truly care less what others think of them and some of those same people are the ones who really could use a good arm-pit shaving, a back waxing, a shower, or a shopping trip to get a pair of size 14 leggings instead of the size 8 they’ve crammed their suffocating thighs into. I’m just sayin’ that maybe it’s okay if we care a little, as long as we don’t obsess about it.
There have been plenty of times that a label made me run a little faster to be the Race Winner or work harder to be the Grand Poobah or send a thank you so I wouldn’t be the Ungrateful Bitch. There’s nothing wrong with a little incentive to stoke the fires within. Who wouldn’t want to be called the Best Spouse Ever?
And yeah, yeah, yeah, you may be right there with me on the less-than-enjoyable-pet-name train, but don’t feel bad. At first I was worried that all my toe-tags would be bad like Ugliest Friend Ever or Cusses Like a Sailor or Fungus Lips or even Effed Up, but then I realized the things with the worst warnings are what everybody flocks to, i.e. – fireworks, explicit lyric cds, and Viagra.
So I guess what I’m saying is that good or bad, we all get dealt a rep. Either way, we win. Bad sells and God likes good!
Happy labeling, my Loyal Readers (or Snarky Bitches, if you prefer)!