The Write Tools


By their flair…ye shall know them May 13, 2008

My husband and I were at a fundraiser recently. It is one of the blue ribbon events in our community… if you are somebody, then you are there.

We are not “somebodies”.

My friend happens to be the director of the institute, and needed warm bodies for a few open seats that were left. Always striving to be appropriate, we dudded up in our finest and drove our domestic to one of the swanky wineries in town. We did not valet.

All the way there we shared a grin… we are such posers.

I scanned the silent auction items, proudly writing my bid number down on the interesting looking ones… we were there so early, we got to take the opening bid slots. My husband warns me, if they all hit,  we are eating mac and cheese for a month.

I laugh, we will for certain be beat out… I mean the opening bids were $20. Don’t you know that a charity auction is not for bargain hunters, it is to raise money for their cause…. so, no worries, we will be outbid. This is the upper crust of our fair city’s citizens.

… most that were there…posers. Fortunately for my food budget, we only won two. Unfortunately for the charity, they came in a huge amount under their goal.

So how do we know by looking at people if they are genuine or not. In this day and age of labels…Gucci and Prada… and posers… leased prestige BMWs, no interest loans on mansions, 40 year college loans on ivy league… how do we wade through them and find truth about people…who they really are and what they stand for? I mean, act your wage. Isn’t that a huge contributing factor to the economy going down the drain? People are posing.

This is why I appreciate the military system. By their flair, ye shall know them. I was struck by this on base recently. Simply by looking at the Marines around me, I could tell upwards of ten significant things about them. No words required. Depending on the uniform they are wearing:

1. I know how to address them

2. what their job is

3. the places in the world they have been

4. what kind of education they have

5. how much they really earn

6. where they live (base stationed at)

7. their Job performance

8. How crazy they are (All the services wear different cammies and uniforms from each other, you can spot a Marine a mile away)

9. Merit, heroism, bravery….

10. All the obvious things like rank, last name, unit, schools they’ve gone to, how great of a shot they are (rifle and pistols), how many times they have deployed…and to where….if they fly, what they fly and how long they have been… among others.

You truly can get a whole snapshot of who they are the moment you are observing them. Those are not silly things, like what kind of phone they use or car they drive…they are significant things about who they are as people.

These are just observations. I am not advocating everyone start wearing little emblems of themselves everywhere…although if you think about it, we already do…. there is just no governing body to regulate and police proper, honest display of them.  It would be an interesting social experiment though… wearing patches and medals to tell the story of who you really are….

1. Spent all my food money on this Prada Bag and am living on top raman now.

2. This BMW is really leased….or better yet, my other car is a enterprise rent-a-car

3. Living on my parent’s couch once my no-interest loan comes due on my gated 6bdrm.

or perhaps…

1. I just got back from refuge relief in Tanzania

2. I just helped build houses for Habitat.

3. I love my children.

My husband is laughing at me as I write this. I am the girl who won’t even wear the nametag at church…I like to force people to say hi and ask my name. I like to force myself to remember theirs. (Plus I get creeped out by people looking at my boobs all the time…squinting to read the nametag)

I can’t help thinking how differently we would look at the people we meet if this was the case? Would we get to know people better or ostracize them more…if they wore their truth on sleeves and collars. What would yours say… let me know?






4 Responses to “By their flair…ye shall know them”

  1. Kym Says:

    I got a kick out of this post, Amie. Once I went on a cruise (never will I repeat the experience). The first question people asked was, “WHat car do you drive?”

    UH? On a cruise? THis is relevant how?

    I guess somehow the fact that I drove a 10 year old beater was indicative of whether I was funny or kind. Somehow I just didn’t know how to interpret this shorthand. I asked why they came on the cruise and listened to their answers–this told me a lot about them, and, mostly it told me that a cruise wasn’t the place for me.

  2. Dana Portis Says:

    I loved your incredible insight into the “it” generation! Do you wear”it”, drive “it”, or think”it”. I can proudly say I escaped the “it” devices when I gladly left my $120K part-time job to stay at home with my three blessings and lovingly enjoy the top ramen life. I relish in the fact that my kids (dare I say all children) need to hear “no, you can’t have that because we can’t afford “it”!
    My hubby and I, even with the wads of cash we were making, were never ones to keep up with the infamous “joneses”. I chose to sell my Mercedes…1. because I did not want people defining me by that car, and 2. when your kids actually say the name of the car you are going to drive for the day..”are we taking the Mercedes or the van”…there is a problem!
    All I need are life’s little blessings that the good Lord so faithfully provides…the rest is just “it”.
    Hugs to you, my friend and compadre in like mind!

  3. Greg Says:

    Actually my Ivy League loan is 30 years.

  4. Dionne Says:

    Hey girl! Loved being on your site and reading all your blogs. This is new to me but was so much fun. My kids are sick and I decided to send you a note.

    I will move our business to Lowe’s, I do enjoy doing a load or two a day, but I am happy to report we have never had to eat on top ramin due to a prada bag. I do not own one or desire to. I hope that we do “act our wage” and will be using this quote in days, months and years to come. Another one of my own favorites from my sister is “not my pig, not my farm”. Hope you are having a great day. Thanks for making me laugh.

    See you soon. Love your sister in Christ – Dionne

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