Monday, May 3, 2010

What in the h*ll is THAT supposed to mean?

There's this *thing* that has happened to me for most of my life. I always figured it would stop eventually, but apparently, I was wrong.
Frequently, when I am introduced to someone, the person making the introduction says something along these lines,

"This is my Daughter/Friend/Sister/Wife/whatever, Kathi, she's an Artist."
(I'm not sure why that needed to be included)

Then the person being introduced does some sort of variation on,

"Ohhhhh, how *interesting.*"
(I think they might have actually rolled their eyes)

At which point, for some completely unknown reason, the person introducing me feels the need to add. . .
"She's VERY creative/talented/artistic/insert some other awkward adjective.

THIS is when the *thing* happens. The other person says something like,

"I can tell!"

O.K., when I was a kid, this wasn't so weird. I usually was sitting nearby actually drawing something. You know, it's cute, a little girl drawing horsies in a notebook. I get that.

Even later, when I was a teenager, trying desperately to "express myself." When they said "I can tell!" It might have had something to do with my unusual fashion sense or possibly the fact that I frequently had spiderwebs or hearts drawn on select areas of my face in black liquid eyeliner. I get that. It makes sense.

But this happened to me AGAIN 2 weeks ago.

"This is Jim's wife, Kathi." Oh please, don't say it. "She's an Artist." Doh!

"Oh reeeeally?" Ugh, let's leave it at that, O.K.?

"She's VERY talented." Seriously, we're gonna do this?

"I can see that!" Aaaaaand , there it is.

It was all I could do to keep myself from grabbing this woman and asking her what in the world THAT was supposed to mean!! I looked like any other slightly plump, middle aged, woman, in Shape-ups, blue jeans, and a standard issue Wisconsin winter coat! What does that mean? It still makes me feel creepy, just writing about it. Granted, that whole brief exchange is weird, so it isn't surprising that it ends on such an awkward note.
It shouldn't bother me. I know that people are proud of me and they want other people to know what I do. I think the heart of the matter stems from the fact that when someone says they're an artist, it evokes a lot of different images. For all they know I could be sitting in the corner of my basement, gluing silk flowers on the cat. Maybe they think I'm one of those "artists" that gets a government grant to spend my days in coffee houses acting moody and my nights rolling around naked on canvasses covered in chocolate pudding. Everyone has a different idea of what an artist is, so I guess I can't blame them for sounding patronizing.
Maybe it's time I got the tattoo I've been wanting for so long. I had originally wanted a nice, discreet, little octopus in an easily covered location, but I could always make the facial cobwebs permanent instead. Then I wouldn't have to wonder any longer what people mean when they say "I can tell." heh!


Kristin said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! "gluing silk flowers on the cat"

When people have mentioned I'm an artist in an introduction, the new person asks what *kind* of art. I tell them "sculpting and painting horses." That's when they give me a "that's interesting!" response. Like I might as well be customizing Barbie dolls and putting them on Ebay. (Sorry to any Barbie customizers out there.) That's OK -- I have a friend who just came back from a Kewpie doll convention. ;-) I'm much more legit than that. :-p

Becky Turner said...

lol well, at lweast they are proud your an artist! I have been one since i was a kid..hell I sold my 1st oil paintings as a teen.. a young teen for 50 bucks each and in the very early 70's that was alot of money for a kid! I also sold tiny horse sculptures and a painting to an old 5th grade teacher (I ran into at a elementary school we lived next too after we moved from where she had taught me when I was in 5th grade) as a teen.. but no one has ever said that I was an artist when introducing me.. I don't think my family or some of my friends are at all proud of me for being an artist.. in fact iM sure of it as far as family goes.. I think they just want me to get a real job and be boring and normal.. or marry a well off guy and give up the art all together! as if im not boring enough! lol normal I will never be though.. .. but I have no idea what it could mean.. next time just ask! say hold it.. im really really curious and i don't mean to offend you but what does that mean anyways.. ? say you have heard it said many times and you really need to know.. lol I have a feeling though its really just something to say because what do you say? oh good for her? lol.. I would think they would say instead of shes an artist, that her dad is a famous sculptor and she is following in his footsteps or some such thing...but then im sure that would get old really fast! lol... so take it as a complement
so whats up besides that? any new stuff in the works? oh by the way... whats so wrong with gluing flowers to a cat? lol
Rebecca Turner
Solticeart Studio

Mitchster said...

Most memorable line...
"I could be sitting in the corner of my basement, gluing silk flowers on the cat."
That's Awesome.
I have a biz card just for my blog. I give someone that and they are off the hook; they don't have to cringe and ask me what I do, they can go look it up themselves.

StoneWolf99801 said...

LOL! Yeah I hate that too. Then I usually mention "I paint museum quality horses and ship them world wide." and that usually shuts them up pretty quick.
And if I get a "Really?" like they dont beleive it.... I follow it with a "Yeah infact just last month I sent a $600. resin piece to germany, 4 $300. resins to New Zealand, and 6 other models spread between Australia and England.
Now that might be a bit of a stretch. cause really all those went out in the last 9 months, not the last 1... but it tends to make there eyes bug out in a hilariouse way and they treat you more like a normal contributing member of society and not some weird chubby person living off social security and disability.

Sharon Kerr-Bullian said...

What DO they mean by "I can tell"? I'll admit, I might maybe still dress in a way that might maybe clue in someone perceptive. I'm more than a bit eclectic in my fashion style, sort of a mil-boho-chic thing going on, but that "I can tell" still bugs me. Is it meant to be friendly acknowledgement of a talent, or is it meant with derision? I don't mind it when I've still got spots of paint, or patches of dried superglue, on my fingers and hands and that clues someone in, but when I'm all cleaned up, I don't know how people could possibly tell.