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!