Thursday, July 12, 2012

Labels (and only nine away!)

Okay, I admit I have a "serious" post, but I'm also slightly distracted that I'm only nine views away from 2,000.  And I'm kinda pleased with that... so, a momentary distraction...

Moving on to the real post of the day.  Labels.

Labels are tricky things really.  Meant to make things more clear, ordered perhaps, delineated, fit in boxes, etc.

And frankly, as someone with ADD, in real life, I like labels.  I like knowing where everything is supposed to go.  Where it fits.  Its "home place".  Because when I don't know where it goes, it doesn't go anywhere.  (Well, actually I have a very cluttered room for most of that...)

But this post isn't about things, though.  It's about people.  And I admit I'm torn on the labels on people thing.  Except that I recognize that it can be handy, too.  Because if we have labels for people - if we know where they are supposed to fit in our lives - then it's easier to know the rules, and what to do with them.

Friends, lovers, pets (oh, wait, that's not people, or, um, shouldn't be), kids, neighbors, acquaintances, co-workers, class-mates, strangers, Dominants, submissives etc.  There are certain rules of behavior for each of these categories.  (Particularly those last two I just threw in there.. there are a LOT of rules for them!)

(Robin - I bet you thought this post was going to be about you and I would go in a different direction! Psych!)

But what happens when these labels get muddied?  What happens when someone doesn't fit neatly into a pre-constructed box that society (or ourselves) has built?  And do any of us want to be limited by some box that we're put in?  Aren't we supposed to want to think outside the box?  To not be limited? To have freedom to expand and be flexible and all those kinds of things?

And then there's "boundaries" - a good old fashioned therapeutic word.  Because the reality is why we might want to venture outside pre-determined frameworks for ourselves, we get awful nervous when someone else does.

(Oh, my, this post is doing just that, too.. it's bringing in so many different (previously unrelated) things for me today - who knew it was out there.)

Okay - back on topic - I have started to ramble too freely here.

It would be easy to say x is y and the rules for y are such, therefore I treat x in this manner. 

The trouble is x is a bit slippery.  She (for example) doesn't fit neatly into the y box.  She fits a little.  But she also fits a little into the q box.  And maybe a little into the c box.  And some of the rules for y are in conflict with c and q

Lawyers are unlikely to admit to you that many of them don't write new documents for each transaction or court filing.  Usually they'll take an existing doc for a previous case or transaction and try to modify it.  I don't know whether they like, although I think the good ones do, writing a doc completely from scratch.  But most legal issues arise because the lawyer took an agreement from one transaction and tried to make another fit into it. 

Some lawyers are smart enough (and take the time!) to see the conflicts and polish and smooth out the rough edges.  Usually, though, you have a second year associate who is still green and doesn't, frankly, have the confidence (or again, time!) to trust themselves to write something fresh or understand why a piece might not fit.

Sorry - a detour, but an analogy that I think applies to human beings.  The reality is that we can't easily take a model we had for interacting with one human (or series of humans) and necessarily apply it to another.  Sometimes we can - and it's easy and it fits (  But sometimes we have to start all over and create something new to figure out how to interact with a new person with a whole new set of traits.  We may be able to steal clauses from something existing, but really it's something fresh and new.

If you're lucky, you'll take that time to think outside the box, think outside the label and take a fresh start and see what belongs and what doesn't.  You'll write a new document using your experience with the old ones.

Because in the end, we are each our own unique labels.  You can call me a dyke, you can call me a lot of things (but don't call me late for dinner.. *drum and cymbal snap here*), but if you and I knew each other in person, I would say that I am just me (insert real name here).  Instead, I can only say, I am just BorgBlog.  I don't fit easily into a box.  And probably neither do you.

(okay.. now I just need nine of you.. and then the rest of you are heading for the next milestone: 5,000.. psst.. tell your friends .. Resistance is futile.)


  1. Replies
    1. Oh yes, and then some. Next goal, 5,000. Keep reading. Keep sharing with your friends and your followers! Don't forget to post links to your favorite posts!

  2. Ha! But it was for me. But it wasn't...

    Labels ARE tough. They're easy shorthand, but what a particular label means to me may not mean the same to another.

    I guess for now I'm just Robin Sparkles.