Saturday, September 05, 2009

The people

Having completed the first full week of school, my 12-year-old shared her "people" categories with me. According to her, persons in seventh grade can be grouped as follows:

1. The mean popular people.

2. The nerdy* nice people.

3. The smart cool people.

4. The people who think they're popular but are really losers.

5. The funny people.

*smart, but uncool

Perhaps not surprisingly, I new exactly what each description meant. It was a refreshing change from "liberal" and "conservative."

I asked her which category fit her best. "Sometimes I'm a two or a three," she said, "but mostly I'm considered a five."

I asked which category she would assign to me. "You're a three and a five," she said without hesitation.

Then I asked her which category best fit her dad. "I hate to break this to you, Mom," she said, "but I think dad would mostly be a two."

Kid's got a point.

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Photo inserts: Erin O'Brien circa 1972 and husband Eric circa 1971.

Further reading: Archives chronicling the life and times of Erin O'Brien's husband, frequently referred to as "the Goat" in these pages.

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Bridget Callahan said...

She left out the important category of nerdy and NOT nice people.

I seem to run into those a lot.
But maybe it's an adult thing, like they need time for their bitterness to fully blossom.

Michael A. Miller said...

I'm pretty sure the "nerdy not-nicers" wind up fixing our computers. Or working at the Lakewood Public Library.

Otherwise, daughter-much sounds as if she has a grip on it (even though we're "not supposed to label people". But who doesn't?)

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

I'd like to reach category 3, but I'm afraid I mostly am a natural 2.

(well, except maybe for the "nice" part).

~d said...

I LOVE this! I was just thinking of your daughter this AM. My oldest is 9, and I remember when your girl was 9. I have known you for longer than I realized.

B.E. Earl said...

When I went to school back in the early 80's it was the jocks, heads, brains and dweebs. I floated around the periphery of all four.

Velociman said...

"Sometimes I'm a two or a three," she said, "but mostly I'm considered a five."

Isn't that the most awesome answer a child could give? You're doing good, E. You're doing good.

dean said...

I feel like a 2.

My fear is that I'm a 4.

Anonymous said...

While I would like to think I am a 3 or 5 I think the 2's are equally as valuable. Without them I doubt much would get done. We'd just sit around and laugh and joke and discuss truth and beauty. On the other hand...


HeyJoe said...

I didn't realize they had a goat category in middle school.

Kirk Jusko said...

I've known liberals and conservatives that fit each of those five catagories, so something else must be at play.

Just this guy, y'know? said...

I guess I'm a 6 ... I think I'm funny. You guys are welcome to use my side door anytime. Hey...I found Stephenson. (you just said "oooooh god!")