Max Kohn, "Tsunami", huile, 2005

Meeting new friends via social media, it is easier to be racially color blind. Although sometimes the name gives away a clue, or I peruse our newfound friend’s profile to see where they live, I often find myself developing a casual relationship with someone even though I have no idea what they look like or where in the world they call home.

It’s cute when a friend tweets “Good morning!” when I’m getting ready to go to bed. I have an instant clue that they live on the other side of the world. Sometimes a name makes me think someone is male, when in fact they’re female, or vice versa. Imagine my shock when I realize someone I thought was a Republican turns out to be a Democrat!

If I’m reading an entire blog post by one of my faraway friends, the way they string words together can give me a clue as to where they are. But I’m no linguist… beyond identifying what parts of the country say pop and which say soda, and knowing what countries spell color with a u, I’m clueless.

This cluelessness is a good thing, though. It’s better to base a relationship on common interests and personalities than to rely on a person’s physical appearance.

Months ago, I was exchanging comments on a blog post with someone whose posts I’d read before. After a few exchanges, I started to wonder… Is she black?

Re-reading her posts, I really couldn’t tell. There was nothing obvious. Even when I was looking for some colloquial clue, there was none there.

But the idea stuck with me. It seemed to me that she was black.

It turned out I was right. I don’t remember whether I ended up seeing a picture, or found some obvious clue, or whether I simply asked. But that was really the end of my wondering. It was no more important than if I’d discovered she has a pet cockatiel. Interesting, sure. Important? No.

Not unless the next prompt turns out to be about domesticated birds.

This post was written in response to a Write On Edge prompt about colloquialisms.

I deserve some kudos here… I actually wrote this memoir in the first person, which is a huge challenge for me lol!

The shortlink for this post is

About AmyBeth Inverness

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice.
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2 Responses to Colloquial

  1. Enjoyed your post. For the quite a while I didn’t have a profile picture of myself or my real name anywhere. Then when I posted a picture it was a sketch where you still couldn’t tell whether I was white or black. Sure it was evident in some of my writing references. But I definitely didn’t want anyone to stop by my page and judge me by a photo before they read me. 😉 Visiting from yesterday’s WOE. P.S. I’ve made really great friends with someone with a religion I don’t understand. But I knew her first through her writing so, what she believes in doesn’t bother me. Interesting huh.

  2. Nancy C says:

    This is insightful, and oh-so-true.
    Writing clears away a lot of the clutter, doesn’t it?

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