Out at parties and bars and events, I meet many people who are Types of People, and who assume that other people are Types of People, too. This is disconcerting for me, since I am no Type of Person at all.
It goes like this: “What are you doing later this evening?”
“We’re going to go over to the Rose Room to watch the drag show.”
“Oh… you’re the Type of Person who likes drag shows?”
I sometimes wonder what traits qualify as “Type of Person” traits, and what traits do not? For example, I like tomatoes but I don’t think people would say that I’m the Type of Person who likes tomatoes. On the other hand, I’m definitely the Type of Person who likes “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Star Trek”. I might be the Type of Person who wears tight shirts, unless I’m around a bunch of people who all wear tight shirts…. then I’m just a person.
Here in Dallas, being one Type of Person might mean you are not supposed to be another Type of Person. For example, I was at a bar called Roundup and I said that I might go to S4 and someone said “Oh, you’re the Type of Person who goes to S4?” and immediately I could see that the person talking was a Type of Person who goes to Roundup and he assumes that if you are a Type of Person who goes to Roundup then you are not the Type of Person who goes to S4 and so what the hell was I doing here, anyway?
For non-Dallas people it should be noted: these two bars (S4 and Roundup) are directly across the street from one another.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not a Type of Person at all. I’m equally comfortable listening to Skinny Puppy and Les Miserable, and I’m equally comfortable at a drag show or a Country Western bar. I’m sure this is very confusing for people who are Types of People.
After all, if you don’t know what Type of Person someone is, how can you know whether you should be friends with him or not?
I don’t want to seem too cynical. Not everyone in Dallas is a Type of Person. Moreover, this is not an exclusively Dallas phenomenon. In most of the cities that I’ve lived in, from Los Angeles to New York City, there have been people who are Types of People.
Maybe that is a Type of Person in and of itself: the Type of Person who is a Type of Person.
It must be very limiting…. yet also very comforting. Because, you see, when someone tells me (for example) that he likes heavy metal music, I do not automatically assume that he is the Type of Person who likes heavy metal music. As a result, I know very little about him. In fact, I only know one thing about him: I know that he likes heavy metal music.
On the other hand, if you are the Type of Person who assumes that people are Types of People, then when you hear that someone likes heavy metal music, you suddenly know a great deal about that person! In fact, you know nothing less than the entire Type of Person he is! He is the Type of Person who likes heavy metal music!
That must be very satisfying.
Regrettably, I think I will forever be slow in this regard. By not living in a world of Types of People, I will always have to take the “long route” when it comes to getting to know people. I am damned to learn by bits and pieces, the individual traits of others, piecing them together gradually….
Please forgive me, those of you who live in a world of Types of People, for being so slow.