Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Label Me

Someone asked me recently how I would label myself.

Label myself?

It reminds me of this strange Christmas gift I got one year, no doubt a relic from the sales bin that my relatives usually peruse when thoughtlessly selecting some piece of crap or other to put under the tree for me.

It was a Brother P Touch, maker of labels.

As we all know, when life gives me lemons, I like to make lemonade. So, good sport that I am, I went about showing my appreciation for this delightful gift by putting it to use. I labeled.

I labeled the sofa "sofa".

I labeled the door "door".

I labeled the vodka "BFF".

I labeled the label maker "label maker".

I labeled the salsa "stupid fucking jar that I can't get open, I don't even like salsa anyway".

You get the picture. And all the while I learned a very important lesson: never label anything that has pubic hair. Ouch. Of course, the label maker eventually ran out of labels, and I refused to spend perfectly good money on label refills, so I did the only thing that made sense: I donated that useless empty label maker to the homeless. I mean, who has trouble remember stuff like the homeless? "Stray dog", "my left foot", "nickel"....all kinds of applications.

But back to me.

So what would I label myself?

How about "self"?

Or maybe Jay. Probably not Jamie, though that was the first label ever given me when I came out of my mother's stomach, along with my blood type and weight (thank god we're not compelled to wear those bracelets all life long), although there was a time that I would have rather been known by my weight than my name. Oh how I hated being called Jamie. Everyone told me it was a boy's name, and in fact, I could not deny that I'd been named after my uncle. And everyone mispronounced it because I went to a French school where French tongues stumbled over English names (kids in my class would address me as "Gami" on my valentines). But eventually I came to think of my name as a gift rather than a curse, and Nickname Gods be thanked, my days as Spike were numbered but Jay was one that stuck. Until I met Jason, a fellow Jay, and an instant dilemma. As you can probably tell, I won, as I win all such contests in our house, because I have the all-mighty vagina, and he does not. There are only two instances where I am not Jay. The first is when we're in bed. He calls me Jamie then, apparently fucking is more formal than I thought, and every time he says it it sounds strange on his lips, almost as though he's saying another woman's name, which is maybe the point. The second is on government documents. The government is not a fan of nicknames, which is no surprise. The government has been a total square since the early days of democracy, although their stance against nicknames is a little hypocritical since I do notice they refer to themselves as "gov" in their web addresses. "Gov" is still a far cry from hip & cool, I'm afraid, but then, governments are known for bungling. Although, to be honest, I would probably be anti-nickname myself if everyone referred to me as "those stupid fucks".

So Jay it is, as far as labels go.
Unless you expect the existential rather than the rudimentary.

Would I label myself as kind, for example?
Well, I guess I would say I'm kind of funny. Kind of weird. Kind of thirsty.

I might also subscribe to:

"Keep out of reach of children."

"May cause irritation."

"Extremely flammable."

"Not dishwasher safe."

Not that I've ever been inside a dish washer. I'm just assuming.

Okay, so maybe I suck at labels.
But could you really do any better, ya punk?

Prove it.

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