Interpretation…it is amazing how different that can be from one person to the next. That is why folks can stand in art museums and be looking at the same piece of art but see or feel different things. It’s the whole premise of beauty is in the eye of the beholder – as is also true of horror, happiness, simplicity and so many other things in life -it is all in the interpretation. It is why couples fight sometimes over what was said – even though what was said was never intended to be interpreted in the way it was.
It’s the Thomas theorem in sociology – which addresses the notion of interpretation in regard to folks’ behavior. Thomas said, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.” Yes indeed – such is the case with interpretations.
Interpretations are one of the reasons why email communication is so precarious – all the interpretation is based on the words and what you know about the emailer. Albeit, there are some things that are fairly universally understood in email – such as things in all caps equates with SHOUTING and LOL (laughing out loud) is used to denote something is being conveyed with a humorous intent.
I am focused on the power of interpretation to lead one down a completely unintended path as I received an email from WebMD today – the same folks who talked to me about saliva a few days back. The subject of the email was – “Your Weight: Is It All In Your Head?” EXCUSE ME?!! Are you calling me a fathead WebMD… because I don’t think I appreciate that one bit! Don’t you know that name-calling is not nice? Did you think about my feelings? Couldn’t you have said my head was fluffy – not fat? Where is your sensitivity?
Do you think I am overreacting? Do you suppose they meant to say something else? Perhaps they sought to convey that I have a big brain and that is why my weight is all in my head? I do have a big brain some days. Which reminds me (while my big brain is so focused) – Weird Al Jankovic – I would like to see a parody of that “I like big butts” song utilizing big brains…I have tons of ideas for lyrics…call me – and my big brain.
Ah, but I digress, I was talking about my big brain or my fathead – whichever it is that WebMD was trying to talk to me about. In the vein of learning whether this email necessitated a thank you or a smack-down I clicked on the email. Apparently they were referring to my psychological state – wondering aloud if the source of my body image and/or weight issues are in my head – in a psychological way. Yes…now that I see the email I understand where they are coming from…but note that my original interpretations left an imprint. Heaven knows what my response will be to the next person who says to me “It’s all in your head.” Of course, you’ll know by whether a thank you or smack-down is issued.
Day five hundred and seventy-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da