Monday Notes: Putting People In Boxes 📦

274c37f1-2160-49fd-830b-7fbc98aa85e0Last weekend, my family and I celebrated my goddaughter’s birthday. Our hotel had board games and a pool table in the lobby. Thanks to Dwight, we had an impromptu game night that lasted to midnight.

As is common for the 21st century, I took some photos and posted them to social media. A few people were surprised that I posed with a cue. And I was surprised they were surprised. Sometimes I’m able to let comments like these roll off my back; but this time, I was bothered, not only by their surprised reactions, but also by their accusations that I couldn’t possibly know how to shoot pool.


My great uncle, Uncle Webber taught me how to play when I was around 12 or 13 years old. He and Aunty Belle had just bought a home in Maywood, a Chicago west suburb. They had one of those garages that dips under the house. When you exited the car, you opened the door into the basement.

In their basement was a pool table, and that’s where I learned to play. Uncle Webber taught me. He taught me how to hold the cue. He showed me how to chalk the cue, and he helped me understand the rules of the game. Because I visited Aunty Belle and Uncle Webber often, I frequently practiced basic rules, like hitting the ball on a specific side to execute a shot.

I’m not saying I walked around the west side with a cue in my back pocket, hustling people, but I learned enough to know how to play. Just like riding a bike, those lessons stayed with me. When Dwight suggested we play the other day, I reviewed them and proceeded as I remembered.

But you can’t say all this on social media. There isn’t enough room, and it’s social media inappropriate, I suppose. Instead, I posted a few one-liners and lol’d my way through.

This has happened before. People are shocked that I do something other than teach or write. Playing pool is just one example. People are amazed that I cook food, which seems absurd, considering how much I like to eat and that I have a family, who throughout the years, has required meals.

I get that we can’t know every single facet of everyone’s identity or life. But that’s exactly why I think we shouldn’t assume that the 2-3 parts people show us is all they have to offer. Most people are multidimensional. While I teach for a living and write to promote thought, I also cook, play Spades, volunteer, read tarot cards, workout regularly, dance, and practice yoga.

Let’s stop putting friends and family in boxes and actually try to get to know one another. It could be as easy as starting a conversation that begins with, “I didn’t know you did blah blah blah,” which could lead to a cool story and a deeper understanding of an individual.


A few hours after I wrote this, I saw this video on FB that shows exactly what I’m saying:


44 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Putting People In Boxes 📦

  1. Ha! You cook!? And your family needs to eat?! WHAT?!

    I think it’s funny when people try to box you in. My question is always: Why is the boxing necessary? Multi-faceted people are always the most interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the video; especially we who feel lonely. I think that’s a big eye opener for people. Loneliness takes on no particular form or shape. People who are deemed gorgeous can be lonely right there along side the wealthy.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thank you for sharing!!.. unfortunately there is a element of today’s world societies that function with a closed mind and today’s technology has given them a voice… out of courtesy, I generally give them a few minutes of my time and then move on, continuing to follow my dreams… 🙂

    You and yours have a Happy Valentines Day and may today, and all your tomorrows, be filled with love and happiness!!.. 🙂
    May flowers always line your path
    and sunshine light your way,
    May songbirds serenade your
    every step along the way,
    May a rainbow run beside you
    in a sky that’s always blue,
    And may happiness fill your heart
    each day your whole life through.
    May the sun shine all day long
    Everything go right, nothing go wrong
    May those you love bring love back to you
    And may all the wishes you wish come true
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Being put in a box is my biggest pet peeve, so I relate to your post. And that video is powerful, and just goes to show… We assume things about people (whether we know them or not), instead of directly asking, when we are not sure.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Well said!!! I hate how we put people in boxes, based on the part of them that we actually know. First of all, everyone is an individual who deserves to be treated as such. But also because we all have facets of our personality and experiences that even some of the people closest to us don’t know about. Why in the world should anyone be surprised you can play pool?

    Liked by 4 people

  6. How fun, another thing we have in common 🙂 It has been a while, do like to play this game too!
    Aaaaaaaaaaaarch, labels, boxes…ah well, you know how I think about them 😉
    Have a fabulous week, dear Katherin.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I’m me so I had to go look at the original FB post hahahaha.

    I have been called out for this before and immediately shut my mouth to reflect, so I’m glad you posted this.

    Also: I did not know you read tarot cards! But I am also not really surprised. How long have you been doing that? What got you into it?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. LOL I’m the same way (re: going back to see what was said).

      Long story short, almost a year but I’ve been into it for YEEAARRSS. I’m it really sure. I’ve always been drawn to parts of the so-called occult. Used to go to mediums regularly, etc. every time I’d go, they would be like ummm you have a calling and I’d just shrug it off.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I just had to watch the video ugh now I’m in tears haha. Reminds me of an activity that we would do during orientation in college called “Step into the circle.” Everyone’s always emotional towards the end and no one leaves the room with the same perception of everybody. If only we had enough time or cared enough to make the time to learn a little bit more about each other. But also in the little time that we have together, it’s important to not make assumptions. Thanks for writing this lovely post and sharing this video!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Ha! I should’ve warned you. It is definitely a tear jerker.
        I know exactly what ice breaker you’re talking about! And yes. I think we all have the time, but we don’t want to take the time, for a lot of reasons, unfortunately.

        You’re welcome and thanks, as always, for reading and commenting ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Go for it, Katherin! Pool can be difficult and I wasn’t very good at it. I didn’t have a coach growing up like you did. Great that you have those memories.
    I happen to love ping pong and can throw a Frisbee – echos of my youth and just a little outside the box. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I did realize that those memories are pretty awesome Judy! A lot of times we don’t remember them until something triggers them (in a good way), like, “oh yeah…I used to do this, too!”

      Ping pong seems to take a lot of concentration for me lol but throwing a frisbee sounds fun!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Kathy cheers to not putting people in boxes! 😀 I feel so frustrated when people try to do this to me, or others I care for. It is limiting and also shows a lack of imagination to believe someone is capable of just one or two things. We are all so many things, so many people wrapped up in the one person – let’s celebrate that, share this fact! A great post highlighting a very important topic!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Girl, I hope you shot a great game! I’m sure you did. If you’re anything like me, you took those negative things people said and put into focus for the game. I’m sorry it bothered you, but you’ve always given the impression that you rise above such negativity and shine bright!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Omg it’s like I wrote this post! Why do we have an image of someone being a certain way? Why do we categorize and classify? I don’t understand why people don’t realize we are all unique and multi faceted? We are not stereotypes!

    Liked by 4 people

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