Be what people say you are

Posted on April 5, 2017 by Feiko Beckers

Often people try to compare themselves and others with animals. According to my girlfriend for example, I am a beluga whale. I at first was not familiar with the beluga whale, but since seeing some pictures, I completely agree. The resemblance is uncanny.
      But more interesting I think it gets when you compare people with objects. I found that out on a Brussels’ terrace last summer when I compared a friend of mine with a pallet. A comparison that the other people at the table – to my own surprise – wholeheartedly agreed with.
      I also found out then that you have to be careful when making comparisons with objects. When I compared another friend with a flypaper, she did not seem to like that. Apparently flypaper is anything but a compliment.

Since last weekend I also know what kind of object I myself can be compared with. While I was waiting on the train station of Antwerp a man came standing next to me who was on the phone with a friend. That friend was also somewhere in the station but they had trouble finding each other. In an attempt to accurately describe where he was, he suddenly noticed me.
      “I’m standing next to a man with red hair.” He said.
      It took his friend another three minutes to find us. Just at the moment my train rolled in the station. I actually wanted to use those three minutes to get a coffee, but I decided to stay put. Because it’s sometimes better to be what people think you are. And in my case that is apparently a meeting point.

 
Photo: Lev Ilizirov
 

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