Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Imprinting

When I was younger, before I had a car and my biggest concern was what would happen if I got caught smoking a cigarrette, I was told by my mom that she could spot who my friends were before she even saw me. She'd look in the crowd of self-conscious hormonal teenagers and notice the similarities in the toss of our hair, the bobble in our neck, and our hands scribbling emphasis in the air.

Now, I'm sure the way we dressed gave some things away, our scuffed Vans and low hanging pants, all hints of which group we belonged to. But, I was thinking about those gestures and how they change, evolve, and sometimes disappear. How the people in our lives help develop our mannerisms. Almost like cooking, a pinch of this person a cup of this one and WHAM! You've made them all your own.

How do we know what was ours and what we picked up? There is the conscious, "I like that I'm going to start doing it." An ex-boyfriend used to dissect my phrasing and he'd steal things like, "We're going to X, wanna come with?" He was fascinated with "the come with" for some reason. He thought it was cool and made it part of his vocabulary. I kept a light popping sound he used to make by smacking his lips together then open.

I suppose there are gestures that are simply ingrained in our DNA. I frown in a certain way that I've seen only in pictures which show a dad I never really knew. I suppose we even keep things that we never really knew we wanted.

Where did this come from? Not sure, but perhaps thinking about the people I surround myself with and what little tidbits I have picked up from them. How they have become ingrained in my mannerisms, in me, even after they are gone, after you're not friends anymore, after years of being friends, and well simply just after. The ones that stay with you are perhaps indicators of just how important the people were to you. The ones that never go away, well stay.

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