Our Internal Pronouns Are We/Us

Our Internal Pronouns Are We/Us

My public pronouns are she/her. My kid’s pronouns are they/them. I like that we now have gender neutral pronouns. As I’ve gotten used to using them, I find I’ve started to use them as the default choice. For example, I might inquire about a new pet I am meeting for the first time, What’s their name? Or if a friend tells me about someone new in their life I might say, Cool, what’s their deal? What are they like? 

Because I have been involved in a lot of pronoun talk over the last few years, I just noticed a few days ago that I often refer to myself as we. My friend and I were driving to Runyon Canyon for a hike. Excited to get back into shape now that the weather is cooling down, we were conversing on the state of our at home work outs. She hadn’t done any yoga that week. I said: We haven’t either. One of us really wanted to this morning but another one didn’t. Guess who won?

I do this a lot but only became conscious of it in that moment. Unlike the larger pronoun conversation the world is having, this is not about my identity and I don’t wish for other people to refer to me this way. But it does make me reflect on why I do this.

Don’t we all contain contradictions? Thinking of myself as a we is a way of unifying a bunch of unruly and disparate impulses, desires, and actions. Some of us want to eat Pringles. Others of us want less belly fat. Some of us want to read books all day, others of us want to get stuff done. I don’t know if they are the same people. They don’t feel like the same people. They make too much noise for one person. Some of them I like more than others, but we are a gang and it’s definitely an all for one and one for all internal situation.

Does anyone out there also use an inner we when talking to themselves?

Sidewalk Face 1023

Better Safe Than Sorry vs. a Good Guy

Better Safe Than Sorry vs. a Good Guy

I ride my bike to the bank to deposit a check and realize the box store is next door. I need a few mailing supplies for all the prints I sold on my first limited edition print offering!

There isn’t a bike rack out front, so I ride to the alleyway entrance, dismount next to the metal fence and start to secure my bike when a young person wearing a mask makes some noises in my direction. I can’t understand them and do not assume they are talking to me but despite my disregard they persist, and I look up.

What?

I’ll watch your bike.

Blank stare.

I can watch your bike while you’re inside, nobody will take it.

Oh! Thank you so much. That’s nice.

I take off my helmet, leave it in the front basket and walk inside feeling both uneasy and something else.

I’ve lived in major metropolitan areas my entire adult life. I don’t leave things unlocked. One of my main mottos is Better Safe Than Sorry. I like locking my bike. I like reducing risk. I like certainty. This act of generosity is making me think about it rather than just knowing it’s handled. But it’s also interesting.

The young person is wearing a t-shirt with the store logo. They are in the act of sweeping. That adds up to a legit employee. Or at least 90% of one. What are the chances the small box store would let some rando wear one of their shirts and loiter productively outside the shop if they didn’t know them? So, with that calculus, I am still in the acceptable range of Better Safe Than Sorry. 

At the cash register I try to see my bike but it’s either not there or out of site. I spend the full minute I am in the store thinking about my bike and wondering if I will have to walk home. That’s my brain!

The bike is there. I shout out, Thank you so much!

You are welcome!

How lovely! They are probably doing it to be a good employee, but it feels genuinely nice. It’s like Ted Lasso nice. It makes me really happy.

And with this I add a new category called Mottos. I have several I live by and I would like to explore them.

Sidewalk Face 955