"Older men have buckets," the attractive 39 year old attorney explained to me. Apparently, once you are in a bucket, you are in that bucket with little hope of changing buckets.
I immediately thought of the sorting toys my daughter enjoyed, kind of, when she was tiny. toddlers often enjoy finding similar shapes and placing them in groups - categorizing them and labeling as they go. The squares go in the square bucket while the triangles go in the triangle bucket. The Diva never really enjoy these toys preferring patterns - like mother like daughter I suppose.
I wonder if this practice of labeling, sorting, and placing things into buckets continues throughout our lives? Kids learn to do it at such a young age, and older men apparently return to the practice at some point. Collections of similar objects placed safely into their respective buckets.
One look at my office reveals that I do not do this. Pens, pencils, markers, dry erase markers are intermingled along with paper clips, push pins, and various as sundry other objects that simply need to be placed somewhere. Apparently, like my daughter, I do not categorize by shape, but look to patterns; I don't use buckets but enjoy more fluidity in my methodology.
I have given this bucket idea some thought though as I find it interesting. how many different labels have I worn? How many different buckets have I occupied?
In high school, I occupied sweet and hope buckets. While in college, my roommate declared that I was the "marrying type," placing me soundly in that bucket. This was based on my ability to talk to just about anyone about just about anything with genuine interest. Grad school found me in one of the guys bucket, which is a bucket I kind of enjoyed except that it removed me from the dating pool to some extent. Once my daughter was born, I joined many other mothers in the MILF bucket yet in one that allowed me to maintain a foot in the one of the guys bucket - which doesn't make a lot of sense, but, that seems to be the reality of the situation.
And now, What if I want to change buckets? What if I want to be in an available bucket? What if I want to be in a worth knowing and spending time with bucket? Can I jump from the MILF bucket to this other set of buckets?
Moreover, why am I in a bucket???
it is dangerous to consider people via labels or buckets; shapes or sizes or even colors. When one only considers the grouping to which they belong, one runs the risk of missing the movements that arise. This is a pitfall of my profession - people look at buckets rather than patterns; they see a forest rather than considering the growth patterns and changes within the trees themselves.
By using buckets, do we run the same risk with people in our every day lives? Do we look at the triangle and see only the shape rather than taking in its color and texture? Do we look at people and consider them good for this purpose but not for that?
In high school, I was sweet - I have changed very little in that respect. One only has to know my daughter to recognize that it is probably genetic. I was and remain a person who is fully in touch with the idea of hope while maintaining a firm footing in reality. I live in reality and yet my heart thrives on the hope that dreams can and do come true. My college roommate was right - I am able to talk to pretty much anyone about anything but it is because I am genuinely interested in people, their stories, and how they spend their time. As for being one of the guys, that is probably because it is fun and easy to be around men... and they enjoy my sharp tongue, mischievous spark, and my physical assets (and a MILF is purely subjective).
So which bucket am I really? How can we place someone firmly in a specific bucket? And why would we want to do this?
Do older men really do this? Do women do it to men as well?
If I have to be in a bucket, I want it to be a blue plastic bucket. The well loved, well traveled, goes everywhere and does everything kind of bucket. The bucket with imagination and the one that is so much more than a bucket! You know, the kind that kids use to build sand castles, carry sea shells, hold their important outdoor treasures, and takes part in so many thrilling adventures!