25 August, 2008

The Blue Plastic Bucket

"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!


Scotty said...

So which bucket am I really?
I don't think you can control which bucket you're in... I mean, depending on the person you'll be in a different bucket, no?

T said...

A blue plastic bucket... I love your description in the last paragraph.

Yes, this is a topic that I've discussed with my friends as well. We all feel the need to categorize and we don't even realize we're doing it most of the time. We all make judgments. Wouldn't the world be better if we could remove our judgment and simply see each other as whole, completely lovable and completely loved?

Still in Camp Mom or is the Diva back to school?

Mike said...

A bucket? I don't think so. Now did this guy have the bucket over his head?

Aaron said...

A bucket, a label, a category, whatever you want to call it. Just because you're labeled a certain way doesn't mean you've been judged or deemed unworthy. I guess it's how it's being interpreted on both ends that really matters.

If a guy isn't interested, he isn't interested (don't waste your time chasing him). However, if this is the "not in my league" bucket, some quick flirting might find yourself recategorized. ;)

cathouse teri said...

It's very hard to walk with your feet in buckets. I pretty much insist that people not put me in them. Of course, they still do... in their heads. But they'd better not tell me about it! ;)

The Exception said...

Scotty - Too True. It is all perceptions.

T - If I have to be in a bucket... I want to choose the type!

Still playing camp mom, repaying play date debts, and playing way too much Word Twist! Any takers?
Mike - Not a bucket over his head - just some people are a bit more category oriented than others I think.

Aaron - It wasn't a question of interest more than it was a question as to how men and people in general think. How many of us have a great friend that we could never see as anything else because, well, they are a friend. We put them in a bucket even if there could be more there were we to open our minds to that possibility.

Teri - I don't know, hanging out in buckets could be a fun County Fair game or something...choose your bucket and see who can get to the finish line first!!

dadshouse said...

Categorizations are a thing of the mind. Simply refuse to be categorized!

Thinking Fool said...

As a mother, it is definitely tetter to be in the MILF bucket than not be in the MILF bucket, yes?

Have the T-Shirt said...

I defy anyone to categorize me that easily.....I'd like to think I'd fit in many different buckets!

But a blue plastic bucket will be perfect.

The Exception said...

DH - Ah, yes, I defy labels which is why I am The Exception... except when someone determines that I am to be placed in a bucket. I can't control the way others choose to label or how they choose to label; I can only choose whehter I will believe myself to fall into that category.

TF - Yes, better to be a MILF than not - especially when it is a lawyer that is asking! ;)

T-Shirt - Your trip sounded lovely, welcome back! I don't like labels and work to ignore them as completely as possible as only we can truly define who we are... but I do like that blue bucket... especially if it is sexy in some way too!