Anthropomorphism

I’ve mentioned this before but I thought for today’s post I’d expand on my tendency towards anthropomorphism.  I ascribe feelings, hopes and dreams to everything.

I feel sad for the ants that I sweep off my kitchen floor.  There they were trotting along, looking for food for their colony and then all a sudden this tornado blows through (and it’s not like they were engaging in high risk activities like living in a trailer) and they don’t know which way is up.  And then when I dump them from the dust pan into the garbage they’re suddenly thrust into a pungent (I have two kids in diapers) dark world and let’s face it, they’re not gonna find their way home.

And when I kill spiders.  I’ve watched a lot of discovery channel in my time, I know that spiders don’t live in family groups.  But when I smash a spider I can’t help but picture his loving spider wife at home with their spider children wondering why her spider husband never comes home.

But this disease does not stop at sentient beings.  I wonder sometimes if the Nike walking shoes I wear at work aren’t sad that they see so little walking, and none of it outdoors, and so much standing.  (Not to mention the blood guts and gore that get dripped on my ever faithful shoes that I occasionally try to clean off but let’s face it, that blood’s never coming out of the stitching.)

Is my car jealous when I park it in the lot and take the train to work?

I think that the dinner leftovers must be sad when they go into the fridge.  And when they come back out moldy and inedible and I heartlessly throw them away… Wow, I am a cold, cold woman.

Do my favorite jeans exult at their status?  Do they notice that I wear them so much more often than I do the others?

And then there are the Cheerios.

When I grab a handful of Cheerios and drop it into a baggie to take to church I believe that this must be really exciting for the mild mannered Os.  Here our poor O sits a, breakfast cereal, and not the tastiest cereal at that.  I imagine sitting on the self at the grocery store stuck between the Cookie Crisp and the Lucky Charms gave him a serious inferiority complex.  Even the Life Cereal above him was tastier.  But eventually he was purchased and brought home and put away.  And there he sat.  Occasionally the woman would grab the bag and pour a bowl but the kids reached right on past, they were looking for the Honey Bunches of Oats.

But here it is, this Cheerio’s big day, he’s put in a baggie which is then tossed into the diaper bag, he’s going places, he’s on his way to see the world.  And then, he’s going to fulfill his destiny.  He will be eaten!  By a child!  Oh wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles the day he’s been waiting for has finally arrived!  All his wholesome goodness will not be wasted!

And so this little O comes to church with us.  He hears the child whimpering, whining, crying and he knows it’s his big chance.  The woman reaches into the diaper bag and pulls out his baggie.  He takes a good look around, this will be his only chance after all, and then he’s ready for it, he’s excited.  the child reaches out, takes the bag, opens it. And proceeds to dump it out on the bench.  Our poor Cheerio rolls off the bench, onto the floor and back out of sight.  He is doomed to the same fate as so many of his bretheren, to languish for the day, possibly longer, maybe for weeks, months, under the bench until some particularly through member who takes their assignment to clean the chapel very seriously finds him and throws him away.

No one will eat him now.  Not even the woman, that would at least have been a respectable way to go.  He certainly won’t fulfill his destiny, his dream, the ultimate goal for any Cheerio, to be eaten by a child.  That has been snatched away. He won’t even get to be one that’s used for the boy’s potty training target practice now.  Oh how he used to mock those target Os.  And what he’d do to become one now.

Alone in his dark nook our poor Cheerio cries himself to sleep.

Don’t even get me started on the powder at the bottom of the Cheerio bag.  Those used to be Os you know!

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Annette
    Aug 07, 2008 @ 07:04:13

    What a relief to know I’m not the only person who does this! I’m not crazy! (Or maybe we both are . . .)

  2. knucchi
    Aug 07, 2008 @ 07:17:15

    it must be a huge weight lifted off your shoulders to let those crazy thoughts be known… you are too funny 🙂

  3. melanie
    Aug 07, 2008 @ 07:33:06

    cukoo! cukoo! How is it we were raised in the same house?

  4. s'mee
    Aug 07, 2008 @ 08:56:24

    oh my heck. SAME! In my head I try to give the lost Cheerio a new life as church mouse food or such, but I wonder… and yeah, the car thing, yikes, I could go on.

  5. Melanie J
    Aug 07, 2008 @ 09:50:02

    This is so totally me! I’m going to say it comes from writers having fertile imaginations. Or else the talking Fruit of the Loom guys.

  6. bythelbs
    Aug 07, 2008 @ 12:58:06

    You’re not crazy—well, maybe crazy funny!

    I hate to admit it, but I don’t give the spider’s non-existant family’s feelings a second thought. I’m more worried about the spider’s non-existant family wanting to avenge their father’s death.

  7. sallygirl
    Aug 07, 2008 @ 14:42:00

    So glad I’m not the only one that does this, and that there’s a name for it!

  8. Alison Wonderland
    Aug 07, 2008 @ 19:17:45

    Anthropomorphism is just ascribing human characteristics onto non human animals or objects. Coming up with the whole story, well there’s a name for that too. It’s CRAZY!

  9. E
    Aug 10, 2008 @ 15:36:00

    I’m not suburbancorrespondent or anything, but if you remember that I NEVER give a compliment that I don’t mean (and rarely give the ones I do mean lest anyone think I’m being insincere), it might mean more when I say, this was really good. Really!

    And you are crazy. I mean, I used to do that too–WHEN I WAS SIX!

  10. Lisa
    Aug 15, 2008 @ 07:01:53

    This is so funny. Love it.

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