Despite the many hours we spend thumb pumping our phones like half-starved Rhesus monkeys, most human communication is nonverbal. It runs from the universally recognized one and two fingered gestures that signal the end of an argument to the more subtle, eye roll that indicate open-ended ennui in teenagers. But the way we walk, or stand or move our hands all say something about us, something that reaches into our primeval need to communicate. Here in the oh-so-sophisticated 21st century, we even use clothing, behaviour and appearance to “speak” to each other. For example:
Driving a noisy black motor vehicle — means — I’m worried about my penis.
Driving a minivan with a stick figure family in the back window — means — I haven’t had sex since last March.
Driving anything with a bumper sticker — You need to know I think about things.
Dreadlocks on a white guy — Ha, ha, ha! My grandparents left me a trust fund.
At least 3 tattoos (female) — I watch the Discovery Channel, so I’m spiritual.
At least 3 tattoos (male) — I have lots of disposable middle class income.
More than 3 tattoos (any gender) — Look at me! Look at me! LOOK AT ME!
Socks and sandals — I am a tourist. Steal my stuff.
A low cut neckline and/or a push-up bra — These are my breasts … I will scold you if you notice them.
Bow tie — I’m actually cool … on the inside.
Hoodies — I might live in the suburbs and work at Home Depot, but I’m really a badass.
Hoodies (after age 30) — Uh … That’s just sad.
Shaved head — I’ll bet they’ll never guess I’m going bald.
Long, wiry grey hair (ponytail) — I have 283 Friends on Facebook.
Tight denim short shorts — Would you care to look at my bum today?
Cargo pants (shorts) — I wish I could carry a purse.
Full (Old Testament) beard — You might not know it, but I’m tons smarter than you are.
Short, trimmed beard — You might not know it, but I’m tons smarter than you are.
3 piece suit — I wish I were British.
Knitted cowl — I wish I were French.
Bulky black sweater — I wish someone would take me seriously.
Mom jeans — I’ve have two kids. I’d like to see you under similar circumstances, bitch!
Torn jeans — I spend a lot of money on clothes … a lot of money!
Sunglasses — When you’re totally cool, it’s always a sunny day.
Yoga pants — For the love of God, we need to do something about those things!