Monday, July 5, 2010

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Sophie: Mommy, your brownies and poop are the same color.

I am one of those rare people who don't like chocolate. It's beyond the, "I just don't care for it," stance and all the way to the point where I just won't eat desserts that have chocolate in them (though I have been known to make an exception for cheesecake). My husband enjoys chocolate but can go without it and doesn't go out of his way to find it.

Proving that the chocolate addiction is a gene thing and not just a habit that's picked up from being around others with the same need, our daughter (who, remember, is adopted) is a die hard chocoholic. I don't think she even had a piece before she was two simply because I hoped that feeding her fruit early on would create a love for that form of natural sugar, but upon the first bite of chocolate, all that changed.

Since our little lady did develop a taste for this nasty thing, I knew that I'd be making desserts here and there with it. Since my husband does like brownies, those end up being my go-to treat. Even if not using a box, it's pretty hard to mess them up.

One day sometime after having a brownie as a treat, I went in to help Sophie finish her "business" and she came out with that gem of a quote. The fact that it's true is a bit horrifying. The fact that I've used brownies to make a litter box cake even more so (though I didn't tell her that).

The truth of the matter is that appearances can be deceiving, especially in a society like ours that is so easy to use stereotypes so easily.  A friend of mine once told me about an exercise that he had to do with a group of others. They walked into a room and were presented with an arrangement of cardboard cut-out men and women ranging in age, race, economic status, etc.  Each person was asked to go stand by the person with whom they thought they would feel most comfortable going out on a date. After everyone had settled next to their cardboard man or woman, the leader of the group started reading descriptions of these real-life personalities. Some women had chosen to stand next to a well-dressed, handsome man in his early 30s who was actually a rapist. Men stood next to a woman who had beaten her child to death because she had a beautiful smile and looked so nice.  We just never know.

Deception has gone far beyond face-to-face though. Working with an Internet technology company, I am more than aware of the dangers that social networking sites present. I have three friends on Facebook who have an extraordinary amount of friends; 1,943 1,066, and unbelievably 2,658. I find it hard to believe that these three people really know those "friends" yet they continue to post personal information about their lives on their page; travel plans, concert attendance, dinners out, etc. Why not just post a sign out front of their house that says, "Hey thieves, we're not home"?  

It's sad that we have to teach our daughter that appearances can be deceiving and that she needs to be wise and aware at all times. The days of heading to the park on her own are over. Even playing in the front or back yards is supervised and she knows not to talk to strangers no matter how nice they appear to be. 

Some say she's shy as a result, but appearances are deceiving. She's just smart.

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