I was on Cape Cod this past week. To be more specific, my family and I vacationed in Chatham, MA, the most preppy of the peninsula’s towns. Main street is packed with stores named “Puritan Cape Cod” or “Yankee Ingenuity.” You get the picture :).
We used to go every year with the kids but then we started traveling around a bit more in the summers. This year we needed to be out of the house during our renovations and sought an easy solution: Chatham, MA.
What in the world does lazy Cape Cod have to do with mob mentality? When we think of this term, images of crazy soccer fan fights or even Nazi Germany come to mind. Swimming in bays and dining on codfish don’t seem to fit.
Here’s how it does. If you know me well, I am ANYTHING but preppy. Sure, in the 80’s I may have worn a sweater over my shoulders or a plaid shirt. But I’m much more rocker chick meets NYC sophisticate now.
Well, I took my last jog of the week-long vacation and noticed a woman walking in my direction wearing navy blue Bermuda shorts with white sail boats on them. And I thought to myself: “Hmmm, those are kinda cute, how would I look in them.”
Whhhaaat!!??? You wouldn’t catch me dead in something like that? They are certainly great for others…just not me. I quickly came back to my senses. And then I realized something: if I can change my fashion sense in the course of a week by being immersed in preppy-ville but yet only really interacting with my family, imagine what can happen to me when I encounter super inspiring and influential people on pretty heavy stuff! Maybe I can really change my tastes, my convictions and even my beliefs.
Of course my incident on the Cape is ridiculously inconsequential. But I think it speaks to how fragile we are and how influenced (without us realizing it) by others. Sometimes that influence can be good! It can help us see the world and others in more interesting, compassionate ways. But it can also be bad. And it can stir us into a fervor before we know it.
We, humans, are social animals and can’t change the fact that we can be affected by others. The lesson here is to be aware of our opinions, tastes and beliefs, where they come from; and whether we should challenge them sometimes.
Of course my rocker-meets-sophisticate tastes are influenced by my surroundings. After all, I live in NYC! And I should challenge it too (among many other notions I harbor). Since my husband seems to like the look, though, I feel I can stick to it no matter how brainwashed I may be 🙂