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Feb 1, 2009 12:58 PM

You look like you would...

Hello all. Today, as I was doing my dishes in my dorm's communal kitchen, my resident assistant strolls in with a box of pancake mix and an intention on fixing himself a Sunday breakfast. We get to talking, and he asks me if I like to cook at all (specifically, he asked if I was a "foodie," a moniker I'm not too fond of identifying myself as). Not wanting to sound snobbish at my abhorrence towards "foodie," I responded by saying that I was, and that I love everything food - from cooking, to the restaurant scene, to chefs, etc. After a chuckle, he looks at me and states, "Yeah, you look like you would." I didn't quite know how to respond to such a claim, so I just laughed it off. However, what does that exactly mean? Does anyone else get told that they "look like" they would love the culinary world?

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  1. time to hit the scale .... ;)

    1. When I was at the New School, people assumed I was a Parson's student because I wasn't in the standard issue liberal arts gear of a newly pierced nose and clothes that smelled of patchouli, BO, and incense.

      For 10 years, my husband was asked whether it was his "first time" at certain gatherings because he had deliberately forgotten to wear a funny hat (attending for the music, art, and engineering installments than the see and be seen aspect).

      People make assumptions because they like categorising people in order to make themselves feel superiour. Your RA sounds like a prick.

      16 Replies
      1. re: Caralien

        Haha! No, he's a nice guy. I guess I was just wondering what makes someone look like a "foodie?"

        1. re: Caralien

          lol... I'm not sure I'd use that particular word to describe the RA, but I'd have to agree he was, at best, tactless, at worst, mean spirited and unkind. Of course it's possible it wasn't meant to be anything but a statement. Sometimes it's hard to tell w/o having actually heard the comment. :I'd probably have said: "I guess you can recognize a fellow foodie" Depending on the response, I'd know the intent. :-}

          1. re: Caralien

            I don't get this immediate assumption it's a negative thing for the RA to say something like that. Seems like a running pattern with a large segment of people on this board to immediately think of the negative.

            I have a newish co-worker on a different floor who I hadn't met but interacted extensively by phone and email the first few weeks. Just by tone of her zest for approaching things, the highly intelligent quotes in her email sig, she just gave me a vibe as someone who would enjoy food and exploring.

            So should she have taken it as an insult when I said, she sounded like a foodie? She was thrilled that someone realized she enjoyed food and now we're trying to match up our schedules so we could lunch together occassionally.

            Why always assume negativity?

            1. re: Jase

              I love trying new things, be it food or otherwise. "Foodie" is a label, and it reminds me of sheep, or the goth chicks who were so different because they all dressed the same way and listened to the same music and went to the same clubs which they were told were alternative places for different people like them to go to to be different and exclusive.

              Can't people just love food without having to use an annoying monniker? It was like hearing someone who likes bland food using terms which became popular because of FN. Just eat a variety of food and speak in layman's terms. Toss the cutesy jargon and just eat and enjoy.

              I'd rather get to know someone and find out for myself who they are based on our similarities and interests, conversations and experiences, without having to use terms like foodie, alpha, aggro, connoisseur, jock, art f**, snob, geek, elitist, adrenaline junkie, breeder, foreigner, American, etc. But that's me.

              If people are comfortable with labels for themselves and others, so be it.

              1. re: Caralien

                Labels like "goth chicks?"

                And I think Jase was calling for a neutral presumption rather than a negative presumption when someone says something. You find some labels to have a negative connotation, but that doesn't mean the person saying it thinks it is a negative. They might, but I think Jase's point was until you know they mean something bad, why presume that they do.

                1. re: ccbweb

                  The goth chicks called themselves that (I preferred the term friend), so I would presume that they wouldn't be offended if someone else used the same term the group used to refer to themselves as, although this too can be tricky and may be deemed racist/classist/sexist or otherwise to use the labels at all. But the goths weren't the vampire kids, those were a different group, and it's considered rude to mix up the 2.

                  I would assume that it's rude to call someone something before finding out whether they would find such a term obnoxious or rude. But if you're confident and certain that someone (like the OP, or me) wouldn't find whichever label offensive or stupid, by all means, use whatever terms you'd like!

                  Just because someone doesn't mean to be offensive doesn't mean that they're not. Ignorance is not an excuse.

                  1. re: Caralien

                    Wow, you'd take insult with someone calling you a foodie? That's nowhere near an offensive term for non food people. It's only within most hounds that it's an insult. To most, it's a compliment.

                    Just a long way to go from the RA trying to be friendly to calling him a d*ck is all I'm saying. There's lots of grey area in between.

                    1. re: Caralien

                      "But the goths weren't the vampire kids, those were a different group, and it's considered rude to mix up the 2."

                      god I feel old, (no offense Caralien, and I appreciate your consideration to not offend) Goth had yet to divide/clarify before I was, well I was off to other things. (ok there was a semester in 1986 or so)

                      I'd guess Pastry634's mix-toting RA is clueless in the kitchen and was curious in a badly worded way - how hard is pancake batter? for some, quite.

                      "wow you're not just nuking a lean pocket, whoa!" that's my interpretation.

                      I favor the comments below that it was a (ahem) BACK-handed compliment.

                      I'm really good at those.

                      1. re: hill food

                        Hill & Jase:

                        Goth vs Vampire: I was referring to a South Park episode, which brought back memories (and giggles). And back-handed complements such as, "wow--you really clean up nicely!", are different from "you made this? it's incredible!" (although Emily Post considered the latter as bad as the former).

                        I would take offense to someone assuming that I was X, and all of the crap that goes alone with being categorised. Some are meant to be complementary, others not. It depends on the speaker. Seriously, get to know someone before calling them any term. They may surprise you.

                        If you want to be considered a foodie, by all means. And if "[to] most hounds that [term is] an insult", remember the board we're all barking on.


                        1. re: Caralien

                          I know exactly what board I'm in. The point is, to most non food people, it isn't an insult. It's a compliment. Ultimately I choose not to take immediate offense at every borderline comment.

                          I may live in a big city but I try not to live like everyone's out to insult or get me.

                      2. re: Caralien

                        Your first paragraph is basically in line with my point. People use labels like that all the time without meaning any insult or offense at all.

                        I tend to agree that directly telling someone that they're an "X" would be rude. In the case of the OP here, the other person apparently asked if she is a "foodie" and she said yes because she felt she'd appear snobbish if she said no and explained why she didn't consider herself such. Asking a question like that doesn't seem to me to be rude.

                        The really potentially rude part of what the RA said/did was commenting "you look like you would" not using the term foodie. As Jase wrote, I think one should presume a neutral stance on that unless it was borne out to be a dig or insult or dismissive comment of some kind, in which case it's both lame and rude.

                        1. re: ccbweb

                          If you happened to have never been judged (or sized up) by your appearance, accent, or interests, you might think otherwise. But who amongst us has never had preconceived notions bestowed upon them (valid or otherwise?)

                          1. re: Caralien

                            I might think otherwise about which part? I'm sure all of us have had someone make presumptions based on preconceived notions.

                            1. re: ccbweb

                              You're kidding, right? Someone is from the South, so they must be...or they're Asian, or female, or white, or black, or dressed like, or speak in such a manner, or are somehow more knowledgeable (or not) simply because they've been to (or have never been to) one or more other countries (or cities).

                              The point is that it's simply ignorant to make preconceived notions and to categorise people based on what you believe you know about what those monnikers might mean.

                              It's all BS, like all supertasters hate cilantro, foodies are immune to canned cheese and fast food, and beer is limited to those who don't know any better.

                              1. re: Caralien

                                I wasn't kidding with my question but my question wasn't about people making presumptions or engaging in stereotyping. I was wondering what in my previous post you were responding to when you wrote, "If you happened to have never been judged (or sized up) by your appearance, accent, or interests, you might think otherwise. But who amongst us has never had preconceived notions bestowed upon them (valid or otherwise?)"

                                In my previous post I noted that in my view someone who asks a person "are you a foodie?" isn't necessarily being rude and may very well not mean anything at all insulting by using the term. I also wrote that I think it's rude to call someone something like that without asking if it's a term the other person would use for themselves. Lastly, I wrote that the RA in the OP's post may very well have been rude; not when he asked if the OP is a foodie but with the comment he made following that.

                                I simply didn't understand what part I might think otherwise about. I was definitely not suggesting that all kinds of stereotyping isn't happening all the time.

                                1. re: ccbweb

                                  So proper ettiquette, in your stance, would be "I don't mean to be offensive, but would you consider yourself to be a foodie? Meaning (insert what person means by this)?"

                                  In light of not requiring to dig oneself out of a hole, best not used, as clarified earlier.

              2. Me?? I'm a dead giveaway. I think it's because I wear a T-shirt that says "Will cook for sex"


                1 Reply
                  1. Maybe it was a compliment - maybe he sees you as someone with a gusto for life and new experiences and possibly a wee bit hedonistic - and he was expressing his appreciation.

                    As far as the term "foodie" is concerned, yes, I do not like the connotations of snobbishness that accompany the word (especially when used in the CH context), but for someone who isn't a gastronome, maybe that word is meant to be complimentary?

                    Anyway, I'd take it as a compliment, chuckle, and thank the person.