Margo Roth Spiegelman Day
Today, May 29th, is what nerdfighters worldwide are celebrating as Margo Roth Spiegelman Day.
If you are not familiar with the writings of John Green or with nerdfighter culture, you may not know what this is. In the novel Paper Towns by John Green, the main character, Quentin, goes looking for his mysterious, enigmatic, and enticing sort-of-friend Margo Roth Spiegelman. May 29th marks the day that Quentin and his friends finally find Margo’s physical location; in a “paper town” in upstate New York. However, the physical finding of Margo is not the important event. On that day, Quentin finally stops imagining Margo as a symbol, or an adventure, or a mystery to be solved, or as a manic-pixie-dream-girl. He finally can push back the curtain he had been painting for himself and see Margo as a whole and complex being with feelings and wants and desires and embarrassments and insecurities.
Especially when we are young, it is easy to idolize people; to see everything they do as perfect and interesting; to want to wear what they wear just because they wear it. Sometimes even the most self-assured of people can succumb to misimaginings. Today, I am asking you to think more complexly about the people you know and everyone you meet. Don’t let first impressions make a permanent mark on you. Give people the benefit of the doubt, and the room to change. Most people wrote Luna Lovegood off as “Loony,” upon first meeting her. Even Harry, Ron and Hermione were guilty of misimagining her before they became her friends. If the trio hadn’t gotten to know the full spectrum of Luna’s irreplaceable personality, they may have missed out on a valuable friend.
So today, in honor of Margo and of Luna and of all those who have misimagined and been misimagined, let’s try to see other people as who they are, rather than who we want them to be. Sometimes just caring enough to find what is underneath someone’s façade can lead you to a whole other person. Along with challenging our misimaginings, let’s challenge our first impressions that are based in stereotypes. Too often, we create stereotyped views of someone just because of the things that are hard-wired into our brains; such as assumptions based on race, gender, class and sexual orientation. Think about these things today, and try to think about them everyday. It is the first step in a long journey for fairness and equality in all human relationships.