The other day I was sharing the story of how my husband surprised me with our amazing trip to NYC for Valentine’s Day. It began with him bringing home a new coat he had purchased. When I mentioned how hard it is for me to accept gifts, because I tend to be more practical, one person made the statement that they were taken aback by that. I continued with my story, but the statement lingered in my thoughts.
I wondered why that was surprising and what their impression of me actually was.
Growing up with a policeman father and a stay-at-home mom, there wasn’t much extra, and I have a solid handle on what is need and what is want. With my husband in sales, living in either feast or famine, my need to scrimp and be practical lingers.
When I started on the worship team at my church, it became more important to me that I had things that presented well. So, like any good frugal girl should, I began to shop at local second hand stores. (Paying full price for anything makes me cringe, and it’s not very environmentally friendly!).
Funny, are the comments I get sometimes – some complimentary, others not-so-much… “You always dress so great!” (Nice). “I could never afford to dress like you.” (Not nice – insert snarky tone). Or, surprise that I am sensible (in all fairness, I do have a large collection of impractical and yet fabulous boots, thanks to my husband’s obsession with shoes).
It’s interesting how easy it is to assign personality traits and perceived lifestyle opportunities, based on outward presentation. I know I’ve done it. And minor as it seems, I wonder how many of us miss out on important relationships, pivotal moments, or even life-giving wisdom because we pre-judged someone based on what we perceived they bring to the table.
Try mixing it up today. Think the exact opposite about a person whom you’ve made decisions about. Give a second glance to that person you just walked by. Open your mind. And be grateful to those who do the same for you.