"How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety, and Abstinence, Drugs, Satanism, and Other Dangers That Threaten Their Nine Lives."
Books aren't my thing.
Don't get me wrong, I can and (believe it or not) have enjoyed a good book, but it's not the first thing I choose to do with my free time.
Every time we go to Seattle, my wife wants to go to The Elliot Bay Book Company. No lie, the one and only book I bought last time we visited is titled "How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety, and Abstinence, Drugs, Satanism, and Other Dangers That Threaten Their Nine Lives."
It's not like my parents didn't try to interest me in reading. Lord knows my mom would drop more money at the annual “Scholastic Book Fair” than Christmas in hopes to get me to read more. And of course she'd drill that old fashioned saying "never judge a book by it cover."
If you do know me, you know that my day job/main line of work is involved in the audio/visual industry. Lately, my Sunday mornings have been spent working at a church here in Orange County where the median age of the congregation is over 60. Not saying that to be mean or derogatory, it's just how it is.
Most of the tech team has to be there at 6:00 AM, so we are there before everyone else. There's this guy that shows up at 6:30 without fail. He’s certainly not with the tech team, he just shows up at 6:30.
Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday in 2017, so church went as usual. This guy shows up at 6:30 AM as usual. But this time, he's handing out Del Taco gift cards to everyone on the tech team. I'm freaking amped. I love me some fast pretend-mexican food. With him being well over sixty though, I talked to him differently than I would anyone else. I slowed my speech and used vocabulary that I thought would be "better suited" for someone his age.
Next Sunday, he shows up again 6:30 AM without fail. It's a busier morning and I'm running around doing a million different things. He happens to catch me, and then proceeds to say, "I was gonna ask you if those sleeves were keeping you warm but...well never mind." I stopped dead in my tracks and laughed so damn hard. I hear the worst and most repetitive tattoo jokes all the time, but this one got me good. His delivery was perfect.
I had judged this guy for no good reason. Yeah he's over 60, so what? And just because he decides to show up at 6:30 AM every Sunday to church doesn't mean he spends all of his free time sitting in a prayer circle and protesting LGBT parades. He gave me a Del Taco gift card for goodness sake. This guy knows what's up.
People judge me all the time before getting to know me. I once had a friend in college be surprised I put on gospel music for a car ride because according to her, I only listened to "screaming music" 24/7. Granted, I know being covered in tattoos and riding a motorcycle does display a particular set of interests, but I bet you no one ever saw me riding my motorcycle and thought "you know, that guy looks like he studied 20th century atonal music theory." And yes, I did take an entire class on that subject and it was one of my favorites.
I have nothing to preach here. If anything, I writing these words as a reminder for myself. "Never judge a book by it's cover." Yes it's corny and yes we've heard it 1000 times. But I promise you no one is as you perceive them to be just by looking at them. My dad has been in the banking world for nearly 30 years, but hardly anyone knows he went to school for art history. My wife has 4 different jobs all involving music. Only the people closest to her know how much of a dinosaur nerd she is.
Get to know someone. People are full of surprises. -- Cory