Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Flaw in My Character

I have several flaws in my character, but lately one of them stands out more than the rest.

I am a dedicated people watcher.  I spend time sitting and waiting at bus stops.  Bus stops are great places to watch people.  But I find myself making judgements about people based on outward appearances.  That is a major flaw in my character.

I see a well dressed woman, cell phone to her ear who is a bit impatient with those around her, and I decide that she is a self-important snobbish sort.  But for all I know, she may be in the middle of dealing with a crisis or has problems that only she knows about, in which case her behavior is understandable.

I see a young father who is telling his four year old son that he had better behave himself or else, and I feel sorry for that sweet, angelic looking boy.  But for all I know, the kid has already dumped his breakfast cereal all over the kitchen floor, pulled the dog's tail and thrown a world class tantrum because Dad wouldn't take him - right now - for a Happy Meal.  Dad probably deserves a medal for not warming the kid's backside then and there.

The flaw in my character is at it's worst when I see a group of girls whose average age is 18.  In the winter, I see them all dressed in designer jeans, little bitty designer jackets that couldn't possibly keep anyone warm but are the first thing in fashion, and designer boots with three-inch heels.  The first thought that comes to mind is that if these girls were lost out in the woods, they wouldn't last over an hour.  Especially if their phones, the ones all of them are constantly checking for calls or messages or using for Facebook posts, didn't work.

Come to think of it, I may be right on target in that case.


  1. I too have seen those who don't care how warm they are, just that they look good. As far as opinion of others, I am the same way, but you can't judge a book by its cover. Then sometimes we are right.

  2. Rob.....Most of the time it is just harmless amusement when I have time to kill. But when I meet someone, I try to get to know them better before forming an opinion. As far as the fashionistas go, in this part of the country in the winter, refusing to dress for the cold can be stupid, to say nothing of deadly. The older I get, the more I find that staying warm is a high priority!

  3. Years ago, I met some friends of my brother. The wife was pleasant, their son was precocious and I found the husband to be an ass.

    After my brother went into the service, they invited me over, we became friends, and...over time...he drank too much, lost his job, they divorced and being friends was over, since it required choosing sides.

    So, my first impression was accurate. Since then, I go by it only. Life is too short to be friends with asses.

  4. I'm a dedicated people-watcher myself and make no apologies for it. I've learned a lot by observing others. As for the forming of opinions about strangers, I think it's a sin we all have to fight.

  5. Jess.....I still tend to give the benefit of the doubt, but find that in most cases, my first impressions are correct more times than not. One of the good things about retirement is that I no longer feel the need to put up with those of the jackass variety in order to keep a job. I have sort of weeded out the people I really don't like to be with, and spend the time I have left with those who are good company.

  6. Gorges.....People watching is a harmless form of amusement and a good way to kill time. It sometimes gives insight into what the mood of the general public is at a given time. I may form an opinion of someone when I first meet them, but I think the harm comes in if I were to express that opinion to others before I am sure of what I'm talking about. I tend to adopt a wait and see attitude. After all, there are days when someone would think ill of me because I am grumpy and having a less than stellar day!

  7. People watching is one of my favorite past times.
    I am simply amazed.
    The fashion thing is every where. I get tickeled at people on the beach wearing jeans in the summer..I think that they can't possible be cool in that..

    Unfortantly people care more about outward appearances then they do keeping warm or cool.

  8. JUGM.....I realize that it has been nearly a lifetime since I was young enough to give a rip about the latest fashions or caring about "what the other girls are wearing." And I do understand that the younger generation wants to look good. But I look at things from a different perspective. I have to wonder if we lost electricity for a long period of time in the winter, how on earth would these kids keep warm. Unfortunately, where I live, a warm jacket and boots with felt liners could mean the difference between surviving and frostbite or death. People freeze to death here every winter.

    You are right about people watching. Never ceases to amaze me what I see walking around loose!