How many times have we heard the phrase, "Don't judge a book by it's cover"? Our parents and teachers have been preaching this to us from the time we can speak. Sometimes even earlier. They want us to grow up to be upstanding human beings, not judging the "book by it's cover". Just because the book has a giant raging shark on the cover doesn't mean it'll be about a giant raging shark that sweeps through the town's waters and eats every single child one by one. It could be about a boy who falls head-over-heels, cross-his-heart, painfully beautifully in love with the girl of his dreams and they live happily ever after. The message: just because a girl is wearing a red push-up bra, teenie-tiny leather skirt, fishnets and 6-inch clear heels with her hair knotted around itself (looking like it hasn't been brushed in weeks), heavy black eye liner, and glitter just about everywhere doesn't mean shes a hooker (or Ke$ha).
Honestly, I think it's BS. I don't know about you, but I always judge a book by it's cover. If the cover doesn't look appealing to me, I'm definitely not going to pick up the book and see what it's about. We're visual people and that's just how it is. If something looks good, we're more likely to be drawn to it and engage ourselves. Whether that be a book, decorating ideas for your room, movies, an album cover, right down to people themselves.
Parents and teachers try to teach us to do the "right" thing and not judge people, and in a perfect world that would be great. But guess what? We all judge people. And if you say you don't then you're lying to yourself. People make an impact on you based on how they look. You're going to remember that your cousin's boyfriend came to the family party with shoulder length hair and a handlebar mustache, wearing eyeliner, skinny jeans, a bow tie and a top hat. And you're going to have a preconceived notion about him before he opens his mouth. That' just life and there's nothing wrong with that. The people who dress like that know this and to be honest, that's probably the exact reason why they dress like that. Hey, HandleBar Jim might end up being a great guy, somewhat normal, and really interesting. But you're still going to be waiting for the day that he pulls a rabbit out of his top hat.
Have there been people that surprise me? Of course. Then you end up being sorry for the fact that you judged them in the first place and tell yourself over and over that the next time someone walks into a backyard BBQ wearing a ball gown that you won't think they're absolutely out of their minds. That's how the cycle goes and that's how it'll always go. I'll be real: when I get older and have kids of my own I'm probably going to teach them the old Book-Cover phrase. But when a kid shows up to my house for a playdate sporting a comb over, wearing plaid shorts, a tucked in pink polo, sparkling white tennis shoes, and tells me his name is Preston, I'm going to be judging the mother. In my head she'll be a snooty country club wife wearing a black collared dress and pearls, hair slicked back into a perfectly crafted ballerina bun at the nape of her neck. When she walks in to pick little Preston up wearing exactly that, I'll smile to myself and continue to make up a big story about her in my mind.
...then we'll end up being besties and the cycle will continue.
Look forward to a Here I Go: Promoting Mat Kearney post in the near future. He's great.