Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

motorcyclist, drummer, marine, preacher ??

Ever notice that, depending on who you are talking to, you introduce people differently?  Maybe it is because  first impressions do seem to make a difference to a lot of people.

During our motorcycle trip yesterday I gave some thought to first impressions and stereotypes.  In a perfect world, neither would matter.  Have you ever given a bad first impression?  It’s those times that a do over would be nice.  It’s even better when the person doesn’t write you off but realizes that some days are just like that.

I remember back (25 years ago now) when I was going to introduce my boyfriend to my mother and step-dad that there  were lots of ways I could introduce him.

“Mom, Dad, I’d like you to meet my boyfriend – he just got out of the Marines.  He was a platoon sergeant for a tank unit.”

(I happen to use this line on a couple of my friends and it didn’t go over well.  Hmmm, what’s that say about the stereotype connected with the Marines?).

So I wasn’t going to use that on mom and dad.  Maybe this one?

“Mom, Dad, this is my motorcycle riding boyfriend BUT, he does wear a helmet. :)”

nope

“Mom, Dad, I am dating a drummer, whose favorite music is rock and he dislikes country.”

nope

Now all of those things are true, but telling my mom any of that before she got to know him would cause her to waste time wondering about us eloping and him re-enlisting , needlessly worrying about the motorcycle and/or fretting over the music choices.  None of that was necessary.

So instead I introduced him like this………..

“Mom, dad, I’d like you to meet my boyfriend who has one year left at college and he’s majoring  in pastoral ministries.  Yes, he is going to be a pastor.”

I left out the part about him working at a church in North Minneapolis and that this was the direction he saw his life going in the near future.  (North Minneapolis is not the suburbs.)

In time, they realized that he was all those other things.   There was even a time when re-enlisting was tossed around.  (Thank God that was not part of the plan.)

What was the plan though, was that I would marry this  motorcyclist – drum playing – Marine – preacher and move to North Minneapolis.  In time we would leave MN and find ourselves in the beautiful state of Iowa.

He would add husband, father, black belt and professor to the ‘hats’ that he wears.

It is an adventure!

An adventure that started out with my commenting to my friends that I just couldn’t figure out what I had done to make this guy so angry with me.   He would come into the deli every day and no matter how nice I was, he still appeared angry with me.  Turns out that impression was way wrong.

Imagine my surprise and my friends concern when he asked me out.

I soon learned that the expression wasn’t anger but, since he had just gotten out of the marines,  it was his sergeant face.

Preconceived ideas, stereotyping, first impressions, whatever you call it — can get in the way of seeing who the person really is.   I am not a  fan of labels.  I rarely tell people what I do.  I want them to see who I am by how I act.

I, in turn, try not to get caught up in first impressions.  I make a point of looking past the first impression and see all the potential that is there.

til next time

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July 16, 2011 - Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. People can like people for their looks or money but they will always be short changed. But when we get to know people for who we really are, then we are truly blessed.

    Comment by Steve Briggs | July 18, 2011 | Reply

    • very good point Steve!

      Comment by Gloria | July 18, 2011 | Reply

  2. First impressions are often wrong when meeting people and I try to avoid them – or try to see good in them.
    However, when it comes to tangible things like letterheads, advertising material, choice of cards etc I find it difficult not to let first impressions count.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds | July 18, 2011 | Reply

    • I absolutely agree. Thanks for bringing that up. Something that you can take your time on and will reflect on you –should be nicely done — like letterhead or even bulletins. I do try to not pick apart a bulletin though 🙂 That said we don’t have bulletins at our church but I do think that a visitors first impression should be taken into account.

      Comment by Gloria | July 18, 2011 | Reply


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