Friday, November 16, 2012

I know You Shouldn't Judge By Appearances, But....

.....I sure wanted to yesterday.  I was sitting in the Lititz Family Cupboard having my predictable breakfast - a cheese omelot.  As I waited for my food, I did what I usually do when I am bored, I began people watching.

Note:  The two photos I am including in this blog post are images from Google, not the actual people I will be writing about.  I chose them to make an obvious contrast.

I was drawn to watch two seemingly very different women.  The first was the young waitress assigned to my table and the others in my vicinity.  I had plenty of time to observe her as she made her rounds, took orders, and served meals.

In all of her dealings with her customers she was warm, cheerful, and made pleasant small chitchat.  Obviously some of the customers were regulars, and I overheard her asking some of them about family news.

Her eyes sparkled, she smiled A LOT, and I even heard her humming as she walked by my table on her way to the kitchen.

She easily gave the appearance of being a happy and kind person.  I kept telling myself that I shouldn't judge her by her appearance, and I reminded myself that perhaps being smiley and friendly is her best strategy for maximizing her tips, but even so, looking in her eyes I saw kindness.

My twelfth grade English teacher taught us to never use the word "nice" in any writings, but dang, this girl was nice.

Then I noticed across the aisle from me two woman having their breakfasts, an elderly woman and perhaps her adult daughter.  From the moment I first looked at the elderly woman, I felt convinced that she was mean-spirited, grumpy, and obviously bitter.

This woman ate facing away from her younger companion, and had a look of such utter unhappiness, that I found myself wondering what very difficult life events caused her to look like such a sourpuss.

Not only that, she appeared to be a demanding customer.  She repeatedly asked for corrections and modifications to her meal, and never once did I see her thank the waitress.  I imagined that it would be easy for a server to lose patience with such a person.

I drifted into thinking about my very own face.  Do people look at me and make judgements based on my countenance?  Would a person hesitate to start a conversation with me based on the look on my face?  Or, would someone feel comfortable in my presence, just by looking at my face?

I know that there are many that have had very hard life trials and yet still have kind faces.  Somehow they have risen above all of the griefs, stresses, and disappointments, and still have kindness left in them toward others.  They still can offer a smile to one who needs it.

Finally, after enjoying my meal, I called my waitress over and said I had a few questions for her.  She smiled and patiently told me that the "grumpy lady" over there is a regular customer.  She explained that although the lady looks mean and does tend to be difficult, once in a while they have been able to crack a small smile out of her.

So there you have it, just as I knew.  That is, you canNOT judge a person by his or her appearance, but I am surely tempted to do so sometimes.

I'm not usually a matchmaker, but I promptly asked my server if she would come home with me and marry my eligible son.

She smiled and laughed and politely and kindly thanked me, but told me that she's already happily married.

I'm not surprised.


  1. Look at a person's eyes. that is where you see the love, caring, hurt, sorrow, pain and life a person has to offer.

    There are many times that Kathy and I will go to separate stores to get more done quicker. It never happens as one or both of us are asked our opinions or help to reach something on a shelf by complete strangers. Many times people think we work in some of the stores and we are just customers the same as them.

    We often thinks we are wearing signs that say Nice People To Talk To. We have both been told by different people that we have Kind Eyes. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. I agree to the previous comment as the eyes, they say, are the mirror to the soul. As the saying goes too, you can't judge the book by its cover. I really enjoyed reading this post. Funny how diverse people are in terms of personality. Doesn't hurt to show kindness even to strangers.

  3. Then there are those that choose to walk through life with their eyes shut tight. Blind bliss.