A friend called the other day. He was laughing when I picked up the call.
Me: Hello there, happy person.
He: You are soooo busted.
Me: For what?
He: I saw you pulling into Taco Bell the other day.
Me: Sorry to spoil your party, but that wasn’t me.
He: Yes it was. I was right beside you when you pulled into the turn lane.
Me: I haven’t been to Taco Bell in a couple of years. I don’t know who you saw, but it wasn’t me.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll skip all the “Yes, it was”/”No, it wasn’t” that followed, including my offer to look up the blog entry and tell him the exact date I was last at Taco Bell. (Note: I looked later–it was July 10, 2008.)
He: All I know is that you were there this past Monday around lunchtime.
Even though I was reasonably certain that I hadn’t been to Taco Bell, I went through the exercise of trying to remember where I was at that time on that day. I had to laugh when I realized what he’d seen:
My friend saw me turning into this entrance and assumed I was going to Taco Bell! Even knowing me as well as he does, it apparently didn’t occur to him that I’d be going to the 24 Hour Fitness indicated on the ginormous sign! To be fair, he didn’t know I had changed gyms, but still…
I tried to be peeved about it, but a) it was kind of funny, and b) it’s not like I never jumped to a wrong conclusion before. In fact, I’m pretty sure I medaled in it at the last Bad Behavior Olympics. (Bronze, but at least I was on the podium.) But I’m better than that now. Right?
Yes, I am better about not jumping to conclusions or judging people without knowing the facts. Better, not perfect. If I’m honest, I have to admit that my most troublesome area is what others are doing with respect to food and exercise. Or rather, what I think people are doing.
I evaluate shopping carts, I roll my eyes at how long someone has been sitting at a weight machine (as opposed to, you know, using it)(ooh, I did it again), or cringe when I hear someone ordering extra cheese or mayo. Ignoring, for a moment, that whatever they’re doing is none of my business, there are many possibilities for why they’re doing it. Maybe all those cookies in the cart are for an end-of-school class party. Maybe that woman who uses the machine for 1 minute and rests for 5 is recovering from surgery. Maybe that extra cheese is that person’s equivalent of Cake Day.
It took my friend’s funny accusations the other day to remind me of the truth in the old warning against judging a book by its cover.
Not to mention that bible verse about judging not so that I’ll not be judged.
And that Einstein quote about judge-y types being “shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”
Nope, I think it’s time to hang up my robe, turn in my gavel, and step down from the bench. I don’t know if it’s quitting while I’m ahead or fear of that god-laughter, but it feels like the right thing to do.