On Perception, Deceptively

Things are not always as they seem. (Obviously.)

1. My phone rings. It’s the dad from one of the families that I babysit for. I answer. “I can’t text you because my wife sometimes reads my texts,” he says. I’m thinking, This has got to be the worst lead-in to a conversation ever. 

“It’s our anniversary this weekend,” he continues. “I want to surprise her with a trip to the spa. Is there any way you’d be available to help me chase the kids around while she’s at the spa?” Awww, my heart swells three sizes. Of course, I tell him.

Unfortunately, health issues prevented them from being able to go through with their plans. But I think that’s so sweet of them. Also, I’m impressed with that fact that they’ve been married for so long. They seem to attack everything like a team, even though I appreciate that they both fully understand each other’s quirks and differing parenting styles.

2. I parked at the curb and then went to walk into the liquor store. As I was walking across the sidewalk a man with truly awesome but certifiably crazy hair, wearing a leather vest and no shirt, who had passed me did a quick double-back (he would have screeched to a halt had he been driving or running), and then ran in front of me to stand by the liquor store door. I’m not usually afraid of much – to my credit, I’ve lived in Chicago (Rogers Park) and the southern suburbs of Cape Town (however briefly), so I’m used to seeing unusual things as usual – but I honestly thought I was about to get mugged. Instead, he bowed and then held the door open for me before continuing down the street. I thanked him profusely and smiled all the way to the checkout counter. It was cute and it made my whole day.

The third bit isn’t exactly a perception thing, but I felt like a dumbass this morning when I left early to get to a dentist appointment. I couldn’t find the reminder card that they mail you, and I hadn’t gotten a phone reminder, but I thought that maybe it just had something to do with the fact that yesterday was a holiday. So I trekked all the way out to my dentist’s office, feeling proud of myself for arriving ten minutes early.

I was standing, unsure, at the check in desk and a lady who is not the kindly receptionist approached me. “Do you need something?” she asked. I stammered a no and then took my seat. Then I overheard the two receptionists (who are the nicest people ever and have been working there for as long as I can remember) talking about me.

“Am I early?” I asked.

“Your appointment isn’t until next week!” she said. I laughed. I knew it. I guess it could be worse, I could have shown up a week late.

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