Private Impressions

Whether or not we will admit it; human nature leads us to form opinions that are not necessarily based on fact, but rather on our personal concepts of what constitutes competence.

I am reminded of a friend who was an avid NASCAR fan. Very few races were held that did not find her in attendance and rooting for, not one, but two favorite drivers. Her explanation was, “I pull for Richard Petty because of his driving ability and for Buddy Baker because he is better looking.”

Getting closer to home is my wife’s perception of politicians. “I could never vote for, (name withheld), because of the way his mouth curls when he speaks.” The person’s stand on the issues was obliterated by a mere twist of the lips.

One of the ‘first black,’ entertainers in the field of country music; Charlie Pride: Tells of a lady who had been a fan for many years. At one particular concert she was invited backstage to meet her idol.

After a few moments of polite chit-chat, Mr. Pride asked the fan if she had any questions. “Yes,” she replied. “Why don’t you talk like you’re supposed to?”

Recently I called for an appointment at a doctor’s office and was immediately, very much impressed with the answer; “Dr. Jones’ office: This is Marcia; how may I help you?” 

I informed Marcia; (a petite blonde, 5 ft. 1 in., 110 lb. candidate for, at least, the runner-up in the Miss America pageant); that I needed to see Dr. Jones.

Imagine my surprise when I entered the waiting room and the receptionist greeted me with, “Hi, I’m Marcia:   Dr. Jones will see you shortly.”  

Hopefully, she could not read my thoughts; that she would conceivably weigh in at around 260 and was, (I guessed), 6 ft. 4 in. tall and two years older than me.

Apparently Dr. Jones had relied on her capabilities when choosing her for the position of receptionist. Thankfully she knew nothing about my first impression when I spoke with her on the telephone.

While we are on the subject; What is your impression of the lady that asked if your home needed vinyl siding?  Would you be surprised to know that she was 72 years old, and weighed 322 pounds:  She also had blue hair?

“She did have a beautiful telephone voice, didn’t she?”  By the way: Has your siding been installed yet?”   “They finished my house yesterday.”

Accepting people for what they are rather than what we would like them to be is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks that we, as humans, face. When we have corrected this deficiency, we will have no reason to wonder about all the others first impressions of US.

Did Marcia really give us the old, ‘head to toe’ inspection; to decide if we were “Sick;” or was our visit routine?   Did she think that I was HER Knight in shining armor?  “We’ll NEVER KNOW!”


“I’ve seen it all:  Done it all:  Gotten the tee shirt:  but I don’t remember any of it.”    DJ.