Yesterday I was told by a woman I had never met, that I was not cute. I know you think that is odd but this is how it happened. As I wrote yesterday I had to do a Lipid panel so I was at the blood donation place (AKA. The lab) at 6:55 AM, they open at 7:00 AM so I wanted to be first in line. I was not. I was second. As the place opened the other fellow and I filed into the facility and took our places in line.
As we were standing there a woman came in behind us in a rush. She was upset that she was not first and immediately expressed her displeasure. In a way it was odd, I mean it was 7 AM. Well the fellow was taken back for the blood draw and leaving the lady and I to sit in the waiting room. I was obviously not on my way to work I was in jeans and a polo, and frankly in my effort to be first I did not look my best.
My waiting room partner decided to call someone to tell them she would be late unless this man in front of her gave up his spot. I could hear both sides of the conversation and the woman on the other end asked her if the gentleman she was sitting with was “cute”, she said no not at all. That got my attention and I turned just in time to hear the other person ask if I had a ring on and it was reported that I didn’t (that was true). Since I did not have a ring, the conversation turned to how old I was.
So, what occurred next was kind of surreal. She dropped the phone and asked if I would let her go next. I thought for a second and said “I was thinking about it before I learned I am not cute”. She looked dumbfounded and said “I never said you were not cute” I then said I do not wear a ring , but I am married and have been for 37 years and I am 56 years old. She reported the information to the lady on the other end, along with the notation that I was too young for her anyway. We had a small laugh and she hung up.
I let her go first and she thanked me and responded that I was cute, and again that she never meant I was not. Of course my vanity, if I had any, was gone, and I was left in the waiting room contemplating if I should tell my wife what happened. I finally got back and the lab tech who has been drawing my blood for years said did she really say you were not cute? I responded that yes she had, and the lab tech assured me that I am cute, and I told her the damage was done, I told her that horse had departed the barn and could put back in. Again another laugh and we enjoyed a few more fun reflections and we had several good laughs.
So why does this bother me? First my ring is off because I cannot wear it due to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I looked a bit like a homeless guy because I had not cleaned up etc, before I went; I was just going home so no need. Finally of course I do not work also because of RA. So I have to admit I may not have been very ‘cute’.
I guess what really bothered me was two things, first it was being talked about in third person and second, I do not really recall being discussed as cute or not since, High School, probably with the same result. The issue was being judged in such a crazy manner. I mean she did not know me except she knew I made it to the lab first. Did that give her the right to say I was not ‘cute’?
So yeah it did get on my nerves, or stuck in my crawl however you want to think of it. But why? Is it because I have judged others in the same manner in my past? I suspect so. I suspect we all judge people on first impression and those judgments cloud our future interactions. I had every intention of letting her go first, I mean she was obviously late for work, I was not. I am a gentleman and I would have allowed her to go first, no problem. But then the cute comment. Was I really that vain?
Well no, I was not that vain; I let her go first and was upset with myself the rest of the day. Afterward, I thought about saying you know since I am not cute I will go first and pretty up the room. Or I could have said I wanted you to go first but then you insulted me. I didn’t say those things I held my tongue and let it pass.
Still it is a lesson. I am comfortable with my life situation and I certainly do not need or want to be judged like that. I only need to satisfy my wife, and as far as I know despite 37 years I am ‘cute’ plus 37 years. If I were to make a similar judgment about my waiting room company I would have said, she was not cute either. But like I said it is a lesson well learned.
When we judge others based on looks we miss so much. When we judge based on being diabetic, or being female, or male, or skin color, or hundreds of other things we miss the best parts of a person. So I am cute, if only in my personality and just as important I am a gentleman and I do not let people overhear both sides of my telephone calls. I also am courteous to ladies in a hurry or not, I hold doors for women, I let women go first and I enjoy being courteous. I hope that is cute enough. I believe my wife thinks that is good enough, so I am good with that. Despite the judgment of my waiting room partner, I will take the judgment of my wife any day, after all my wife is undeniably “cute’.