Last week my Significant Other said to me, “I found this perfume! When I smelt it, it reminded me of you, so I bought it.” I was eager to see it, not only for the reason that he has a knack for getting me gifts that are just right, but also because I couldn’t wait to find out what scent had “reminded” him of me.
When I finally did, I said, “Is this how you think of me in your nose?” He laughed and said yes. As usual, it got me thinking weird, faraway thoughts, about the funny phenomenon of seeing, hearing and generally perceiving people in certain ways. I remember mentioning to a friend of mine how I couldn’t believe a mutual friend of ours was now married and having sex. He said, “What, you thought she didn’t have a vagina?” I replied that she always seemed prudish, and now that she was married it was really weird. We laughed it away, but I was only half kidding. For real, how can a person so prim and proper be doing such a passionate, sweaty, messy thing?
When people meet me for the second time, (or the first time, if I’m with friends) they say to me, “Eeeen, Joy, so you can talk?” They say it so accusingly; as if I told them before that I was a quiet person. Ha!
It only goes to show how strong impressions and perceptions can be. There are basic assumptions we make about people, most times subconsciously, that come back to haunt us or cause problems in our relationships later.
There is indeed no art to find the mind’s construction in the face…or even in words. A certain pastor in a certain branch of my church always liked to hammer away at church youth about sexual purity and stuff, often ordering that sisters in trousers should be turned away at the door. You can imagine my chagrin when he raped my friend, taking her virginity and scarring her for life, and was not the least bit repentant or remorseful. Talk is so cheap!
When I first met my beau, before he asked me out, he invited me over to their house on Christmas day. I didn’t know him well at the time and since I am generally wary of visiting guys’ houses, I asked a friend of mine to look at him and tell me if he thought I should go, seeing as I wasn’t sure I could trust him. My friend said he understood, adding, “He looks funny abi? Like the kind of person who can do anything.” We laughed.
Well, needless to say he isn’t the way he “looked” to us back then. He can’t hurt a fly, and any guy who can be with me for two years and honour our mutual decision to wait till marriage deserves a medal. You cannot possibly know how naughty and devastatingly sexy I am by looking at my face. Yes, I say so myself. ROTFL!
People who look “innocent” or come across as “spiritual” or “holy” (you know what I mean) rarely ever are, and sometimes people who look “funny, like the kind of person who can do anything” turn out to have hearts of gold and amazing discipline.
Next time you are disappointed to find out that someone is not the way you perceived him or her to be, remember that it isn’t any fault of theirs, really. You imagined the halo. Let’s try not to set ourselves up for heartbreak, and let’s not put pressure on others by expecting them never to let us down. While we can’t help how we feel about a person’s vibes, we should be aware that our perceptions are just what they are, perceptions. That way, when life happens we can afford to pick our jaws up and not take it personal.
On a final note, my girlfriend Chocho says I remind her of Lindsay Lohan. Now, how weird is that? LOL.
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