Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

Choose a Topic:

Nov '05

As It Turns Out…

…looks aren’t everything. When you’re a kid you learn the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Funny how at 24 I’m still learning that.

I had lunch the other day at a local restaurant whose business thrives at night but is dead during the day. I went there at one o’clock and was the only customer for about twenty minutes until one other woman came in. The advantage of being the sole customer is that you’re the sole focus of the employees who work there. The manager waited on me himself and when I wanted to order something from the menu but asked for several special changes to it, so it only remotely resembled the orginal item in the menu, he said, “No problem. I got time.”

He was a really nice, young guy. Probably in his mid-to-late twenties. Great smile, good looking. I didn’t chat with him much, but I overheard most of his conversations with the other woman who had come in after me (hard not to eavesdrop in a large, nearly empty, echoing room). I learned that Smilely Guy was from California (which I could have guessed; sometimes Californians have a certain way about them). He used to be a student at UVSC but now worked full time. He had been working at a branch of the restaurant up north, but his boss sent him to Provo to fix the serious customer service issues that were plaguing the business’s reputation. (I give him an A+ for his service to me, by the way.)

The woman asked him if he was married. (To clarify, this woman was older middle-aged; she wasn’t trying to pick him up, but was just one of those friendly people that can get a life story out of anybody.) Smiley Guy said no, but he had a girlfriend. He paused. Then, “But I used to be married. I’m divorced.”

I’m actually sort of reading a book, but my ears perk up at this. A cute, young guy like him–divorced? Demons and Angels can wait. He went on to say that he got married at 19, had a kid at 20, and it was just too early for everything. “You date a person for three months and you think, this is it. I’m gonna marry her.” Now he’s divorced with kid baggage. When I met Smiley Guy–charming, cute, Smiley Guy–I never would have guessed that he’s gone through all that. You can’t judge a book by its cover.

Another case in point. If I’ve ever coveted another person’s body, it’s my aerobics instructor’s. She has the most toned, perfect body I’ve ever seen. And she’s a darn fantastic aerobics teacher. Her classes are so fun. Everyone loves her classes (if they can keep up with her). She’s got a knack for remembering people’s names, even mine, and she always says “hi” to me when she sees me before or after class. I truly admire her.

She started teaching a year ago in October. I met her right away and we talked about fitness and how we like to exercise but our husbands aren’t so keen about it. My husband ran when we dated but has gotten out of the habit since we were married. She said her husband had done the same thing. We laughed about it. Sometimes when she was teaching I would look at her in awe/envy and think, “Man, her husband is darn lucky to have a wife with such a fantastic body.”

Fast forward to February. I was chatting with her by the drinking fountain before class. She was really excited for a trip she was about to take to New York with her roommates.

I scratched my head about this. Had I really had a conversation with her in the fall about her husband? Had I maybe misunderstood what she had said?

One day several months later in the bathroom before class I overheard her talking with another aerobics teacher (I’m not a compulsive eavesdropper–really; women’s bathrooms are notorious venues of gossip). I didn’t catch the gist of their conversation, but I heard my teacher click her tongue and say in a tone of disgust, “Yeah, tell that to my ex-husband.”

Confusion solved. Her marriage apparently ended sometime between October and February. Probably when I talked to her in the fall her marriage was in a bad state. Who could have guessed? Fun girl, super-talented fitness instructor, hot body. Failed marraige.

You really can’t judge a book by its cover.

Leave a passing comment »

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.