Humor me. I feel like doing a little experiment here. Let me tell you about some people I know.
Person #1 lives in a farmhouse on 5 acres. She owns 3 cars and wears a big sparkly diamond ring. She nearly always has a neat manicure/pedicure and might be seen wearing Prada sandals in the summer. Now. Think about this description and see if you can picture this person in your mind. What about the house? The cars? The salon where she gets her nails done?
Okay. Person #2 dyes her hair. She likes whiskey and has been known to watch NASCAR. She owns a .22 Winchester her daddy gave her. Her parents come from the country. She's not shy about using colorful language among friends. Got an image in your mind for her? Let's proceed.
Person #3 has two college degrees. She is deadly serious about music, history, and literature and will talk forever about one or all three to anyone who will listen. She likes to do research for fun. She wears glasses. What do you think of her?
Person #4 often goes out in public with no makeup. She recycles paper, plastic, & metal household goods. She likes to cook and prefers to use healthy natural foods. Sometimes she whips up vegan meals. She takes care not to buy products tested on animals. She has an herb garden. She does a variety of handcrafts and makes some of her own clothes. Do you have an idea about her?
Person #5 also dyes her hair. She often wears black or gray and takes delight in adorning herself with anything that has a skull on it. She takes a particular interest in songs about dead people and sometimes paints crazy designs on her fingernails. How about this one?
Do you have an image in your mind for each of these examples? How does #1 differ from, say, #5? What about #2?
What would you say if I told you they were all the same person? Yep. Me.
Yes, I live in an old house on 5 acres - it's rented. I own 3 cars, all of which are on their last legs. Two of them run (usually) and the third is there for an emergency backup. The newest one is a 1997 model. The sparkly diamond ring? Inherited. The Prada sandals? Given to me gently used by a friend. The salon where I get my nails done is my own living room, unless I decide to go visit my friend Jill for something special.
The point of this exercise is that you can't know everything about a person from one description, just like you can't know everything about that stranger at the grocery paying for her food with an EBT card. Don't assume things are what they appear to be, because chances are, they're not. You. Don't. Know.
Till next time - take off the Judgy McJudgerson glasses.