Recently I went to the gym on a Saturday. (I know! Even I couldn’t believe it but I missed a day during the week and felt….compelled – that’s the nice word for guilt.)
It’s a different crowd except for Mary. Occasionally I will see her in passing during the week.
On this day we spent a half hour on equipment together so I learned a lot about her.
You know how you make that snap judgement about people that’s rarely right? Yes, you may think you’re right most of the time but you aren’t. I was so way off with Mary.
First I thought she is 60-something. She is spry, articulate and attractive. She’s not wrinkly in the face and her hair is honey brown with no big grey roots.
She was 80. A very proud 80. A very virile 80.
I thought she was one of those grandmotherly persons who had spent a good part of her life nurturing children. Someone who only worked a flexible job when money was needed but devoted herself to her family. Baking cookies. Scrubbing toilets.
I couldn’t be farther from the truth. She had held down a high-ranking job at a large corporation. She did considerable traveling and had an apartment in another city in addition to her modest dwelling with her husband. She was a true business woman at a time when they were rare.
I thought the gym was her only exercise.
Wrong! She and her husband built a home on a mountainside in a wooded area. They have a wood fireplace so they “gather” their wood for the winter. She has a vegetable garden in the summer.
She is an incredibly interesting person when you get her to talk about her life. All this time I thought she was a cookie-baking, couch potato. (Not that there is anything wrong with couch potatoes! Definitely nothing wrong with cookie bakers!)
Yet another lesson on instant judgements.
Oh yes — 80 is the new 60!
Have you met someone who turned out to be surprisingly interesting?