Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/05/2024
Most mornings Coco, our Cavapoo, and I take the pickup truck and go for coffee after both dogs come in from the yard at about 6:30. Royce, our Shepherd, hates riding (we have to plan carefully for his vet checkups). So he doesn’t come along in the mornings, but hangs out in the kitchen awaiting our return. (My wife sleeps late.)
At Dunkin’ Donuts, the women know us, and call Coco “princess.” I’m dressed in knock-about clothes with a baseball cap, have a beard, haven’t cleaned up. It occurs to me that these very nice, cordial women see me as an old, perhaps immiserated guy in a Toyota pickup, with my small dog, thankful for getting the seniors’ discount which they provide me, and for them providing a biscuit for my dog.
I find it kind of sweet, and have done nothing to alter their impression.
Saturday night we walked out of a Marie Osmond concert (fabulous) at Bally’s Twin River Casino, where there were easily a hundred people waiting for valets to fetch their cars. My Rolls was parked by itself, on the sidewalk, in front of the crowd. Maria looked like a million bucks and I looked like a half-a-million, maybe. A valet came running over with our keys, no waiting in line, no ticket.
The crowd openly speculated about who we were. I heard “mansion” and “private jet” and “producers.” I smiled and waved and thanked them as they raved about the car.
I found it kind of rewarding, and did nothing to alter their impression. (We’re two kids from Union City, New Jersey, who worked hard and appreciate every day. This ain’t my daddy’s money.)
We all have varying roles we advertently or inadvertently assume every day, sometimes more than one in a day. We can’t assume that people know us except for the role we are in at the moment. (I’ve had people try to teach me how to publish a book, which is fair enough, if they don’t know I’m an author!)
The trouble arises when we try to play a role that’s inappropriate or misleading. Leave that to the actors who get paid to do so. Otherwise, just be yourself.
We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us. —Virginia Satir
What changes with fame is the perceptions of the individual rather than the individual. —Julia Roberts
The funny thing is, people’s perceptions of what a song is about are usually wrong a majority of the time. But they’re still going to read what they want to into it. —Vince Gill