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Can A Little Change Make A Big Difference?

So I recently went to see my eye doctor. Praise the Lord, all the news was good and my prescription had only changed a little teeny bit. My 17-year-old daughter also had her eye exam at the same time, and I let her lead the charge on picking out our new frames. She choose red Ray-Bans and they are adorable on her! And she helped me settle on a pair of deep purple Oakleys. Let me just say, deep purple + Oakley =  me a bit outside my comfort zone.

Well most people who know me well have told me they like the Oakleys. And I really like them, too. They're fun and as I'm not getting any younger, I figure my days of young eye wear are numbered. May as well enjoy fun glasses while I still can, right?!?

Turns out I've noticed a little something weird now that I have these deep purple Oakleys stuck on my face all day long. Something I really did not expect. People treat me differently now. Not people that I know ~ but people at the grocery store or the bank or the drive-thru and so on. People that do not know me at all treat me very, very differently than they did before I got my new eye duds.

Before you scoff and say, "Nah...that's ridiculous!" let me say that I spent a lot of time figuring out exactly why I was getting a different vibe when I'm out running errands and doing mom-type-stuff. Was I being rude in some way? Hmm, nope - just being as polite as I normally was. Maybe this person was just having a bad day. Well that idea went out the window when I realized not everyone could be having a bad day! And it really went out the window when the "niceness" factor to people before me and after me in line was exponentially greater as compared to my treatment!

I'm used to people saying, "Thank you, sweetie - have a wonderful day!" and things of that nature. (Yes, I am too old to be referred to as "sweetie" but I actually got that a lot...before the Oakleys!) So imagine how strange it was for me to get absolutely no response to my "Thank you! Have a blessed day!" Seriously, some people will not even look me in the eye or reply to my thanks...it is really bizarre!

So I may end up doing a completely non-scientific experiment (non-scientific because I cannot gauge people's mood and disposition in such uncontrolled settings as retail outlets during the month of December) and wear my last pair of glasses to see if people are any nicer to me.

And in case you think I'm the only person who has ever pondered something like this (a total waste of time and brain energy to most people...) I can say that the book blink by Malcolm Gladwell contains compelling evidence that many of our decisions are made without any cognitive thought on our part, especially those immediate, first-impressions. (Great book, if you're looking for a new read.)

Maybe I will post a follow-up if I find my old glasses get me more "Thank you, sweetie" type of comments. Or maybe I'll just keep wondering about this weirdness occurring in my life as of late!

Have a terrific day, whether the checkout lady or bank teller acknowledges your presence or not! The Lord knows you and His love for you is what really matters.

Day 289 done :)

Jan L. Burt
author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study

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