First Impressions

Did you ever misread a situation so dramatically it lead you to question your ability to read signs at all?

I did several times last week.

A lonely looking man approached my daughters and me as we were sitting at a rooftop establishment waiting for sunset.

“Is it okay if I sit over here?” he asked and gestured to a table near us.

“Of course!” I said, and I thought he looked very comfortable in his skin, sitting there all alone watching the sky. Traveling businessman, I thought.

Then, a buddy showed up. Then, another. Very soon our little corner of solitude was crawling with college students ready to party, our apparently-younger-than-I-thought friend right smack in the middle of them.

“Huh!” I said to my daughters, “I guess he wasn’t lonely after all.”

Later that evening, we stopped to listen to a band and an older couple danced right into my line of vision. So, I watched them for a while. As is my reflex, I wrote a little story about them in my head. Sweet old married couple. A couple of kids and several grandkids. Out for a stroll when they spotted a band. So, instinctively, they reached for each other and they danced.

Just as I had wrapped up my assessment, the song ended and they walked away from each other. The next thing I knew, he was out there dancing just as happily with another woman, and she with a different man.

“Huh!” I said to my daughters. “I guess they weren’t married after all.”

On another occasion, we spotted an adorable looking deli with a quaint sign hanging in front. “Closed for the Sabbath,” it read. “But you are welcome to come to our home and eat with us.”

The sign included a map to their home. We would never intrude on a family dinner, but we talked about strolling past the home to tell them how charming we found their place.

Yesterday, I decided to look into that cute little deli. It turns out The Yellow Deli is a kind of chain run by the Twelve Tribes, a Christian sect focused on “producing an army of 144,000 male virgins, who would prepare the way for Christ’s second coming.” It has been referred to by several sources as a cult.

“Huh!” I wrote to my daughters. “I guess it wasn’t a cute little family deli after all.”


If you need me, I’ll be here. In my house. Minding my own business and questioning every assumption I’ve ever made.

We had snagged the perfect spot to watch the sun set over Boulder, when a lonely looking gentleman asked if he could sit at the table nearby. The next thing I knew, our little peaceful corner was crawling with college students. Man, did I misread that situation.
We also thought this invitation was really sweet, until yesterday when I did a little research into The Yellow Deli.
This sign cracked me up. You can’t misread it. It’s a very blunt admonishment and a chain of facial bars.
I liked this sign too.
And, I thought it was very sweet of Boulder to encourage its residents and visitors to call their friends.
How cool is this sign? Maybe I should have used it in my previous post. Apparently, the Boulder Theatre is haunted too. I just thought it was cool to see the people changing out the letters and I especially got a chuckle out of the movie. “Hey!” I said to no one in particular but maybe my daughters who were walking ahead. “I’m a Mummy too.”
A woman kindly offered to take our picture and, later, when I looked at my phone, I realized she had accidentally taken six pictures of herself and her husband instead. I laughed all the way back down that sweaty trail. (We ended up taking this one ourselves.)

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