When I initially suggested this prompt for #F4TF, I had just read a post by @bluesubmission who nearly didn’t go on a date with the guy who is now her husband because ‘at face value’ he wasn’t her type. It struck a chord with me because I suspect I might’ve turned down my man (to whom I’ve been happily married for 25 years) if he’d asked me out at a club, or approached me at a bar.
- Thank goodness we met on a blind date!
Don’t get me wrong, my OH is good looking, he has (had!) blonde hair which I prefer and gorgeous green eyes (unusual eyes are my thing) and a fit, strong physique because he loves sports. Back in the day, however, I was looking for alternative, edgy, tall, a little bit misunderstood/ bad boys. My trouble was, because I dressed very generically, was a bit quiet and bookish, boys like that didn’t look at me!
On a girls’ night in with my best friend (she features in my sauna story) I was moaning about being single, when suddenly she started waxing lyrical about this guy she’d known for years.
“If he’s so great, why haven’t you mentioned him before?” I asked rather ungratefully.
Eventually I agreed to go on a date with her ‘Mr Perfect’, on the condition she and her partner came with us. [On my previous blind date I’d got so nervous that I drank too much and talked about my ex all night].
I dressed up for the date (borrowing my friend’s newjacket), did my make up, but didn’t wash my hair – I suspect I felt afraid to try too hard. My date wore a generic polo shirt, with the oddest check trousers, like he was going to play a round of golf! We went for a drink in a quaint country pub, had lots of laughs and before the night was over my date had been persuaded to do his Freddie Mercury impression (it’s good, it’s that ‘on stage prance’ Freddie used to do, and it still makes me chuckle).
For our second date he wore faded jeans and a white t-shirt. Much better! In his car I liked the music he played and we saw a film I ‘d been dying to watch. The more I got to know him, the more common ground we discovered. We both have really strong family values and a similar attitude to money, and my man has a lovely soft side.
I am a WYSIWYG kinda person, not skilled at playing mind games or wearing a fake face and he’s the same. There’s some distrust in his past, so he liked the way I laid all my cards on the table. Neither of us enjoys bullshitters and when my man’s passionate about something, he pushes himself hard . In recent years, I’ve learned to do the same.
You might be thinking you can smell a rat now – isn’t Posy Churchgate a secret persona? You are right of course, but here’s the key – it’s not a secret from him. He has backed and encouraged me since I began this blogging journey in 2011 (a vanilla book blog initially) and is really proud of me and how my writing has taken off.
Apart from our children, my blogging and my stories are the first thing I’ve ever created/done that’s made me proud enough to want to boast about it. I stay discrete about my sex journalism for the sake of my family and my day job. I haven’t told many about my blog and the adult-themed writing. It amuses me when people take me at face value while I keep this other facet of my life a secret. Yet when I do share it with close, select friends, they’ve been refreshingly unsurprised, saying they always saw me as a ‘dark horse’. I think a valid saying here is:
- Still waters run deep.
I admit I judge people, summing them up from their ‘look’, but it’s intended as a temporary status. I’m always prepared to adjust my first impression when I find out more. I’m not a person who goes on initial gut instinct. What I value most is honesty and loyalty, alongside passion and creativity, and these things take time to show in people.
As a teen, I was shy and lacked confidence , so I support people trying to be their best self, praising things they’ve done well. I’m very proactive about boosting my children, and I look on some of the fledgling bloggers in a similar way. There is so much truth in these sayings:
- Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes
- If you see something beautiful in someone, tell them. You don’t know how much they might need to hear it
Supporting rather than judging is my template, I work to understand others’ points of view so reading more personal posts really enables this. As a counterbalance, writing pieces like this, which require introspection is therapy. It gets my thoughts ordered and helps me self-analyse. I don’t always get it right, sometimes a standpoint is so different from my own that I have trouble processing it, and in those cases I must continue to watch and listen with an open mind.
In summary, I don’t judge a book by its cover, but I do use it to make my initial assessment! If you wear a mask when you interact with me, it will only fool me for a while.
[* WYSIWYG = What you see is what you get]