This is how my family characterized several different people we recently crossed paths with while on vacation. Here’s a brief description of each.
The Newlyweds: Without going into too much graphic detail, this young couple basically couldn’t keep their hands off each other or their faces far apart. They gave the impression they were on their honeymoon.
Our first impression of the Newlyweds was that they had no time for anyone but each other.
Katy Perry: This beautiful young woman looks like a less voluptuous Katy Perry, the “California Gurls” and “Firework” pop singer. She’s tall, confident and willowy, with jet black hair and big, round eyes — just like Katy Perry.
We noticed that Katy Perry was traveling with an older man and wondered if they were a couple (surely she was in it for the money, our devious minds figured) or a father and daughter.
The Cousins: These five little boys are ages 4 and 5 with lots of energy.
The Cousins appeared to be traveling with their grandparents.
On the second day of our vacation, I found myself next to the Newlyweds. So I asked if that, indeed, is what they were.
Turns out they are not married and were not on their honeymoon. But the man, Adam, had recently proposed to the woman, Jennifer. (She said yes!)
It also turns out they were quite nice and friendly, and they did have time for and enjoyed talking to others. They even offered to lend my husband a pair of Adam’s pants for a fancy dinner if need be since my husband hadn’t packed nice pants.
We crossed paths with the Newlyweds several times and always had pleasant conversations and enjoyed learning about their backgrounds.
While I was trading introductions with the Newlyweds that first time, I was pleasantly surprised to look up at one point and see that Katy Perry had engaged my shy, younger daughter in conversation.
Turns out she wasn’t a pop singer, but rather a Mankato State University student who was vacationing with her dad. She was fun and energetic and often took my daughters under her wing and encouraged them to participate in different activities. We learned this wasn’t the first time someone told her she looked like Katy Perry.
We even had a bit of interaction with the Cousins. When asked, Grandma confirmed that the young boys were, indeed, cousins and not quintuplets. A few of them came up to me one day, somewhat shyly, and said “hi.” They actually said quite a bit more, but in a language I didn’t understand.
They entertained us as they darted about and sneakily crept up to me to try to converse, and we admired the grandparents for taking the five boys on vacation.
One of the most fun aspects of this vacation was the people watching we did. Even better were the people we met who became friends for the week, including the Newlyweds, Katy Perry and many others.
These were people we attached a label and story to based on their looks. We were lucky enough to get to know them a bit to go beyond the label.
First impressions — we learned it’s worth looking deeper and is worth the time and effort to go beyond the first impression.