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Too quickly perceiving can be deceiving

I received a gift certificate for Victoria’s Secret shop from a good friend on my 60th birthday and couldn’t imagine why she thought I might be interested in the famous lingerie line. I asked her what possessed her to give me such a gift.

It was the bag. She had seen me a few weeks previously when I had carried a shiny, pink, striped Victoria’s Secret bag to her house.

My friend assumed I shopped where the bag originated. But the bag had been my 18-year-old niece’s, and when I admired the sturdiness of it, she insisted on giving it to me.

I can’t imagine why the Victoria’s Secret company needed such an engineered bag to carry fragile lacy panties and undergarments, but it suited my purposes. I had gone to my friend’s house to refinish a couple of old chairs that I had picked up for free, unwanted on a porch. The bag contained my palm sander, a small can of stain and a few foam brushes.

No lingerie or frilly things at all. It was just a good bag.

I eventually used the gift certificate to purchase something I could use. I ended up loving the three pairs of Capri leggings branded “Pink” and wear them to this day seven years later.

On one of many road trips, I dropped into a rest stop to stretch my legs. When I got back in the car, I noticed an old woman helping her husband toward their car. They were walking slowly, and she had her arm around his waist.

As she rounded the car, I saw her open the back door and put a helmet on him. I thought how sweet that she was being so careful with her obviously challenged husband and strapping him safely into the back seat of her vehicle.

She shut the door and got into the driver’s seat. Suddenly there was an incredibly loud revving of an engine that startled me. I looked over to see her husband riding off on his Harley-Davidson. She followed him out onto the freeway. The Harley had been blocked by the vehicle.

Our mysterious minds like to give automatic explanations to situations, but all is not always what it seems. I like to think it has something to do with the fight-or-flight theory and personal safety even though the situations are not stressful or dangerous.

Not judging a book by its cover is easier said than done. We just want to know what we are dealing with, so we can react confidently and correctly.

It is tricky to outsmart our own minds! They move too fast.

Diane Wallace lives in Jacksonville.