Now and Then

“I know many fine feathered friends.  But their friendliness depends on how you do.”

– Cat Stevens 

A few years ago, I had a girlfriend who was a major TV network news reporter.  We dated for a year, traveled to Australia, New Zealand, and three corners of the U.S. – Maine, Florida, and Arizona, and almost got engaged.  She’s probably one of the best looking women on national news.  I broke up with her because I didn’t think we were compatible enough.   

But the point is that, when we were together, I got a lot more respect from people, probably because of her looks and her status.  Getting a huge amount of respect from people when I was with her was somewhat expected, and I understand it – it’s human nature to a certain extent.  But the difference between the way some people treated me then and the way they have treated me since then when I’ve been single has been so blatant and over the top.  It’s a sad commentary on society that so many people put so much emphasis on looks and status when it comes to how they treat people.  Here’s just one example.  I had a couple of acquaintances walk right past me on a narrow sidewalk a while ago, pretending not to see me.  If I had been with her, there is no doubt they would have stopped to say hi.  

I’m basically the same person now that I was back then.  In fact, I like to think that I’ve improved in many ways.  But without someone like her with me, I get a whole lot less respect.  It shouldn’t be that way.  But it is.  (To her credit, she was very down to earth.)  The difference between the way I am viewed overall now by certain people as compared to the way I was viewed then, is absolutely astounding.  There are people who are so fake and put so much emphasis on looks and status in how they treat people, it’s unbelievable.  It’s a good litmus test though, for finding out who your friends really are.  Or aren’t.

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