The Material Deception
Posted On April 7, 2017
The Material Deception
I grew up believing that the appearance of a man defines him and his character. Frederick Douglass said a mans character always takes its hue, more or less, from the form and color of things about him. Yet how many times have we heard the expression don??™t judge a book by its cover There have been a many of times when I would take a look at one??™s material possessions and then make a determination of their level of success based on what they were wearing, driving or even the house that they live in. Then I would have to ask myself, I wonder how many people think the way I do, and come to the same conclusion How deceptive is that If only they knew.
I live in Overland Park, Kansas, and drive a Cadillac CTS. I wear clothes by my favorite designers, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, and Guess just to name a few. My purses, I am not ashamed to say, range from $100 to $500 dollars. Let??™s not talk about the shoes. Oh my lord. They are endless, along with designer fragrances. My makeup is by Mac and I won??™t settle for anything less.
I can tell, more times than not, if a particular item is a knock off. I know that some people, as well as myself notice things like this. Does this make us materialistic Perhaps, this maybe from some view points. However, from my perspective, I know that I have a taste for the finer quality.
I can go to a store such as Wal-Mart or Target, to shop for my granddaughter because first of all I know that the items that I buy for her, she will out grow in a short period of time. I also take comfort in knowing that if she was to damage them in any way, I would not be out of a whole lot of money. She is just five. Buying items for me from there is a different case all together. I look at items there and the first thing that comes to mind is how long it will last
Even though, one might think that based on my appearance, that I have a few dollars in that D&G handbag. I have the appearance of someone who is well off. Yet in reality, one could say, if they knew my current circumstance, that I was living well beyond my means. Whereas before, that would have been, a fair assumption. Today it is not because, I have accumulated these things prior to my current situation and because they are of value, I have taken great care of them and they have lasted. Yet now, to put it plainly, I am broke. I made, before my company layoff, a manageable salary. However, I am now unemployed. So now I tend to look at people and their acquisitions from a different perspective.
Her I am, by the poolside where I live, in a well established neighborhood. It??™s around two o??™clock in the afternoon and about 90? and feels like 120? with the humidity. I have my granddaughter with me, who is pulling me to get in the pool and I am resistant because I don??™t want to get my hair wet and I know that if I do that that would mean another trip to the hairdresser, another $50.00.
I look around the pool and see that at this particular time in the afternoon, there are way too many people here. I then start to wonder, as I take their inventory, how many people are in the same situation I am, or even similar.
So, the first victim of my character analysis that caught my eye was an Asian woman, middle aged, wearing Chanel glasses walking in with her son who appeared to be about 8-10 years in age. Off course the glasses is what caught my attention and then I zoomed in on the ring finger to make my assessment, as I did with all the rest. ???There??™s the ring. She??™s married??? I thought to myself. Not only a ring, the nails are flawless and a fresh pedicure on top. Yes, she??™s probably a stay at home mom with a husband that takes care of all of her needs and she has nothing else to do but shop and take the kid for a mid day swim.
As I look around I see two guys at the pool. After close observation, it seems that they are single dads. The first one was somewhere in his early thirties and well tanned. He began playing catch in the pool with his son who appeared to be in the 12-14 years of age range. He wasn??™t wearing anything of significant value. He just had that fresh haircut, well groomed look that made me think that he was a salesman of some type.
Now prior to my arrival, the other man was just laying there reading what seemed to be a novel based on the size of it, wearing a nice watch and some Nike pool sandals. He would look up from time to time as his son and friend play in the pool. I actually had the opportunity to speak with him as he made note of how petite and funny my granddaughter was as she made her initial, toe in first, into the pool. I learned that he was a single dad, recently divorced, who kept his son on occasion and this happened to be one of those.
On the other side of the pool there were two young Caucasian females who looked to be in their late twenties constantly applying sun block, tanning lotion or both onto their bodies. They were both heavily engrossed in conversation, not wearing anything that would make you think that they were of the material nature. But, the fact that they were there was enough to make me wonder what type of economic situation they could be in. So, naturally I assumed them to be unemployed of some type of cocktail waitresses.
As I continue to make my careful evaluation or assignation of my neighbors, in walks another married (I could tell by the ring) Caucasian woman with 2 children. Now I can tell right off that she was a stay at home mom and not too materialistic. She was toting two children and snack packs to match. The kids had blowup toys from Wal-Mart and she was wearing flip flops that look like payless. The kids came and mixed right in with the rest of their peers and proceeded to have a great time.
Now judging by appearances, all of these people, me included, seem to be living the American Dream. Is it that people are truly just trying to get by and are still maintaining a since of appearance that makes them feel as if Yet in reality, how many are suffering from the economic nightmare that has awaken the masses and has most of us living in fear of what would happen if we were stripped of the appearance, and we were to lose that form and color Then we would have to live solely on, the content of our character.