Even when we think we’re open-minded, we can be proven wrong. It happened to me last week in Japan. There I was thinking I was all free of judgment and stereotypes… then Bam! Exposed! Let me explain.
I regularly go to an Ikebana class, which I enjoy very much, but no one else in my life seems to value or pay much attention to it. My husband barely notices when I bring flowers into our house, and when I participated in a flower exhibition last spring, I couldn’t even GIVE AWAY the tickets to friends! In my experience, most people have a ho-hum attitude towards flowers.
So, last week I went to my ikebana class and I created a gargantuan scary arrangement. I say scary because the branches were huge and seriously out of control, and could poke your eyes out.
Anyway, I walked out of the building with another woman from the class and we waited at the curb holding our flowers.
Just then a Japanese trash collector drove around the corner in his truck coming our way.
He noticed us from a distance and took on the strangest expression. Looking our direction, he got a wide eyed look of wonder or surprise. I turned around to look behind me, thinking that something had happened to catch his attention.
But nope, nothing. Just us holding our arrangements.
The trash collector pulled up in front of us, stopped, and rolled down the window. He grinned the biggest grin I’ve seen, and gave us a thumbs up.
“Sugoi!” (Super!) he said enthusiastically and then drove away.
I stood there stunned, and then laughed in surprise. I never expected a trash collector to even notice flowers, let alone be excited by them.
Sorry trash collectors of the world. I will never judge you again…
When have you been surprised by someone and your expectation proven wrong? Do tell…