Saturday night I went to a wine festival and street dance in a small town. At the dance, a woman in her fifties jumped and jived like a teenager. She was wearing hip-looking shoes and knee socks, a very short ruffled skirt and a skin-tight tank top, all in black. Her dyed red hair was long and curly.
A blonde wearing high-heeled sandals, a filmy black skirt with a rhinestone border, and a form-fitting blouse danced alone, directly under a streetlight. Her dance style was all about the butt. She kept her back to the crowd at all times, bending forward and swinging her extremely long hair and her butt in time to the music. When the band took a break, she turned toward us. Her face reflected an age (60ish, I'd guess) totally at odds with her clothes and attitude.
Pink Boots guy called this afternoon to tell me about a death in his family. An hour later, he pocket called me, and I'm embarrassed to admit I listened to a minute or two of his conversation before I hung up. He was flirting with a woman.
The details he told her were true. The impression they created was not.
It got me thinking about how often we focus on small details rather than big truths. If you look only at your shoes or tank top or cute skirt, dressing like a teenager makes you look like one. It takes a wider angle to see the stark contrast between your perky knee socks and your saggy knees.
The stories we tell ourselves matter far more than the ones we tell others, and true stories illustrate the big picture.