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Don’t judge a book by its cover

05/08/2019
"Faire mouche", by Vincent Almendros.

© aNadventures

As my dear friend Trixie and I were queuing outside a Berlin club yesterday, the question whether we would be let in quickly arose. Apparently, you have to look cool enough to be allowed in. But why? And what does cool enough even mean? We were hardly moving forward in the queue and saw quite a few people being rejected. “I should have gone for the black one instead of this one”, my friend stated, pointing out her rosy jacket. Then she added: “We are way too colourful.” I looked down on my light blue jeans and shrugged. Standing in the queue was actually a nice way to get inspired, style-wise. The three guys in front of us were dressed up completely in black, except for one of them who was wearing red socks. Other people were combining tights with sports jackets or cropped tops with loose tops. They were wearing belt or gym bags.

As we were about halfway through the queue, the girl right behind of us jumped into our conversation: “Would you mind pretending all three of us came as a group? My friends are already inside and I’d like to make sure to get in.” Apparently, she thought her chances of getting in were higher if she pretended to be friends with us. This made Trixie and me feel more confident about our situation. We started chatting away with the girl who told us about herself. It turned out she grew up in Greece and had only recently moved to Berlin. I admired her Sailor Moon hairstyle as well as her ability to fill every possible pause in the conversation. Absorbed by the act of making friends with a stranger, time went by faster and we were suddenly almost at the front of the queue. Trixie was getting more and more nervous. We had waited for over an hour now and it would have been a shame to be rejected at this point. I thought it was ridiculous for them to make such a big deal out of the event. We watched as the guy at the front door, a character himself, was scrutinizing the three guys in black, just in front of us. He was interviewing them about their country of origin, their stay in Berlin, their hotel. Then he waved them in and it was our turn. Trixie and I smiled up at him. He was quite tall and was wearing mirrored glasses which made it impossible to make out his eyes. In his purple leggings, his loose black tank top and with tattoos all over his arms, the bald-headed skinny man looked like he had just stepped out of a space ship. He fumbled around with a folding fan but it might as well have been a magic wand.

“Sooo”, he started. “I’ve seen your faces before. When was the last time you came here?” In between smiles and giggles we muttered some replies. Then, he paused and stared at me for what felt like a while. “Teacher or caseworker?”, he finally asked. I didn’t quite get what he was aiming at. “The name of my teacher?”, I asked him back. Trixie looked at me in an alarmed manner: “He’s asking for your profession.” Oh… I mumbled a quick response but couldn’t prevent from frowning. The guy had a long thought, then he swung his magic wand and we were finally let in, taking our new Greek friend with us. We paid the entrance fee and off we went to the dance floor.

I got it now. They made you queue for so long and made a hocus-pocus out of whether to let you in or not, so that, by the end of the whole procedure, you wouldn’t complain about the reasonably high entrance fee. Quite the opposite, whoever got in, would be grateful, feel lucky and happily pay the sum. That’s marketing at its best.

At first, I felt a bit annoyed about the space guy’s statement. Teacher or caseworker? What was he intending to tell me? Did I look boring? Were people with those professions not cool enough to join the party? Oh well, I told myself. After all, he doesn’t know me so he’s not in the position to make judgments about me. What if I were a teacher or a caseworker? I could also be a passionate blogger, a fabulous friend, an experimental cook all in one and still rock the dance floor. I reminded myself not to judge a book by its cover. Just as the space guy had judged me by my appearance, I could do wrong in judging the people around me just by the tip of their ice-berg. There’s so much more to every single one of us than meets the eye.

On the other hand, I could also take his words as a compliment. Apparently, I seemed trustworthy enough to work with children and to set an example to others. Apparently, I looked like someone reliable and smart. Those are certainly nice qualities to be associated with. So I’m fine with that.

Not judging a book by its cover also applies in the literal sense. I recently finished Vincent Almendros’ novel Faire mouche, whose cover is just blank. But let me tell you, I was kept in suspense until the very last paragraph.

How about YOU? Have you ever been judged by your cover?

From → Random

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