Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

In yesterdays blog post, I alluded to the very nice woman who helped us finally get a human being to take our drink orders the other night at The Trough. The phrase most people are good is essentially talking about this woman, and others like her.

When we walked into the restaurant/bar, there was only one table vacant, and it was right in the area where people were playing pool. This woman was playing pool, but she had no partner. She was just shooting pool all by herself. I watched her for a while. She played reasonably well, but was not great by any means. She was perhaps in her mid-50s, and she looked to me like she hadn’t had an easy life. I’m just going to say it: She looked like she lives in Apache Junction.

I have intimated via blog posts that there are a great many snowbirds who live in Mesa, which is the third largest city in AZ, second only to Phoenix and Tucson. Scottsdale has a lot of winter visitors as well, but it’s my impression that the middle class and middle American snowbirds largely live in Mesa or Apache Junction. Apache Junction is the city just to the east of us.

Apache Junction has a reputation for being, well, rough. The average income in the 2020 census was $25,000 for an individual, and $46,000 for a household. As you can see, it is not a wealthy community. The Apache Trail meets the Old West Highway in that area, thereby giving it the name. For the most part, it’s lower-income white people who drive high-mileage cars with rebuilt engines and who don’t wear Lululemon leggings. My brother lives in AJ, and his observation is that you can tell someone from AJ because they are missing many teeth. He, however, has all of his teeth.

But back to the woman at the pool hall. Her hair was bleached blond, and her skin left me with the impression that she was — or had been for many years — a smoker. I’m sorry to say that my immediate impression when she headed our way was that she was not going to be someone with whom I would make a connection. When she asked us what we would like to drink, I presumed she worked for the restaurant, and wondered why she was playing pool when the restaurant was so busy.

Shortly after she took our drink order, she returned and told us the bar wouldn’t allow her to bring us drinks because she wasn’t employed there. I was surprised. She had just noticed that we weren’t getting served and took it upon herself to try and get us some service. Two people who probably didn’t look like we belonged at that bar and whom she didn’t know and would likely never see again. She just was being nice.

Wow. The fact that I was so surprised told me two things: 1) Most people aren’t very nice these days; and 2) I shouldn’t EVER judge a book by its cover.

This woman — whose name I never learned — went back to the bar three times when she noticed that we still weren’t getting waited on. The third time, she had a server in hand. I’m pretty sure she drug her over by her ear.

I hope this woman has a happy and peaceful life.

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