The Tell

I’ve long been grateful for all the many folks in my various vegetarian groups. I can relax with them in ways I can’t with others.

In poker there is a thing called a “tell”, a small seemingly insignificant action someone does that gives you valuable information about them, and their next play. But a tell has value outside of poker as well.

There was a woman at my old vegetarian group. She was really new to our little merry band and yet had already volunteered to help us with a future event. I didn’t know her at all but she and I were asked to move some boxes from a small side room to the main hall. So, off we go. She trots into this little room, squats down to pick up a couple of the boxes, and when she does her jeans drop down a bit in the back. Now these were not those low-rise puppies that descend so frighteningly you’re suddenly reminded Crack kills. No. These were perfectly respectable jeans. Godly jeans. Jeans I might even wear. But out the back, like a kite set free to the wind, was a big old underwear tag. To me it indicated two things.

1—She wore granny panties that went all the way up to the top of her jeans and clearly covered every square inch of her behind and then some. No hip hugger, bikini cut, or heaven-forbid dental floss look to these puppies. These undergarments were THERE . . . and they were standing their ground.

2—But the second thing it indicated, given tag’s current position, was that this woman’s underwear was inside out. Perhaps she’d dressed that morning in the dark, unaware of the current orientation of her undergarments. Perhaps she was fully aware of their reversed status but needed to get out the door to a waiting van full of her loving family. Or perhaps she saw that the underwear was inside out and she simply didn’t care. She couldn’t be bothered using her remaining brain cells and limited time on such fripperies as correctly oriented underwear.

And just what is the tell here? What could I determine about this woman from this littlest snippet of information?

I liked her.

Probably a lot.

We might even be soul mates.

I’ve long been grateful for all the many folks in my various vegetarian groups. I can relax with them in ways I can’t with others. I don’t have to defend my decision to forego bacon. I don’t endure raised eyebrows when I share that I have 6 ramps in my house for my 3-legged dog. But here was a woman who not only carried in a vegan mac-and-cheese, she also carried my personal Zeitgeist. She understood what matters and what doesn’t. She invested in things of consequence, and let the rest take a back seat.

So, join me as observer of your fellow humans. Keep an eye out for those tiny revealing tells. You can learn much about a person from seemingly insignificant details. I mean, who knew that the best of friends could be born on the raised flag of an underwear tag?

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