False Evidence Appearing Real

This is an acronym for the word fear in 12 Step. It’s one I try to remember, however, more often that not, find it slips my mind.

This morning while occupying my little corner in Starbucks, I notice a frail man looking along the floor by where I was seated. He wore pants a little too short, a torn sweat shirt and a tattered Mets cap carrying a Trader Joes bag.

My heart flew open without thinking as I softly said, “Are you looking for change? I’ll give you what I have,” and he said, “Change? I’m looking for an outlet for my computer.”


I apologized, but once again was rudely reminded, things aren’t always what they seem.

I have a friend who drives a Mercedes and people are chronically taking advantage of her. She’ll lament to me and I’ll say, “It’s the car. They assume you have money and can meet their needs regardless how inappropriate.” I’ll just bet if she drove a Chevy it would stop.

People see my address and automatically think I have money. I don’t even have a super. They fired him to turn his apartment into commercial space.

There’s a woman I see a lot on the avenue I’ll call Gail. She’s well dressed, smiles all the time and never fails to stop to ask how I am. Come to find out she has a daughter with lymphoma who’s confined to a wheel chair, something I was shocked to learn.

“Gail, who cares how I am when your daughter is so sick?”

“I care. It’s made me much more aware of other people and what they go through.”

How humbling was that answer?

A see a cute guy emerge from a town house most mornings. He must have gads of cash, I think. Turns out he’s the cook who lives upstairs. But by the looks of his sleek black blazer we thought otherwise.

Camille called one day all aghast. “I just saw ML with another woman. They were walking right down Columbus Avenue arm and arm. Can’t he be more discreet?”

ML is our friend T’s husband, and the woman he was mauling, as Camille put it, was his sister who lives in Brazil he hasn’t seen in eight years.

An ex model, I’ve always been a little envious of after marrying the love of her life who happened to be a millionaire, was loping up Madison Avenue. They live in a gorgeous house on 70th Street appearing to have everything. She has everything alright, including a brain tumor she just had taken out. When I saw her with a gauzy white turban wrapped stylishly around her head, I thought…wow, how chic…she really hit the jackpot, till she told me the hell she’s been going through.

I can go on and on with examples of acute short-sightedness, but you get my point.

Often there’s pain beneath loud laughter and contentment behind a scowl.

The poorest looking can be the richest while the one shining, in debt.

What will it take for me to remember things are rarely what they appear to be?

Maybe one of those electric leashes that stun you where you’re too close to the road.






About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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16 Responses to False Evidence Appearing Real

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Great post and well written, Susannah. Thanks for the reminder.


  2. jimmie chew says:

    yep how true it is, never judge a book by the cover


  3. micklively says:

    Good piece Susannah.


  4. How true that is. As a foreigner living in Korea, I get this every day, people assuming I can’t speak Korean or eat spicy food or use chopsticks or whatever. It’s sometimes fun to see their surprise when I can, but it gets old.
    By the way, did you see the second post I wrote yesterday? I wrote it for you. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • You wrote something for me? I’ll look right now.

      As far as you being misunderstood in Korea, I’ll just bet you stick out like a sore thumb…and they haven’t even read your stories..at least not all of Korea…some ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. katecrimmins says:

    Because I worked in human resources I am very aware of this. Retired people often get a second job that isn’t demanding so you thing that old security guard is a ‘poor soul.’ Then you find out he was a 20 year career military guy with high status and a lot of smarts! We also had a mail guy who used to be a chef at some of the very best local restaurants. He was in his 70s and didn’t want stress. Sometimes I use this to my advantage too. People are so gullible. If you dress the part you can make things go your way. Dress poor and you get better deals. Dress better and you get seated better at restaurants. People are crazy.


  6. Patricia says:

    My mother never wore jewelry when she went to the doctor or to buy a car…she claimed they charged more if they thought you had money. But if she was looking for a fight with someone like a store or bank she did wear her jewels so they would know “she was no dummy”. She was a bit odd sometimes..


    • See, that makes perfect sense to me. It’s all what we see. Were we trained that way? I guess we were. I make the same mistakes over and over again, don’t know about you. Thanks for writing.


  7. This is so true! I know when I drive my hubby’s midlife crisis convertible I am treated like a queen by strangers. Clueless indeed.


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