Living in an ever-changing world, we find that we must acclimate to, as well as accept change. Change not so much as being the houses we live in or the clothes we wear because these are simply vogues which come and go in a few short years, but the changes of behavior and social mores.
Back when I was but one and twenty, there were things we just assumed to be as they had been for decades before. One of the first most embarrassing things I did when I entered the profession of selling real estate was being seated behind a desk with a young couple facing me. As I was filling out the purchase agreement, I filled in one of the blanks as the two of them being married and taking title as such. As I was going over the completed form with them, the young woman looked up at me with a look that was a combination of being slighted as well as angered and said, “We’re not married.” I’m sure my face turned ten shades of red for that blind assumption. It happened several more times over the years, but not to the degree of the parties being offended. Being non-judgmental as I truly attempt to be, it was at the time simply something that I considered two people do prior to purchasing a home–they get married first. Certainly over the years, I discovered that whether two people are married or not, they will likely have similar issues to sort through while living together in the passing years.
Another change in social behavior I had to become accustomed to was the use of vulgar language. Before I started working with the general public, I rarely ever heard the “F” word used. The first time I ever had someone personally direct the “F you” at me, I almost lost my job due to the knife-to-the-bone reaction I had upon hearing it. Yes, I grew used to hearing it quite often and I even became somewhat immune to hearing it even from the mouths of children. I’ll never forget the first time two small boys started swearing at me as they were walking down a sidewalk and considered themselves clever little monkeys. I turned the car around and followed them while hollering, “I know who you are, and I know where your parents live.” They were mortified that I would tell their parents and quickly started running with lightening speed. I hope at least later in life they realized what a crude thing they had done and learned from it. Now we find people using the “F” word as a filler between sentence pauses.
Even today I find myself placing foot-in-mouth when assuming something that is not true. I spent time with a customer some months ago who has a five year old son. I knew the child’s parents lived in one of the housing complexes for some months and later went their separate ways. One day I mentioned something to the father regarding his child support and said, “Does your ex-wife receive less child support due to your shared custody?” He looked at me so curiously and replied, “We were never married.” Oops! I quickly made light of my terrible assumption and said, “That’s good. At least you’re still a virgin to the altar.” It was interesting after my having said it how one could take that statement one of two ways. We both got a chuckle over the manipulation of words and possible meanings.