A Dirty, Smelly, Salt Stained Me


As I pulled in the parking lot at DeSoto mall, I noticed a lad who had just put on a T-shirt. His clothes were tattered a bit and he looked the opposite of ‘clean cut.’ My thoughts first went to “This is the difference between a mall in Bradenton and one in Sarasota.” In Sarasota, people are well dressed, clean cut, smoke less, look nicer, etc…Well, I got out of my car, left my kayak strapped to the top, and started walking toward Dillards. Then as I approached the glass doors, I saw my reflection, and realized exactly how I appeared. This was my first stop on the way home from my fishing trip. I noticed a man, about 6’2”, with a dirty blue long sleeve, salt stained fishing shirt, cut-off kakhi shorts with a hole in the back enabling all to see my underwear, and some greasy, unkept hair (though fading fast) on top. I was about to walk into Dillards. I looked repulsive, far more than the lad who just put on a T-shirt. And then it hit me like some bad salsa; it’s far easier to see dirt on other people than to see it on yourself. It would help me if I looked in the mirror more often before judging others. Maybe that would actually stop the judgment process all together.

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