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Scanning the headlines this week, I found myself leaping to conclusions and making assumptions. Before I knew it, I was psycho-analyzing public figures I don’t even know.

Governor Paul LePage of Maine found himself in hot water last week when he left a profane, threatening voicemail for a Democratic lawmaker. He’s ignited a lot of controversies lately, most of which are exacerbated by his brash style. I came to the conclusion that LePage was still fighting battles from his hardscrabble childhood. Okay. Figured him out. Next subject.

Flipped over to the Entertainment Section and read that actress Blake Lively had a baby shower that singer Taylor Swift attended. Hmm. That Taylor Swift has been collecting famous friends for years now. Probably a direct result of Kanye West ruining her VMA award moment.  Must be trying to prove that people really do like her. Okay. Figured her out. Next subject.

Of course, it did occur to me that these are people I’ve never met, and never will meet. The only “facts” I’ve got at my disposal are those found on the internet. I have no degree in psychology, so everything I’m assuming is just my own best guess.

One of my favorite sitcoms is The Odd Couple with actors Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In one episode, Randall’s character, Felix Unger, says, “Never assume. When you assume, you make and ass out of u and me.”

We all make assumptions about each other, but we don’t know the whole story. It’s a good idea not to take our own meanderings too seriously. Lest we forget, people are making assumptions about us, too.

So even as I find myself putting on a judge’s robe that I never earned and banging a gavel in my own mind, I’ll also send up a quick prayer. “Bless them,” I’ll ask. “And forgive my little lapses.” I’m more grateful than ever that God’s grace is such a big umbrella!

A man wrote in, asking Dear Abby for her opinion. Should he go on a family cruise without his girlfriend, who can’t come along?

“You and Caitlyn are adults in your 40s… you should be mature enough to discuss this with her without involving me.”

Oh, snap! Somebody’s got a bee in her bonnet.

Another letter writer, a plus-sized woman, asked Abby’s opinion about wearing a bikini at her mother’s house.

“While you say you are comfortable in your own skin, it would be interesting to know what your physician thinks of your obesity. I suspect that your mother would be prouder of you if you were less complacent and more willing to do something about your weight problem.”

Hey now! Little tact wouldn’t hurt here, Miss Bossypants.

The thing I’ve always admired about Dear Abby is her compassion and common sense. But lately, it almost seems to me that someone else has taken over for the real Dear Abby.  Perhaps her cousin, Dear Crabby.

This version of Abby is judgmental and carping. She’s been terse and snappish lately, and I’ve never noticed that in her columns before.

But then, I suppose as human beings, we go through phases.  Different versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we present our best self to the world.  At other times, not so much.

I’m so glad God isn’t like us in this regard. He never changes with the times or waffles in the wind.  If I’m going to seek counsel anywhere, it’s going to be deep in the heart of scripture. It’s on my knees in prayer.

In the meantime, when dealing with nosy people giving you bad advice in a mean-spirited way, all you need to do is remember that you are completely – and eternally – loved.

And as for Dear Abby? Well, maybe it’s time for her to retire to Boca.

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Today was one of those days. You know. The ones in your nightmares.

“It’s already 5 after 7.”

My husband was across the hall waking up our son, but his words cut through my sleep and yanked me out of bed. 7:05. My son’s bus comes at 7:23. I was up in a flash and didn’t even detour to the bathroom. I had eggs and toast on the table at 7:12. By 7:24 he was out the door, but no other kids were in sight. I pulled off my pajama pants, pulled on yesterday’s jeans and we flew to school.

I sat there with my forehead on the steering wheel. When a woman tapped on my car window, I about jumped out of my skin. “School starts tomorrow.”

Seriously?

When we got home, I went back to bed, but it didn’t really help. After I got up – again – I got a phone call from an elderly family member. “I called the plumber like you said. They didn’t find roots in my lateral. It was leaves.”

“Okay, but the washer drains now without water backing up in the basement?”

“Yeah, but it wasn’t roots. It was leaves.”

Got it. I was wrong.

Again.

But my biggest mistake of the day? Agonizing over the fact that I had made those earlier mistakes. Grossing over the fact that other people were judging me.

We judge when people don’t live up to our standards. Sometimes those people are us. Sometimes it is someone else. In my not-so-humble opinion, it comes about because we expect perfection.

Here’s a little hint. Only God is perfect.

And until you accept that fact, you are going to have some really trying days. Ask me how I know.

–SueBE

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