Prove You’re Not a Robot

Apparently I’m a robot. At least according to the captcha that forces me to translate a string of numbers or letters to prove my humanness. (I only know that term because my brilliant husband just told me what this annoying test is called.) I usually fail on the first try. Sometimes the second. I think it’s because I’m sporadically, numerically dyslexic, meaning I sometimes switch certain numbers, particularly 3, 6, and 9 but only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This come-and-go disability makes balancing the checkbook and doing the taxes loads of fun.

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Anyway, when I fail the prove-you’re-not-a-robot-test I get a little bit defensive. I mean for Pete’s sake, is it really so black and white? I can’t decipher a series of squiggly letters and numbers therefore, obviously, I’m a robot? And who is my computer to tell me I’m a robot? Does my sassy computer take into consideration all of my unrobotish qualities, like the fact that I cried at the little foal turned Budweiser horse commercial played during the super bowl? No. That doesn’t matter. Only the row of squiggly numbers.

Jumping to conclusions—for all of us, not just my computer—is just so darn easy. Too easy. Here’s an example of the flying leap our brains might take:

What we see: Ooh! They have such a nice fancy house, or car, or fill in the blank.

The jump: Must be nice to have so much money; life sure must be easy for them. 

When the reality could be: They’re drowning in debt. Or they happen to be the most generous, humble people in the world and give away fifty percent of their earnings. Or some middle ground between the two.

Sometimes our minds take a huge leap based on what we think we see: when we see what we think is a perfect marriage, or when we see what we think is a lousy marriage. Or when we glimpse a “perfect” child. Or a screaming child. Or a fat person. Or a skinny person. Or a person with no kids. Or a person with a hundred kids. Or a mom who works crazy hours. Or a mom who stays home.

There’s just no winning. And the truth is, we just don’t know. We could be right in our conclusions, it’s possible, but we could also be so, so wrong.

Like my computer. Who, by the way, is a robot and doesn’t know nothin’.

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