I quite enjoy the pictures that do the rounds on t’interweb where someone has seen the face of someone, usually Jesus, in some arbitrary object such as a piece of wood or even a cloud. (Can a cloud be classified as an object?)
For the purpose of this post, I’m going to go with a little bit of a football (like, proper football that my American readers will know as “soccer”) theme. Those of you not interested in that sport, stick with me because there is a point. There are only four names mentioned and I know you’ll be able to keep up!
Liverpool (my team) have a Welsh international player called Joe Allen. This year, Joe has grown a lot of hair, both on the top and bottom of his face and a few weeks ago someone thought that they spotted said face on a chicken nugget:
It’s a bit of a stretch.
When Joe Allen was signed, then manager Brendan Rogers described him as the Welsh Xavi. Xavi is a legend of the modern game. Although he’s now plying his trade in semi-retirement at Al-Sadd, he was a key player in the Barcelona and Spanish national team that swept all before them over the last 10 years or so. Allen was likened to Xavi because of his playing style, although it was a very unfair comparison that has possibly weighed heavy on him. Allen’s detractors point to the comparison with one of the world’s best to say that he’s rubbish.
More recently they’ve been a making another comparison with another great of the game, Andrea Pirlo. Again, the two players have a similar style but the main comparison this time is that they look similar:
For as long as I’ve known, there are always footballers who are “the next” someone or other. And, you know, if the face fits… But sometimes, as Joe has found out, it doesn’t.
Having the right face for something can be taken literally or metaphorically. At least that’s what I’m going to do.
I hope this anecdote doesn’t come across as big headed… I drive a car from a reasonably well known German brand that are slightly more expensive than some of the others on the road. I’m also pretty adept at saving money, helped back then by spending most of my time working abroad and living off expenses. When I went to go and buy this car, I turned up in an aging and battered Ford Focus, in equally aging and battered trainers, scruffy jeans, a t-shirt and a hat that had seen better days.
You know what? The sales people were not interested in me at all. My idea was that I could probably trust the person separating me from my money more if they trusted me to be a serious buyer, based solely on my appearance. They went proactively to speak to other people and help them, but I actually had to go and ask for assistance. Had the car not have been a great price, I would have left there and then.
I did get a good deal on the car so ended up buying it after a week or so of negotiations, but I was annoyed that they were more bothered about my face not fitting the profile of the person that they wanted to be selling to. It was blind prejudice.
Sometimes we can look at someone and make an assumption about them based on their appearance or experience of them in the past, readily disregarding what they might be able to do in the future and not giving them a chance. We might also not give them that chance because, although everything they have demonstrated says they are what we want or need, they just don’t quite look like the way we were expecting them to look.
The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the endless skies, my love,
To the dark and the endless skies.
The first time ever I kissed your mouth
I felt the earth move in my hand,
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love.
That was there at my command, my love.
And the first time ever I lay with you
I felt your heart so close to mine
And I knew our joy would fill the earth,
And last ’till the end of time, my love.
And it would last ’till the end of time.
The first time ever I saw your face,
Your face, your face
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack