Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First Impressions

There was an ad back in the day (for deodorant I think) with the tagline: "Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression." I've been thinking about some of the first impressions I had of the people here in Podunkville. More often than not, my first impressions have been totally wrong.

For instance, there's Stitch, who is my local Podunk BFF. Stitch is someone I am always my authentic self around. I was reflecting on how our friendship began & developed, and I suddenly remembered what an odd, but not necessarily negative, first impression Stitch made on me. We were all at our house, and another couple we're mutual friends with brought Stitch and her husband, Cowboy, over for dinner. The husbands hit it off right away, as did our kids (back when we both had only one), but I was like "what is up with this wacky Stitch biotch?" Because Stitch said a few things about how cute her own kid was: "Everyone thinks she is so cute! And she truly is just so cute!." Yeah, ok, I know we all think our kids are cute (well maybe we all don't), but we don't go around proclaiming this to other parents we've just met, right? So Stitch is all "Everyone just loves my daughter! And her unique little name actually means 'fairy flatulence,' etc..." Now for some reason (I was desperate to make a connection with someone, ANYONE local), we ended up getting together to have the kids play a few weeks later, and lo and behold - Stitch was suddenly a normal fucking person who was charming, witty, and real. Go figure! Turns out the night we first met, she was a bit drunk on something she rarely drinks (hard alcohol) and it caused her to spew diarrhea of the mouth about her kid, who she clearly loves to pieces.

So tell me - do you think first impressions are basically correct?


Jac said...

I would say no - my husband and I really couldn't stand each other when we first crossed paths - here we are 13 years later, still lovin' on each other.

mom2boys said...

I'd say my first impressions are generally right but that first impressions don't paint a whole picture. Just because someone comes across as loud or pushy, well they probably are sometimes, but that doesn't mean they aren't also nice and funny and like Robert Downey Jr. as much as I do.
I come across as quiet or standoffish. Which I am. Strangers make me nervous and withdraw inside my head even more than I normally am. But that doesn't mean that's all I am. Or that I am not enjoying meeting someone new.
***I would probably make ridiculous declarations for my love of Tate on hard liquor, too.

blue said...

Stitch Biotch. I love the sound of that! Makes me think of a really bad ass knitting group or something.

I've noticed that I'll get a gut feel from someone when I first meet them and it doesn't usually change much, I have to admit. There are occasionally people (especially women) who strike me as bitchy at first only to later reveal that they are shy and insecure. Always kind of a pleasant surprise and a good reminder not to let my own shy and insecure nature overshadow my personality.

caramama said...

I would say that they can be, but aren't always. Like blue says, I figured out a long time ago that women who seem bitchy are often shy and insecure.

And generally, I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If someone is rude or acting odd, I assume that they are having an off day. If they continue to be like that, I reevaluate. But I do always notice and file it away.

caramama said...

Oh, and I'll go on and on about how adorable and awesome my children are without assistance of hard liquor. I just will usually go on and on about how adorable and awesome your kid is, too. Cause that's how I roll. Lots of love all around.

Aubergine Kenobi said...

I think it really depends on who you are. Some people are really good character judges, and their first impressions are very accurate. Other people (like me) get it wrong all the time. Personally I prefer to take some time to get to know a person before I decide if I like them or not.
Glad you started your own blog! (followed you from Moxie, BTW). Hope it lasts more than a semester.

Flo said...

I'm pretty inconsistent myself - can come across as a totally different person depending on the amount of caffeine/ alcohol/ sleep/ sunshine that day.

So I just presume everyone else is the same (probably incorrect but it makes me feel better about myself so please, don't pop the illusion) and wait for a few encounters before I form an opinion.

Hope you're enjoying writing your blog. I followed you here from Moxie too. It's very lively!

nameisgrace said...

hi! thank you so much for your comment. what a sweet blog you have! hope you have a great weekend!


hush said...

@Jac - I would love to hear more about how you couldn't stand each other at first! Wow!

@mom2boys - I heart RDJ, too. Definitely one of the greats.

@blue - There is a blogger called Stitch Bitch (not my friend Stitch) and her name totally cracks me up. I agree with you & @caramama that "bitchy" often masks "shy/insecure."

@Aubergine Kenobi - Love your name! Thank you!!

@Flo - I won't pop your illusion because I share it.

Jac said...

@hush - We had a seminar class together at college. I was a 17 year-old, first year college kid, recently graduated from a private boarding school and on the fast track to graduate in 3 years because of a heavy course load and lots of APs. He was a 24 year old, tattooed, loud-mouth 7th year college kid who'd already been booted from a business degree for arguing with profs; he was also a part-time bouncer at the local biker bar. He thought I was a bitchy stuck up richie rich know-it-all (not true, I was a scholarship kid, who was painfully shy and found it really much easier to deal with books than people). I thought he was just bad, bad news. But, all's well that ends well - I have overcome my social insecurities, and he has (despite been kicked out of business school) become a successful self-made businessman. Our personalities are quite opposite, but our values are exactly the same.