Last week I watched a guy vomit on his tray in Commons. I don’t know this dude, but he maintained eye contact with me the whole time he was barfing. What does this mean? That’s the thing with first impressions, right — you only really find out when you made a good one. I haven’t seen barf guy again, but if I do I will probably say, “Hey man. Let’s just start over.”
First impressions are deadly important in a variety of situations. With college visits your dad wants to know the student-teacher ratio, and you want to know whether you will get a single if your roommate suffers from Crones Disease. With job interviews you want to get across that you are cool with wearing a band-aid over your lip ring, and that you are poor enough to need the job but clearly not so poor that you can’t look perfectly put together and well-rested every morning. But there are some things that really up the first impression stakes. Such as paintballing. In which you must walk in and immediately let everyone know that you are a tank.
A good impression can bring you way above normal human doldrums. My uncle (I swear he does not know he does this) masks or exaggerates his slightly hick-boy accent depending on who he is talking to. If he is talking to Apple about their tardPods or something, he sounds professional. But as soon as he gets “under the hood” “with a mechanic” he slips right back into twang and it always gets him better service. I try to relate to these old country men as well, but usually just come out with things like, “Well, that’s just about the size of it” and “Workin’ hard or hardly working.”
I have the most trouble with first impressions in Spanish class because I have too limited a vocab to be capable of expressing myself in any humanoid fashion. This week we watched “El laberinto del Fauno.” It took me a really long time to realize that this film is also known as “Pan’s Labyrinth.” Hah! Unfortunately, my obsession started much too late to be cool. (But seriously, what about that monster with eye hands!) That was just a minor illustration of all that I have to say about “El laberinto del Fauno.” Unfortunately, all I could say in Spanish class was “el fauno” and “Wowza! I saw a dude vomit in Commons just like that toad.”
There are many ways I make bad first impressions, usually stemming from the belief that when I am sitting in front of my computer I am invisible to everyone except Macster. This is a falsehood. Additionally, post-boot camp class I am in a state of perpetual ache and move equivalent to a joint disease man crumbling each moment closer towards the ultimate demise. The worst impression I have made of late was on a Pierson faculty member. I didn’t notice him standing in the courtyard watching as I danced to Meat Loaf in my tube socks, dangling a floor lamp out the window to try and lure out a moth.
As we learned last week, Mystery and Matador have their own methods for first impressing. And their main tip is to peacock. To dress like a nutball. I guess it is working for Matador because he has been on my mind, all busting out of leather pants and beaver pelt. But HEY MATADOR, I COULD HAVE TOLD YOU THAT. I’ve been peacocking since I leapt out the womb. However, I thought it was more a way to be the kid eating cheese bagels and sliced green peppers from my lunch box, not hammering the chicas in the coat check.
All Web sites will say that to give a good first impression you want to leave people with something to remember you by. One time I was teaching a boy swim lessons and he rammed his skull into my skull and gave me a big ol’ shiner. And I will never forget him.
Molly Green is holding a cool cloth to the fevered brow of Plantus, for he is gravely ill. Do you know how to save Plantus? If so, contact Molly, SERIOUSLY DO IT NOW.