First Impressions

Normally once or twice a week I stop and collect a super-sized cup of my favorite elixir.

Super Sized Soda

For a while, each time I went in to feed my addiction buy my soda, there was this very small man in holey clothes that would always try to strike up a conversation with me. Unfortunately for both of us, he was lacking certain social niceties, like inoffensive small talk: “The senior coffee is better than your soda,” and on another visit, “Since you can, you should mix all the soda flavors.” I referred to him as the slightly creepy homeless man.

Imagine my surprise when I was wearing a paper gown waiting for my first visit with a new dermatologist when in walks that guy! He seemed incredibly nervous in examining me. After some negotiation, we agreed that he would take off two offending moles. He needed to leave to go get the nurse to assist.

You can imagine my relief when the nurse came in and called him “doctor.” Until that time, I wasn’t 100% certain it really wasn’t a homeless guy who had found a white lab coat. Now that would have been more than slightly creepy!

My slightly creepy dermatologist is great with a needle and scalpel. If we do enter the zombie apocalypse, I want him on my team!

The infamous “they” say, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” I want to believe it’s not true, especially for those times when I’ve completely botched a first meeting. At least in my doctor’s case, however, I found that overcoming that initial opinion was really hard to break. Maybe because he was out of context. If we hadn’t fed our caffeine hunger on the same schedule, I would have simply thought him a bit odd. I don’t know that creepy ever would have been associated with him.

Have you ever had a first impression prove itself to be completely off? or Am I the only one who comes up with nicknames for people?

10 thoughts on “First Impressions”

  1. Wow – how awkward. So, did you two say anything about recognizing one another? To break the ice? I’d have been squirming too until the nurse came in and made it official.

    Are you sure it wasn’t a dream? That’s the kind of thing I dream. And why, I wonder, is he wearing holey clothes in the convenience store? That’s not playing fair.

    Yes. I have more names for people than a respectable person should. Recent ones….Camaro Boy, the BBC (which refers to three old men), Sally Showhorse …..oh my….don’t get me going.

    Shame on me. Right? It’s an innocent way I amuse myself and allow myself to speak in public about some people without their knowing the reference. All except the Sally Showhorse. She’s a local weather girl who has a mouth like…well, never mind – it’s just not nice.

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    1. He is the one that brought it up. He looked at me and questioned whether it was really my first visit with him since I looked so familiar. I let him know that our caffeine habits brought us together at the same time.

      I still seem him with regularity. Makes me wonder if he thinks I’m stalking him like for a while I thought he might be stalking me.

      I don’t get the holey clothes! Maybe it is a favorite sweater … and trousers? He was appropriately dressed at work, though.

      Another nickname giver! I’m not alone!

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  2. Awkward, indeed! But I have had first impressions be entirely off. I wouldn’t say it happens often, but it certainly happens an did more so when I was younger and made assumptions based on that impression.

    I’m less likely to judge now, though of course we all respond to an initial sense of confidence, sexuality, smarts, friendliness…

    I know that I have “off days” when I haven’t been sleeping and I sure hope any of those first impressions wouldn’t be held against me when I meet someone again, having had a few more zzzzs. (And this is part of why I remind myself to withhold any assumptions. Lack of sleep, stress, a fight with a spouse or kid – all these things may send us out into the world in a state that isn’t our best foot forward.)

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    1. I always hope people are more forgiving of me than I have been, especially in the past.

      He still seems slightly creepy to me, though, despite my mental attempts to rectify that impression.

      It is so true that there are so many factors that can make us present ourselves in a less than favorable light. I will try to keep those in mind before casting judgement so quickly in the future.

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  3. Wow, how completely bizarre. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to keep my composure. While on the outside I appear to be an approaching middle-age female, on the inside I am certain I am a fifteen year old boy in situations like that. Somehow I see myself jumping up and screaming something completely inappropriate.

    You’re so right – first impressions are lasting ones, even if people turn out to be other than we imagined. I’ve been on the receiving end of others’ first impressions and it’s just as difficult there. I think I’d have a hard time trying to figure out the tattered clothes. Maybe he’s fascinated by people-watching or likes to see what reactions he would get from people – like he’s doing a study or something. Probably a favorite sweater – my Husband has some terribly embarrassing favorite articles that I have forbidden him to wear in public, but alas, to no avail.

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    1. It was very freaky. I would have had to put my foot down and get officially weird if there hadn’t been the nurse present for the procedure part. Scalpels don’t belong in the hands of creepy (slightly or not) homeless people!

      I’m hoping it is a favorite sweater. I know I still have a sweatshirt from high school, so who am I to talk (then again that doesn’t have holes in it!)?

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  4. Hahaha! Oh, the things our minds are capable of when meeting someone for the first (or second) time! I love this story.

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  5. Loved this story and I definitely have given nicknames to strangers I see from time to time but never make contact with. I was thinking when Hollywood buys the movie rights to this post they’ll end up changing it to be a romantic comedy like the Shop Around the Corner. Oh my!

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    1. That got me laughing out loud. Of course the movie would also have an average looking guy ending up with a gorgeous woman. You never see Matthew McConaughey ending up with an average woman, unless it is a supermodel in a bad wig and big glasses who suddenly transforms with his attention.

      Wow, I didn’t mean to jump on that soapbox!

      I am glad that I’m not alone in nicknaming strangers!

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