A lasting impression
On first impression...
All my life I have heard the importance of making a good first impression, how first impressions are so vital, because as they say, ‘you only get one chance at a first impression’. While this may be true, first impressions are not necessarily the only impressions that matter or count. Thankfully, because to be quite honest, I don’t think I always make a good first impression. I talk too much, I have no filter, so I say what I am thinking right when I am thinking it. If there is an ‘elephant’ in the room, I will point it out and or discuss it, I see no sense in pretense. I will answer any, and all, your questions, honestly, directly, and with complete candor. I am not cruel, mean, hateful, spiteful, or malicious, I will not and do not, say anything behind your back, that I will not say to your face.
When I was first introduced to Kirsten by a mutual friend of ours, I assumed our mutual friend, had done what many of my friends usually tend to do, or at least what I imagine they do, which is, forewarn them, about my mouth, my candor, and me, as a whole. I know I would, if I had a friend like me, but of course, I don’t, have a friend like me, I mean. There is, thankfully, no one else quite like me, or so I keep hearing. As to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is debatable. However, I digress.
Kirsten was (is) a beautiful little petite blonde, with this rockin’ bod, crazy, sic, wardrobe, and super nice sports car…she was pretty frickin sickening, a lot of girls envied her and what she had, in other words, Kirsten had a bunch of ‘haters.’ Therefore, when I met her, I had heard a lot of crap talked about her, rumors, insults, and digs…typical hater conversation. Seeing as I am not, nor ever have been, a ‘follower’ I ignored it all. I reserve the right to form my own opinions and ideas based on my own experiences, as opposed to basing it on, he said/she said BS.
When Kirsten turned around, I was immediately struck by just how beautiful she was, especially her big beautiful blue eyes…however, there was one thing that stood out even more so, than those beautiful blue eyes of hers-Kirsten was 'cock-eyed.' (Strabismus is the actual medical term) Oh, I had heard plenty of people talking about it, mocking her, making fun of her, ridiculing her, hating on her, so I wasn’t at all surprised. I just found and find it funny that the ‘haters’ have to find something-anything, to hate on when they feel threatened or insecure by someone else’s beauty, body, brains, wealth, success…and if all they could manage to come up with was a ‘flaw’ she was born with and or couldn’t help, she was probably a pretty amazing person. I wasn’t wrong, we hit it off immediately. Nevertheless, after a few hours of talking to her, I found it extremely unsettling, because I could not tell when or if she was talking to me as a result of her eye, and kept looking to the right or left of me to see who it was she was talking to, or if in fact she was talking to me. Doing so seemed rude and seemed to make her feel even more uncomfortable and self-conscious. Therefore, I took it upon myself to ‘remedy’ the situation, the only way I know how.
“Is there a better place I should sit or stand that would be better for you?” I asked. “Because I can’t tell if you are talking to me or someone else and it’s effin’ me up.” The room got quiet at first, and I looked around at everyone, then back at Kirsten, before I continued. “I’m asking, because my cousin has a weak eye and if I stand or sit in a different place her eye almost seems to correct itself.”
Kirsten smiled and let out a laugh and before I could object or react, she reached out and hugged me. Not the reaction everyone else expected, judging by their looks and expressions.
“Thank you for that.” Kirsten said sounding genuinely relieved. “People always pretend not to notice or make fun of or talk about it behind my back, and some are so rude they just say aw your eye’s all effed’ up.”
I laughed and said, “You should be like, oh eff’ are you serious? WTF? I had better get to the hospital right away. Why didn’t anyone tell me my eye was effed’ up?”
The room erupted in laughter, and we went back to what we were doing as though nothing had changed, because the truth is, nothing had. Kirsten had a weak eye, always had, still does, big deal, and we are still friends. I stood or sat off to the left of her whenever we spoke from then on, for as it turned out, that was where it made it easier for her to look at me and easier for me to know when and if it was me she was looking at or talking to.
I had been picked on for most of my life, up until high school, for having short hair, a uni-brow, and big boobs. I was called a boy, a ‘dike’, and or a ‘butter head’ (a butter head for those who don’t know, is when everything looks good on a girl, but her head), by many, which is why and when I learned how to fight. I also learned how to make fun of myself, in fact, I would and still do, point out, mock, and poke fun of myself and all my flaws and shortcomings, whatever they may be or are. People are less likely to talk crap about you or to you, especially if you are better at insulting or making fun of yourself than they are.
The fighting I reserved as a last resort, and more often than not, the fights I did engage in, were in defense of my friends. Like Kirsten, many of my friends were sweet, nice, and either had a grip of ‘haters’ that loved to talk crap about them, or pick on them, for whatever flaw, defect, or shortcoming they needed to, in an effort to make themselves look or feel better about themselves. However, because my friends were sweet and nice and most had never been in a fight in their lives, they just learned to live with the ridicule and condemnation. As their friend, this was not acceptable to me, still isn’t, although I no longer physically fight, I will defend any one of my friends, to the death, if need be (cue the dramatic music).
I know I am loud, straightforward, candid, upfront, and direct, and often times do not give a great first impression, especially when people are not accustomed to dealing with someone like me. But for those that are not put off by me or my directness, I’m a good friend, a loyal one, and I would do anything for any one of them at any given time, if it is within my power and or means. After all, isn’t that what friends, true friends, are supposed to do? Have each other’s backs, support, love, and be honest with one another, always. My friends laugh at me, probably more than they laugh with me, mostly because I spend most of the time making fun of myself, the point is, we laugh, a lot. I have friends I have known for over 27 years, some I’ve lost touch with for a time, only to find each other again, and some friends I have made recently. None is like the other, they vary in age, gender, race, and persuasion, but the one thing, the only thing, that varies, is our ideas, lifestyles, diversities and opinions, however, our friendships and our loyalty to one another does not. They accept, love, and tolerate me just as I am, and in turn, I do the same for them. So, while I may not leave a good first impression, one thing is for sure, and my friends can and will attest to this, I do leave a lasting one.