October 24, 2014

Apr 13, 201209:12 PMSingles Scene

Michael Korb explores the flirty, funny and sometimes frightening world of dating in Southwest Florida

The Value of a Good First Impression




Which Seth Rogen do you like better?

I had lunch with someone for the first time the other day at Sea Salt and when the time came to order a drink I chose an iced tea. “Don’t you want an adult beverage?” she asked (as though I had just ordered a strawberry milk with a curly straw). “I don’t really drink much,” I replied. “Well, what do you normally drink when you do drink?” she countered. “Champagne,” I said.

“You only drink champagne? Really?”

She looked at me as though I had four heads, clearly stunned that I didn’t say beer or a martini or some other alcoholic beverage that can be written in chalk on a sidewalk sign. Her first impression of me was officially “snob.” But I believe in the adage “Drink for the life you want, not for the life you have,” and to that end, I’m willing to look like a snob. I’m willing to accept it because my standards are high and frankly, I like champagne. But it made me wonder what other first impression problems people are creating for themselves.

Lester, a technical writer from Bonita Springs in his late 40s has an unfortunate haircut, a weight problem and a penchant for lightweight V-neck sweaters. He also has the name Lester. And though I made that up to protect his identity (and because we never meet any Lesters anymore), his real name is equally debilitating. I’d feel sorry for him but life did not equip me with the sympathy gene. (Although I was disappointed that Ladies Night at The Edison did not give him an edge in anyway whatsoever.)

But all is not lost. A friend of mine had similar issues and decided to attack his first-impression weaknesses head on. He sought out a stylish woman and asked her to help him dress better. In fact, they went shopping together and picked out several new outfits that he could use to readjust his look.

Of course, there was a reason he never was particularly well dressed, and that reason was that he was clueless, colorblind and disinterested. But to his credit (and weirdness) he went super proactive and photographed all the new clothes individually and then turned them into clipart: Computerized paper dolls that he could then easily email to female friends before a date and ask them to pull together a hip ensemble that would attract the ladies and make a good first impression.

He went from “invisible” to “optional” virtually overnight, based solely on his new first impression. I think we should all raise a glass of champagne to his success and wish Lester the same luck. Again, for the record, I don’t care about Lester, but I would like some champagne.