Someone asked me the other day if I believe in friend at first sight. Which I do, but only in the same way I believe in love at first sight. It happens, but hardly ever and if we count on it we’ll probably miss out on some awesome people.
Last night I went to a reading of Witty Women at a fabulous Chicago bookstore. When I first arrived I was introduced to one of the readers. During our brief introduction and handshake, I somehow formed an impression of her. Quiet, I thought. Quiet, shy and not especially friendly.
Then, I kid you not, she got up in front of the room and read a hilarious essay about touching her father’s… you know. Her dad had had surgery, her mom was out of the room and her father was in pain, so this writer had to just “cowgirl up” and, as she so delicately put it, “come in contact with her dad’s junk.” The story had people doubled over, as did her performance of it.
I was extra surprised by this entire reading because in the all of ten seconds I spent with this woman beforehand, I had formed this completely off-base idea of who she was. This woman is like Steve Martin, I kept thinking during her performance. She’s amazingly funny in front of an audience and then so serious in person.
Not that I’ve met Steve Martin. But that’s what I hear.
Then, after the performance, I saw her talking with the bookstore owner and others, being totally friendly, and realized that she was no Steve Martin. She was an outgoing, funny, apparently awesome woman that I could probably only dream of befriending.
My first impression was, simply, wrong.
In the same vein, I’ve met plenty of women who at first I thought “she is It. The One!” and then we never spoke again after our first girl-date.
Basically, in both cases, it was pretty much the opposite of friend at first sight.
In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever experienced this elusive at-first-glance relationship. Perhaps with Callie when we were in 9th grade. But since then? There was this girl in Starbucks once who I was sure could be my friend–don’t ask me why, I think it had something to do with her fun scarf–but every time I worked up the nerve to speak to her, she was on the phone. So that friend at first sight tingle was a one-way situation, apparently.
So, yeah. I believe in friend at first sight. I do. I always think I’ll just know when I spot The BFF, like one would know when they come in contact with the Loch Ness Monster or something. But I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered it first hand.