When it comes to first impressions, I close my eyes and immediately see the same dog every time. His name was Tiger (which I never understood because he was a black lab) and he was always one step ahead of me. He always seemed to beat me to the best garbage cans in the neighborhood we lived in, and one day I watched in disgust as he violently fought another dog for a bone. He had these crazy black eyes that seemed filled with nothing good. He always kind of snarled when he saw me. And I hated him. That was one of my life’s biggest mistakes.
I got this idea to follow Tiger home one day. Something dark inside me wanted to see where this big, bad dog lived. I can’t explain what took me there, but I am so grateful it did. What I saw that day was both shocking and heartbreaking. It turned out Tiger was a single dad, providing for a litter of puppies who really just wanted their mom. I saw it in his changed and softened eyes that day: all he really cared about was making sure his pups were okay. That’s why he always seemed so brutal when he was fighting for food. It all made sense now.
And that’s when he caught me staring. He was not a happy camper. To this day, I know the only thing that kept him from attacking me was the beat up loaf of bread I had brought with me on my stalking journey that day. I immediately surrendered it to him to give to his pups and he and I were friends from that day forward. I became an adjunct member of the family, which I appreciated because it gave purpose to my days and Tiger appreciated because he didn’t have to work so hard.
I would venture to say something like this has happened to everyone. Usually, it happens with the quiet nerdy girl who works in the basement. Or the sarcastic man all the women try to avoid in the office. Or maybe even the social butterfly who stings like a bee. But if you ask me, the world in general puts too much pressure on first impressions. While I understand in a literal sense that a first impression can’t be redone, I would argue that its more important to remember the analogy about the cover of a book when meeting someone new.
Let’s face it. Not all books are as good as their covers. The art and font and color choices lured you in, but the content didn’t deliver. Or perhaps the cover was too simple to capture the brilliance the pages contained. It makes me wonder a bit why people put so much credence into first impressions. A person is only as good as his or her heart. So why on Earth do people judge each other at first sight?