Advice and first impressions

June 1, 2011

Today is the first day of June.  I was driving home, and “Ironic” by Alanis was playing on the radio, “It’s the good advice that you didn’t take…”

Driving long distances gives one a lot of time to think, and thinking about good advice that I should have taken but didn’t, the first is advice given to me by a friend who is now deceased.  “Don’t date someone early on in medical school, it’ll be years of pain if it doesn’t work out.”  Probably should’ve listened to that one, although in hindsight I didn’t know about Schizoid personality disorder at the time.

All his other advice has turned out to be pretty much spot on, although some of it can border on unrealistic or highly fantastic.  “If you find a girl who appreciates classic songs like this, marry her!”  And by classic songs, he was referring to tracks like this:

Probably a bit much to ask in this day and age of Rebecca Black and Autotune.  I’d probably settle for someone aware of the pop/upbeat Judy Collins version of the above video 🙂

That wasn’t the only ‘advice’.  Don’t date an international student. Definitely should’ve listened to that one, although it was strange that it came from an international student. I think the underlying rationale was that they’re just after your money, residency status etc and will leave you at the drop of the hat for someone with more earning potential. Funny how things have a way of working out.  Then again, it could be just me unintentionally extracting the stupid out of people – often on the first meeting.

For example:
“Hi, my name is…< >  I’m retarded.”
[It certainly sounds like it!]

OR

“This might sound weird, but is your father a dentist?”
[That’s a new one… different!]

OR

“Don’t you get orange flashes?  If someone I who likes is thinking about me, I get an orange flash.  Don’t you?”
[…]

But it isn’t always like that.  Some chance encounters leave a deeper impression.

“What did you tell me your name was?”
“I didn’t” and walked away (<- me being a jackass)

Then she came back later, apologized and introduced herself like nothing had happened at all.  Second chances don’t occur often.  It just goes to show that every now and then you meet someone kind, tolerant and genuinely interested.  Of course, it turns out that she was leaving for interstate and unlikely to ever return.   The fact that something completely unexpected occurred that day reminds me of a quote from Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman”

“Have you ever been in love? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life… You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore.”

So know I have an email that’s will likely sit in my draft folder for a week while I think this through.  How does one reconnect with someone they haven’t seen in years?   Is it worth the anxiety, and potential pain of rejection and disappointment.  Or are good memories better left as memories?

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