First Impression #Fail

38

July 1, 2014 by Melanie L.

I screwed up.  I secured a career, got married, had two kids and only after I accomplished all that did I find the love of my life.  (Moral police, hold your fire! I got divorced first.)  In essence, I didn’t get it quite right the first time.

Frankly, screwing up is kind of my thang.  Like when I took the SATs – oh, who am I kidding – any standardized test.  My test scores were always higher the second time I took the test because I was too lazy or preoccupied to give it my best shot the first time.

I would like to think I’ve learned from my lifetime of bubbleheaded screw-ups and have finally committed to putting forth some effort up front.  I exercise my new skills at every opportunity like, for example, when my new beau’s mother reached out to me for the very first time via an instant message.  I decided I would not screw up this opportunity to connect.

Her message to me was short and sweet:

Melanie, looking forward to meeting you soon.  Thank you for being so supportive of my son and making him happy.

First order of not-screwing-up was to respond.  I must respond.  Like a high-five left hanging, it would be a mistake to leave her message unanswered.  But what should I say?

Second, I needed to craft the perfect response to make a good impression.  I wanted my response to convey a number of things: that I was happy she reached out, that I’m looking forward to meeting her too, that I adore her son, that I’m smart and thoughtful and generally worthy of her son who is so damn near perfect he is nearly mythological.

Finally, side-stepping that swirling vortex of first attempt flubs meant I needed to convey all of the above succinctly and gracefully.  I started drafting my response.  I thought, maybe this:

Well, it must be your doing.  You raised a wonderful man! Looking forward to meeting you, too.

No, definitely not.  That would make me sound like a kiss-ass and no one likes those.  I knew I could do better if I just gave it some more thought.  Next I mulled over this instead:

Oh, it’s nothing, he’s so lovable I have no choice.  Looking forward to meeting you, too.

Ugh, that’s even worse!  “Nothing. . . No choice!?”  My ideas were getting worse and worse.

I spent over an hour debating the merits of multiple iterations of seemingly similar responses all in the name of not-screwing-up.  When it finally hit me, like the fabled song of the Sirens on Odysseus’ uncovered ears. I had steered myself toward the perfect response!

I knew just how to convey the extent to which I adored her son, my appreciation for his reciprocal affection, and my eagerness to meet her.   Best of all, the response I had crafted was so perfect, it would convey how smart and thoughtful I am at the first impression, a sign she would surely take that I was worthy of her son.

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NAILED IT!

 

 


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38 thoughts on “First Impression #Fail

  1. Lisha Fink says:

    It can only get better. Right?

    Like

  2. First I laughed, then I took a moment of retrospection and found my own thoughts inside. 🙂

    I am still laughing, and I have to admit, you did a great job here, it’s a wonderful post!

    You nailed it! 😀

    But, don’t worry about autocorrect, everything will be fine.:-)

    Like

  3. C.C. says:

    This is great 🙂

    Like

  4. TMW Hickman says:

    I loathe autocorrect for this very reason!

    Like

  5. Marcy says:

    Oh no! She probably thought it was funny too. 🙂

    Like

  6. Hahaha! I think that was great, even with the auto correct. It’s something to laugh over to break the ice. Or at least that’s what I’d keep telling myself if that happened to me. Which, it totally would. Oh god autocorrect, what a monster!

    Like

  7. Melanie L. says:

    Guess what, folks! I met her, well them, I met both parents last night and I’m almost certain I didn’t screw it up!

    Like

  8. Gina says:

    Autocorrect! The true professional of screw ups! This was awesome!

    Like

  9. Jen says:

    ha!!! That figures, huh?!
    I hated S.A.T’s and any tests. I have poor patience issues. (one of the only taurus traits I possess) Sometimes, just to get out of there I would mark any ol’ bubble with my trusty #2. Make pretty patterns and stuff. Sigh. Not proud.

    thanks for the laugh 🙂

    Like

  10. reedster2 says:

    That is classic. Made me laugh out loud for real.

    Like

  11. That’s about par for the course for me.

    Like

  12. Sam Merel says:

    Hahaha well,if it’s any consolation, it really was the perfect response!

    Like

  13. Hilarious! What did she say?

    Like

  14. Her other DIL. says:

    I am so screwed.

    Like

  15. outlawmama says:

    You captured the anxiety of meeting the beloved’s mother perfectly! YOu did nail it. You’re loveable as you are; you don’t have to be perfect. (I do, but you don’t.)

    Like

  16. Argus says:

    Mother’s cheery worded response would set the scene from there on in, methinks. Good lick~!
    (Oops, luck … )

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Melanie, Jason thought I should read this because I love a good laugh. You are so funny. Hope you have a good laugh reading about my ultimate motherhood mistake.
    http://instant-ethos.blogspot.com/2006/08/swing-and-long-held-grudge.html

    Liked by 1 person

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Behind the Blog

Melanie L.

Melanie L.

I'm a happily re-married, full-time lawyer, and full-time mom raising two adorable vilde chayas (Yiddish: wild things) named Monkey and Peanut (not their real names!). I am often seen in public counting to three. In addition to parenting and writing, I also love photography, cosmology, evolutionary anthropology, and all things Israel.

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