First Impressions

As someone who often has trouble “reading” people, first impressions are tricky for me. I tend to take things literally, at face value.

Last year, a new student was coming for a first meeting. As it was dark, the mother had trouble finding the house and ended up being something like 20 minutes late. She texted, “What is your address?” and “I can’t find your house.” When she finally arrived, she was frazzled, almost panicked, exuding frantic energy, complaining loudly that she couldn’t find the house in the dark and had to drive around the block several times, almost knocking on the wrong door (intent on showing me exactly which house she meant) , etc and so on.  As someone who likes to over-prepare it was a bit difficult for me to accept that she hadn’t realized that she had never asked for my address nor done a google search *before* she left home to know where to go and how to get there.

It turned out that this frantic first impression was a sign of things to come: not every week, but often enough to become almost predictable she would forget books and frantically apologize and explain, or she would show up on the wrong day, or show up 30 min early and then wander around the yard. After a few months I couldn’t take it anymore – “it” being the disorganized and often frantic energy she brought into the studio – and ended lessons.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, when another mother came for a first meeting: couldn’t find the house in the dark, panicky when she finally arrived, frantically complaining that it was dark etc and so on. (Just to clarify: we live in a residential neighborhood, where even in the dark you can read street signs; and our house number is on the mailbox as well as on the house.)

There was an immediate feeling of déja-vu, a sinking feeling in my stomach, Oh God, not again – this is NOT going to work.

Turns out that this was a one-time shit-happens event: the mother as well as the daughter have turned out to be delightful, reliable, responsible, a joy to work with.

So much for first impressions.