I have a great arsenal of friends in my life and I cherish them deeply. However I think its important to note that for the most part I didn't like any of them immeadiately. I'm a bitch and so are most of my friends. This doesn't mean we go out of our ways to be mean to people, but we don't deal with the falsehoods people constantly evoke. We live in the honest. That means that I'd rather have you hate me about something I was truthful about than to feel your wrath about a lie. That's just how we roll. But this tough exterior matched with a no nosense nonchalance is a bit abrasive at first glance.
Take for instance 2 of my besties, Jemima and Naimah. We're the closest of friends and I consider them ride or die, but whenwe first met, they were downright cold. We were in the same afterschool program in the 7th grade and on the first day, I came an hour late. I waltzed in with my handbag that didn't contain books or writing materials and sat my ass down. I made it just in time for math class--one of my favorite subject. In order to make up for my extreme lateness, I started to answer every question. Well apparently prior to my arrival, both Jemima and Naimah were the brains of the class and they didn't like the new bitch encroaching on their territory. So like they do in the animal kingdom, they began to attack. Now how do girls attack? With their minds. Jemima and Naimah rotated their chairs so that instead of facing the blackboard their chairs now faced me on the opposite side of the room. For the remainder of the class they mean mugged me and everyone felt it. This continued on for a week until our teacher, Mr. Boulis, made us join the same group. Turns out we had a lot in common and we have been friends ever since.
For most of my friends I have a similar story--extreme dislike at first followed by extreme love later. I thought that we were all just a product of our environment. We all grew in Brooklyn and NYC is the place where the weak are eaten first. However, when I studied abroad, I learned that bitchiness is a global trait.
My paris amis are all people whom I never thought I would be friends with. I didn't want to be associated with any of them. Mitchell I hated because during the orientation months prior, he kept asking stupid questions and wore a really pink shirt. I made a mental note not to be anywhere near him when I landed in Paris. Loni was my roommate when I first arrived and gave me a bad taste in my mouth. I had heard wondeful things about Josephine but when I met her she barely said hi and tried as hard as possible to leave the breakfast table. Bitch. Joy had a mean face on and looked like she was already bored of everything. All of these people annoyed the shit out of me by the end of the second day in Paris and its more than 2 years later and I still consider them my best friends. Its funny how you never know where your life will take you.
So I guess my point ( if I have one) is how much importance we give first impressions. I based entire relationships on a cursory glance and it seemed that I was wrong most of the time. Yet it doesn't seem that I don't still judge people by their book covers. They say how you dress and act are a representation of who you are and I believe that's true. But what if I misunderstand what you're representing. I look at your all black ensemble and I think that you're a melodramatic goth when really you're a chic new yorker or a beatnik. How much work does it take to get past the facade and get to the meat of the matter? Probably a five minute conversation. Definitely less than the length of a train ride, yet we never invest. It makes me kinda sad to think there are countless people who would enrich my life but I'll never find out because of a faulty first impression. Especially when I have friends I wouldn't change for the world.