When You Drink Everclear, You Rarely Make a Good Impression
If there is one thing I’ve done consistently well in my life, it’s make poor impressions. Whether it was from a really inappropriate joke, social apathy, or having terrible farts while I’m out at a bar, it’s happened. I like to think that those poor impressions weren’t lasting though. I’m not talking about bad first impressions, but a bad impression. A first impression is instant, a regular impression can happen whenever, it’s a moment or series of moments in which someone further forms their opinion of you.
I think a lot times when you make a bad impression on someone, it’s because you’ve crossed a line with them. The closer you are with someone, the more you can get away with. Could you tell a rape joke to an acquaintance? If they’re awesome maybe, but that’s a level of crassness that can only be forgiven by a corresponding level of closeness. People have to know you in order for you to get away with that.
In regards to social apathy, maybe you’re tired. Or in my case, there’s a TV on. I seriously can’t look away from a TV, no matter what. I could be a security guard for a day care center that’s been put on a Rumpelstiltskin alert but if there was TV in front of me there’d be several dozen missing babies by the end of the day. Anyway, if you’re not being social while you’re interacting with people who you don’t know that well, they might think you’re a dick, or shy, or something you’re not.
If people don’t know you well, you have to let them get to know you. There are few people who can just throw everything out there all at once and be immediately loved. Most of the time the weird, funny things people do are only charming in context. If that context isn’t present, neither is the charm.
I base this theory on witnessing perhaps the worst impression I have ever seen anyone make. What makes this impression so stunningly awful is that I and everyone else who met the person wanted to like him. He was a member of the fraternity I was in, but from a different chapter.
His name was Todd, he was the new president of a chapter at a different university in our state. His chapter was going to be in town to be initiated by our chapter, as they were still technically a colony. Todd came a day early to meet our president and get the lay of the land I guess. When Todd arrived our president was too busy to entertain him and dumped the responsibility on me. I wasn’t thrilled but getting a free dinner seemed okay. Todd was a nice enough guy. He made a fine first impression, but things started to get odd as the day wore on.
Although I had been given money to pay for dinner, Todd insisted on paying, which was really cool of him. Then he pulled out a huge roll of bills, all twenties. There was at least $500 in it. Usually when someone flaunts a wad of cash that big they’re a small penised cocaine dealer. The showing off had officially begun. This is who Todd was, or rather, believed he was: the most badass man who ever lived.
After dinner Todd and I went to pick up some booze. I asked him what he wanted. He pulled out two twenties, tossed them at me like I was a hooker and said:
“Everclear and Dr. Pepper.”
“Everclear?” I responded “No beer?”
“Uh if I was a pussy maybe.”
Apparently Todd only drank Everclear, that is impressive dedication to the badass persona. After buying the Everclear for Todd, and some beer for my vagina, we went back to the house and drank on what was a pretty standard Friday night. While everyone there was having fun, Todd was pounding Everclear. My roommate and I checked his progress on the bottle at one point in the night, and Todd had made some impressive headway. By that I mean it would’ve killed a fat seventh grader.
The drunker Todd got, the more hardcore Todd got. He started to challenge people to street races in his rice burner car that was apparently as fast as he was furious. Todd did not take losing beer pong well either. He informed several of our members they were pussies for playing with beer instead of his beverage recommendation, which of course was Everclear. By 10 pretty much everyone was wondering to themselves “who the fuck is this kid?” By 10:30 I had lost him, thankfully.
Four hours later, drunker than ever, Todd came back to our fraternity house covered in bruises and blood. Apparently, because he was to be initiated the next day, his heart had been swelling with fraternal pride (and Everclear).
Todd had made his way to a random fraternity house across campus, and after being denied entrance, challenged them to a fight. Four minutes later they had kicked his ass. Todd was back to rally the troops and go back over there to do some damage. We politely declined. We were all more than willing to back up a fraternity brother. However everyone was less than enthusiastic to follow a guy into a fight who was so full of grain alcohol that his own blood was sterilizing the cuts on his body.
Poor Todd never did achieve the impression he wanted to make. Apparently he was capable of being liked though. In fact his own chapter adored him from what I heard. That’s great, because for the eighteen minutes before he was showing off his entire bank account and chugging Everclear, he was kind of nice I guess. But you can’t get away with being that big of a tool if you don’t know the people around you. Todd found that out the hard way.