On first impressions, zombies and small fires

Do you ever worry about how people perceive you? I don’t really, but I’m starting to think that maybe I should, especially when it comes to first impressions. See, apparently I’m a one of two scenarios kinda guy. Either I make one hell of a bad first impression such as nearly drowning in a bowl of soup when meeting a girlfriend’s parents for the first time.. Or I do like I did with Tina’s parents and start a lengthy discussion about castration of pigs and end up winning over their hearts.. Yea, I’m not entirely sure how that counts as a good first impression, but in their eyes it was, and they adore me, so hah! It’s one or the other, people either love me or they end up thinking there’s something fundamentally wrong with me.

I think I’ve just stumbled onto a case of the latter..

To bring everybody up to date, I should mention that my apartment is currently undergoing heavy renovations. To a point where I can still live here, but barely, at heavily discounted rent of course. This means, of course that I have people running around the place at various times of the day while I’m still trying to live here as well.. And the thing with me is that I live a little differently than most people.. For starters, I work nights which means that I’m sleeping while most other people work and work while most other people sleep.. Also, I’ve been very sick for the past three weeks and just recently have started feeling well enough to do ANYTHING around the house, couple this with the fact that my living space is limited due to renovations in my bedroom and you’ll start to get the picture.. A horrible, messy picture which makes me ashamed to even have other people at my house.

So, that’s the general picture.. Now, enter a new person into Johan’s life: In the shape of a strapping young lad called Jens! See, the thing about all these renovations is that my landlord is insisting on having most of it done by one of his friends named Jens  at times which are convenient for said friend.. Which is generally around late morning – a time that I’m generally sound asleep on account of my working nights and having had my fair share of illnesses to battle with. Facts that Brian, of course, did not feel like relaying to his handyman friend who has now several times  shown up at around 10-11 AM only to find the door answered by a heavily zombified, un-groomed, unshaven, groaning Johan in his boxers and a random band shirt, letting the poor, unsuspecting guy into a severely trashed apartment which after weeks of not cleaning and doing dishes looks somewhat like a cross between 1945 Berlin and a restaurant kitchen after a busy dinner service.. Ahem..

Until now I’ve been too sick to really notice, but now that I’m waking up from the haze of the flu and tonsillitis, I can see how Jens may have gotten the wrong idea.. Because, really.. I mean.. Young guy, unresponsive and spaced out in the morning, bad personal hygiene, heavy metal shirts, trashed apartment, dishes left undone yet enough booze left on display in the shelves to kill off a small army.. It’s really not that far of a shot to conclude that I’m the drunken, low-life unemployed bastard living stowed away in his friend’s basement.. And suddenly all those weird looks make a hell of a lot more sense.

Granted, my general clumsiness hasn’t helped   much.. In the last few days, I’ve managed to clean up the place considerably, yet small, stupid acts such as accidentally setting the place on fire while Jens happens to walk in the door probably haven’t helped things.. But that’s just me and that’s how I roll.. I’ll do stupid shit like forget a bun in the oven the night before and then turn it on full blast  the next morning in order to heat my breakfast. Then I’ll get distracted by Jens showing up and be like “Well, at least I’ve cleaned up a little, and showered today, neither I nor the apartment look totally wrecked.. HOLY SHIT, THE OVEN’S ON FIRE!!” .. So, you may have cleaned up your act for a while, but you’re still not making that great of an impression, because most normal people don’t start fires when they have people coming over.. At least I don’t think so.

Sigh.. Long story short, I’m at a point now where I’m pretty sure my landlord’s friends think that I’m a mentally unstable, heavily intoxicated, possibly drug abusing, emaciated pyromaniac.. And I’m not entirely sure how to change that first impression. I’ve exercised some damage control in actually communicating that I work nights which explains my spaced out appearance when I get woken by banging on the door at 9:45 AM, but I’m kinda figuring it’s gonna take a little more than just that to explain the greater picture.. If it’s even possible to explain such a very unfortunate combination of events.. But that’s just my usual luck when it comes to first impressions.. Judging by past statistics and how this one went, I’m gonna make one hell of a good first impression on some lucky person the next time around.

Some good has come from all of this, though, I’m apparently well enough to care and worry about impressions, personal and in terms of my apartment, and I’m well enough to do something about it.. Which must mean that generally I am doing pretty well. Which means I’m not sick any longer. Which means I’m a happy monkey. A happy monkey with some pretty extensive cleaning tasks ahead of it.. Hey, at least I have a plan for tomorrow, then..

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