Video is a cruel master.
I've looked really bad and really dumb in a lot of videos. Everyone has. That's the beauty of it. That's the secret of reality shows.
Like, say, here is a video of me in college. I am a freshman here so, I am 18. About 20 years ago. And don't get me wrong, I love this video in all its mortifying glory, but I don't think I'd want someone to judge my entire existence or my dating worth based solely on it.
Side note:I showed this video to Annie, and she said: "When did you go to college? Like, 1964?"
So when my dear friend reluctantly showed me a video that a man sent her after they talked on the phone a few times after meeting on Match, we debated a full hour about whether or not she should meet this dude now IRL.
In the video, he:
- looked awkward
- had a dry mouth
- seemed boring
- appeared scared
- nervously fumbled
- was balder than in pictures
- spoke in a monotone throughout.
But seriously, it's video. Who cares. Also, bald dudes are hot.
"I just can't," she said. "I know. I'm terrible. Also, he's sent me flowers already. I'll thank him for the flowers and then tell him -- what do I tell him?"
"You have to meet him!" I insisted. "Don't let a tiny clip of someone bias you permanently from finding out what he's really like in person. You wouldn't want to be judged on some shitty video I took of you for your entire personality, would you?"
"Mandy," she said. "The guy sent this to me. Like, he thought it would impress me."
"Oh," I said.
"Yeah, well. I still think you should meet him. What do you have to lose?"
My rule is that if there is a twinge of desire or openness for meeting someone -- even if it is a tiny window -- then meet that person. Unless your gut absolutely tells you no way. My friend's gut did not.
But still, that video.
I told her how the author A.J. Jacobs' wife told the story once about how she has the 3-date rule which is the only reason she ended up marrying A.J. because after date number one, she had to make herself power through. (A.J. is brilliant, but definitely a bit dorky. In that brilliant kind of way.)
So please advise my friend. (Also, if she should break it off, what should she say? "I'm sorry after I watched that video of you I'd rather become a nun than date you?" What's a good blow-off? Even though I don't think she should.) And tell me your video-opinion-changing stories.
Have you ever not met someone because of a piece of celluloid? Should she?
Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.