Saturday, January 23, 2010


First impressions matter so much. I blogged about something similar to this previously, I’m going to take this quiet Saturday evening to elaborate, however.

Over the holiday I had the good fortune of spending a lot of time in Toronto, what that meant was that I had the less fortunate experience of spending a lot of time on Via Rail trains. One particular trip comes to mind.

I sat down beside a girl similar in age to myself. I was in the mood to read, I had got myself excited about the idea of trying to do something semi-productive during the four hours of sitting that were to ensue. In my bag I had a book on evolution I had so graciously received from my friend Erin, as well as the January issue of GQ, featuring a topless Rihanna on the cover.

Maybe it was because my train was passing through Kingston and the specters of scholars-past haunted me. It could have also been the conservative demeanor of the person in the neighboring seat (first impressions, again). Whatever the reason, I opted for the Richard Dawkins work. Almost immediately, the young-lady sitting to my left asked me if I was an atheist. Talk about cutting to the chase! By pulling out this book, I had managed to forego hours of small talk. Conveniently, I hate small talk. I must have appeared somewhat educated, delving into a book with a decidedly scientific basis. The lively discussion that ensued over the next three and a half hours covered everything from evolution, to the biblical story of creation to life aspirations, to plans in Toronto. It was pretty intense for a train ride.

I can’t help but feel that this random peer would not have been nearly as interested in my opinions had I opted for the men’s magazine. On the other hand, had someone different been sitting beside me, maybe the GQ would have been the more appropriate choice.

Be aware of your surroundings, and act [or present yourself] accordingly.


  1. To be fair, there are some pretty good articles in that GQ.

  2. Valid point. Between learning about artificial intelligence eclipsing our own and why it's not cool to smoke weed anymore I got a lot out of it.