Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to Introduce Yourself Without Sounding Like a Dork

Do you have any idea how many times in your life you're going to recite your vital statistics? I was reading somewhere that we meet 100,000 people in our lifetime. That means we're going to introduce ourselves 100,000 times the first time and who knows how many by the time you've had to introduce yourself two or three times because they can't remember your name! They all have the same questions: Where do you live? Where do you work? Are you married? Do you have any kids? Have you lived here long?

I have to look at some of those 500 page autobiographies I see in the university library all the time and laugh, because everything anybody ever REALLY wanted to know about them could have been said in a paragraph or less and was probably repeated over and over again while they were alive. Explain to me why we need the minutiae of their lives after they're dead that we never cared about when they were still breathing?

I started taking college classes again recently, and at the start of each class we have to write a brief introduction. It was fun at first, but by the third or fourth class I'd already read the vital stats of most of the people who were in there with me. I knew where they worked. I knew who was married and who had kids. I knew who was on the career path and who was just going back to college to say that they did it. There were no more surprises.

And so, we finally get around to the topic of today's blog. Thanks for sticking with me through my aimless ramblings, you knew they'd get somewhere soon! Let's talk about how to introduce yourself, the first time and every time after, without sounding like a dork!

C'mon, do you really want to be that guy who defines himself by his job? Is the fact that you're married with children really the only thing you can say about your life? Yeah, it got Peg Bundy and Kate Gosslin their own cable TV shows, but what are the odds that you're going to get that lucky? Not nearly as good as you'd like to believe it could be, let me tell you!

The first thing I'd recommend is to tell the people you meet on the street your shoe size instead of your name. I mean, the government's practically reduced us all to meaningless numbers anyway. Wouldn't it be nice to be known by a number that actually means something to you instead of something completely random? (You can substitute any number you want for this, but ladies, I recommend leaving your bra size out of the mix. That doesn't end well for anyone.)

Next, when you introduce yourself you should toss your least favorite movie out there. I love the looks I get when I confess that I don't really like "Titanic" and could have lived my life quite happily without having seen "Druids" or "Australia." Slipping into your favorite movies from here is usually a smooth segue, especially if it's something memorable like "Shrek," "Kung Fu Panda" and "Madagascar."

Now it's time to move on to the truly obscene. Do you bite your nails? Suck on your toes? Steal teeth from the Tooth Fairy to make one of a kind accessories? Regularly fantasize about piercing your eyebrows using nothing but a piece of sharpened bone and your bare hands the way the cavemen used to do it? Let me tell you, you might be laying it all on the line at the very beginning, but I guarantee you're never going to have to remind anyone of who you are ever again!

And when you get right down to it, the Hokey Pokey is what it's all about.

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