You could have had steak, but you chose tofu. Well, maybe you were thinking about your health, or your morals, or your budget. Or maybe you just felt like eating tofu. Years ago, at a business dinner, a client belittled my colleague for choosing strawberries for dessert when raspberries were on the menu. She implied that choosing strawberries showed a lack of style and sophistication. The moment, a long one that lasted until the last berry was eaten, was uncomfortable. A quiet battle of wills.

The choices you make are clues to who you are—little nuggets that allow others to make judgments about you. Driving an expensive car, ordering the vegetarian menu option, playing Farmville on Facebook, wearing workout clothes to the grocery store, choosing strawberries over raspberries. It’s flattering and reassuring when these clues are interpreted correctly, and frustrating and annoying when they’re misread.

When you see your date’s home for the first time, do you see the shag carpet as a sign of bad taste, laziness, lack of funds or a penchant for softness underfoot? The assumptions you make say as much about you as they do about your date.

So ask questions. Uncover the real reasons behind the choices you see. Give shag a chance.


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Filed under First Dates, The Single Life

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