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  If I start this blog any more times I’m going to get carpal tunnel.

  A few years ago, I met this girl through a mutual friend. I’d heard her name on the grapevine, mostly bitchy comments, and when I met her I kind of thought “Is this it?” With a French plait and glasses, looking at me like I was some sort of shiny new object out of the box, she was more gangly than glaring. I think I thought she was weird.

  Next September, we had the same classes in a couple of subjects, and I learnt a few things very quickly: this girl talked. A lot. The teacher could have been discussing how not to set yourself on fire and she would have been turned around, whispering to whoever would listen about the time she really did set herself on fire. Next, she liked to be in charge. I found out later that she has two older sisters. The most important thing: regardless of your reputation or lack of verbal communication skills or pot habit, she would come up to you at twenty-five past eight in the morning and ask if you got your eyebrows waxed.

Then point out a hair the beautician (or the tweezers) missed.                  

  Fast forward two years. Well, eighteen months. Perhaps a year, but to be honest timekeeping went out the window half was through year seven. Anyway, this girl turned out to be really nice, under the thick skin and OCD. We chatted on the phone, I started paying attention to fashion after her fourteenth one-woman conversation about quiffs being two seasons ago (regardless of their newfound fashion in high schools).

  Then, c’est la vie, I screwed up. Big time. I learnt about feeling really awful for the first time… Also discovered that feeling shitty is worse when you brought it on yourself (Hear that kids? Treat others as you wish to be treated. KARMA EXISTS).

      

  Three months on, everything’s still a bit rocky. Okay, more like, ‘that’s a really huge mound of boulders, do we dodge or do we crash?’ Mostly we seem to crash. Well, I do. I call them learning curves.

 

  What have I learnt? Oh yeah. Honesty is key when one person in a two-way discussion offends the other one. Pretending not to care about hurt feelings and bringing it up two weeks later is not a smart move. Neither is having a hugely massive conversation via text. Thumb ache, dude. Also there’s no way to read expressions or interpret tones. So for anything more than a semi-important talk, leave MSN alone and talk the old-fashioned way. Face to face.

  In fact, employ honesty 99.999% of the time. More if possible. That way, nothing can bite you on the arse later on, there are no grudges. Plus, even if there is a screaming fight in New Look because one of you pointed out that the other needs a bigger dress size, you’ll laugh about it later. Three months of constant sniping is not so easy to giggle about.

  The moral to this story seems to be: don’t judge people on first appearances, judge them on how you react to the first appearance. And the second, and third, and ninety-millionth.

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