Skepticism

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover (aka. Afternoon Inquisition 9.17)

Skepticism is all about examining conventional wisdom, so let’s crack this one open.

Your looks are comprised of two components: heredity and choice. You may not be able to do much about your height or facial features, but you sure as heck choose how to present yourself. Your clothing, eyewear, piercings, tattoos, haircut, make-up, etc. – all of these are an expression of your inner self, and send social cues to others about who you are.

That doesn’t mean that one should be judged by his/her fashion acumen. In fact, it means quite the opposite. It’s entirely possible to be stylish without being fashionable and vice-versa. Fashion involves conforming to a mainstream or sub-culture. Style is self-expression.

So is it actually appropriate to judge a book by its cover?

(Read what psychologists are saying: The Style Imperative)

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83 Comments

  1. From the above:

    “Students who view three 10-second video clips of a professor, for example, give roughly the same ratings of that professor’s effectiveness as those students who actually took the course. The same effect can be seen in dating, where first impressions are everything, as is well known by those who have tried “speed dating” (a trendy way to meet people, in which each of multiple “dates” in one evening lasts only six minutes).”

    I can second part 2 of that.

  2. Yes, as long as you’re willing to throw that away based on other evidence.

    A person’s appearance IS, as suggested, evidence of their personality. The clothes a person wears, the grooming choices they make, the way they carry themselves, and the trends they follow DO tell you a lot about who they think they are or want to be.

    It’s not irrational to look at a person and sort of come to tentative conclusions about them based on the choices they’ve made. It’s not like you’re judging them based on immutable things beyond their control. Clothes/style are forms of behavior…in some ways it’s no different than judging a person you don’t really know based on their actions in a particular situation.

    It only becomes a problem when you’re unwilling to throw away whatever conclusions you’ve come to after conflicting evidence (ie. getting to know the person) comes to light, or when you begin to treat a person unfairly because of assumptions you’ve made that you’re unwilling to test.

    I could be all sentimental and say “Well, you should NEVER judge someone like that! Waaa!” but the honest truth is, there’s no way you’d have the TIME to get to know everyone you see even at one bar/party, let alone throughout life. You have to make assumptions and sort of choose who to get to know. Will you sometimes miss out on awesome people? Of course, but you’d do so anyway. If you know yourself and know what you want in a friend/whatever, I see no harm in choosing not to know someone you think will have nothing in common with you (or with whom you may be likely to have an antagonistic relationship).

    That, or maybe I’m a huge asshole. I’m still up in the air on that one.

  3. Good article.

    Yes, it’s appropriate to judge a book by its cover. The cover has to somehow appeal to a person who would enjoy the story. I don’t know how this is done, but when I read a novel based on reviews rather than the image on the cover, its less likely that I’ll enjoy it.

    As for clothes, even people who don’t use clothing as a way to express themselves (i.e., me at the office) (unless you count “don’t bother me, I’m working” as a personal expression) are giving a signal. Always. Even if they aren’t trying to. For example, my first year as a professional definitely screamed “this is my first job after grad school!!”

  4. Expatria-

    I agree with what I believe is the premise of the article (see my post above) – that people (read: me) will subconsciously/conscously judge the book by its cover, and those same people will not often signficantly change their opinion after they get to know someone. To be sure, the reasons the opinions do not change is because we refuse to give appropriate weight to the “objective” evidence that comes later.

    Case in point: My own romantic relationships fall into two categories:

    (a) We immediately started dating because we were attracted to each other, investing in those first impressions and all those instinctual and biological signs of whether that person would make a good mate (and style is a part of a larger part of how one carries oneself).

    (b) We started as “just friends” because one or both of us did not feel or act upon any sort of initial attraction, but then we dated later on (weeks or months later) based on getting to know each other and deciding objectively that we may be good mates based on our common interests and compatibilities.

    I have to say that on balance, the (a) relationships lasted longer, but that may have to do with a number of other factors.

  5. Expatria said it better than I would have. …Which would have been:

    Yes, but limited. The cover is just one clue about the contents.

    Outward appearance is something I (personally) use as a filter. If you don’t meet certain criteria, I’ll avoid you. If you have certain traits, I’ll make an effort to like you. If you’re in the middle… We’ll see.

  6. There are a few interesting people I would never have had the pleasure of meeting if I had simply gone by looks. Big scary biker types ( I’m 6’1″), tatooed racer types, skinheads, punks, hippies and so on. The cover rarely represents the contents!

  7. Yes. The way people dress tells you a lot even if it is only, “I’m too tired to care what you think.” I know that when I go to wal-mart and see the movable freakshow that is that’s store loyal clientle I make a lot of judgments based on covers.

  8. I don’t know the technical terms, but what about those who can’t “read faces”? And what about people with autism who have a hard time reading/understanding social cues? These would be a form of “judging a book by its cover” and I imagine it makes life difficult for those who can’t do that.

  9. @marilove: More than you would believe. Both my oldest son and I have asperger’s syndrom. It gets easier to deal with over time but it is so confusing to deal with people when you have a lot of trouble telling if they are making a joke or are serious. The personal worst is when you don’t realize that someone is attracted to you.

  10. @Gabrielbrawley: Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’ve known a few people with Asperger’s, and it’s always interesting to see how they deal with it.

    This just makes it more obvious that people judge others — whether it’s physical attributes or subtle body cues — every day in their lives.

  11. @Gabrielbrawley: “The personal worst is when you don’t realize that someone is attracted to you.”

    You don’t have to have an autism spectrum disorder for that… just having a penis is enough :)

    But seriously (folks): Wasn’t there a study recently that essentially said “Dudes have no idea when a woman is interested or not?” If someone knows where to find that I’d be much obliged. IIRC it said that men are much worse than women at reading/interpreting cues of attraction and, if I’m not mistaken, that it’s almost at the level of pure chance whether or not a guy judges that correctly.

    I can speak (anecdotally) about the accuracy of that study. Hell… I could write a book!

  12. I have to agree with what has been stated…

    We “judge” based on what we have on hand… so making a general judgment based on clothes or bearing is fine.

    But (as said above) we must be willing to revaluate our impressions as new evidence is presented.

    Case in point. One of my best friends and I started off as rivals in an English class based on how we perceived each other.

    That being said… there are a few quick “book cover” judgments that drive me up the wall.

    I wear glasses… I happen to be relatively bright but not BECAUSE I wear glasses.
    I am blond (sometimes), that doesn’t mean I’m dumb.
    I wear a moonstone necklace, that doesn’t mean I am full of new age wisdom.

    Etc

  13. I think the way someone dresses and presents themselves is a clue about their personality, it just shouldn’t be the only thing you use.

    I think I judge those making a personal style statement a lot less than those who look like they just rolled out of bed and don’t care what they look like. It says something positive about a person who takes time with their appearance even if it’s out there and unusual.

  14. @Gabrielbrawley or “The personal worst is when you don’t realize that someone is attracted to you.” and ”

    Actually, I think the personal worst (to a conscientious male anyway) is to act on the assumption that someone is attracted to you and then get shot down … That fear is what makes us males overly conservative and NOT act when someone IS actually attracted to us.

  15. @Noadi: It says something positive about a person who takes time with their appearance even if it’s out there and unusual

    I do the opposite, to an extent. If someone puts effort into looking out there and unusual, I often think “Trying too hard” or “Who are you trying to impress?” If someone just has a nice, well-coordinated outfit, it’s almost invisible until you concentrate on it. Not the clothes…the unifying idea behind them :-P

  16. @TheSkepticalMale: I used to be like that but one night (I remember this pretty clearly) I decided “Ah fuck it.” I got shot down a lot but I also got accepted a lot. It was an old, old joke that made the difference for me.

    Have you heard about the man who asked every woman he met to make love with him?

    Most of them said no.

  17. @Gabrielbrawley: That’s a great point … I think I’m going to start doing that – asking every woman I meet to make love to me … I will let you know how that goes ;-)

    About 6 months ago, I had a very embarrassing scenerio where you don’t realize someone is attracted to you until it is too late (I mean she actually voluntarily gave me her number and I still didn’t get it – yikes) … My excuse was that she was 10 years younger, but on the other hand, she was very intelligent and well-read, so I don’t understand why I had the radar turned-off (so to speak) … Now the members of that social circle make fun of me, and she often reminds me (in the midst of talking about her new boyfriend), “You had your chance.”

  18. @Expatria: “If someone puts effort into looking out there and unusual, I often think “Trying too hard” or “Who are you trying to impress?” If someone just has a nice, well-coordinated outfit, it’s almost invisible until you concentrate on it. Not the clothes…the unifying idea behind them ”

    I feel exactly the same way. Subtlety is everything. I am of the school of thought that if you are spending an excessive amount of energy tyring to say something with your outward appearance (whether it be fashion, plastic surgery, excessive tattoos), then you lack a certain self-esteem with respect to what you have to express from the inside. (I know I’m going to get slammed for that comment.)

    So maybe those of us who look at those who express a strong sense fashion/style negatively cancel out those who look at it as a positive?

  19. @Gabrielbrawley: I think it’s because we women appreciate when men take time to be like, “Hey, I like you. Wanna hang?” And if we find you interesting, and we’re free, we’ll usually give you at least one shot!

    @TheSkepticalMale: No, I think there is some truth to the fact that, when people make huge efforts with makeup, fashion, surgery, etc., they tend to lack self-steem. Now, that’s not ALWAYS the case. Some women I know just like to be girly because it’s fun.

    And me, well, I’m just lazy and not a fan of mornings and would rather spend my money on books and electronics instead of fashion and makeup.

  20. @marilove: North Central .. And it’s ok, we should be permitted to talk about Phoenix since none of the skepchicks actually hold events anywhere near us (don’t they know the dry weather makes their hair more managable?) … Apparently, you have to live in places like Chicago, New York, Boston, and the State of Georgia to really get to know everybody :)

  21. Have any of you dated online? Or seen the “Are You Interested” app on Facebook?

    The idea that first impressions are important has never been so obvious.

    But since we all KNOW that we all DO it… then doesn’t that lead to manipulation? I could post a pic of me in a slutty cop costume making come hither gestures… or I could post one of me behind my laptop wearing a baggy sweatshirt…. Its still me… but your impression would be drastically different.

  22. @TheSkepticalMale: I KNOW! I know of NO skeptical groups here in Phoenix!!

    I actually live in Central Phoenix, RIGHT near the VA hospital (and I used to work downtown). So we are really close.

    And it’s true about the dry weather and hair. My hair adores the dry months, and hates monsoon season with a passion. And hasn’t the weather been fiiiine lately? (I actually grew up near Lake Havasu.)

  23. @Kaylia_Marie: Why don’t you post both pics and let us be the judge. lol! … Alright, I will stop – our moderator isn’t even participating at this point. (By the way, for the record, my answer to the question is “yes.”)

    To answer your question, I have dated online, a resulting relationship lasted 6 years (my second longest), and you are absolutely correct about the choice of picture … My online dating picture was a slight bit business-life/stuffy, and I’m sure it made a “bad” first impression for some people, but I’m of the opinion that I probably don’t really want to meet those people anyway.

  24. Wouldn’t whether or not you judge a book by it’s cover depend on how many books you’ve read?

    I know that in the performing arts you can get an accurate impression of what someone is capable of in as a little as 15 seconds, and usually those first impressions turn out to be right. IF you know about the field.

    I also have found that when you look at someone’s face you can usually tell if they’re educated enough to be interesting or not, again, usually very accurately and very quickly.

    BTW, interesting is way more important than interested.

    It’s a holistic thing, though. Not what you’re wearing, but how it works together. Not what you say, but how that fits with your non-verbal communication. Not what you are reading now, but what you read in the last year or so.

  25. @marilove: It’s good that the skepchicks never actually meet here (the fourth largest metropolitan area in the U.S.) because I do have a teenage-like crush on a skepchick based entirely on her sense of personal style (and uh, of course, her writing), but crushes being what they are, I know that it would be a total let down if I actually met her. lol!

  26. @audaciousman: “It’s a holistic thing, though. Not what you’re wearing, but how it works together. Not what you say, but how that fits with your non-verbal communication.”

    Your comment fits in particularly well with online dating (which was mentioned above). You see the pic, you “talk” via email, and you think you will be attracted; but very often all those other face-to-face non-verbal elements don’t actually add up to attraction.

  27. @audaciousman “I also have found that when you look at someone’s face you can usually tell if they’re educated enough to be interesting”

    Ummm no.

    See that is the type of book jacket thinking that I think leads to problems… or you living in a very tiny world.

    @marilove
    I hear you with the boobs thing…

  28. I love dressing in nice clothes and I feel I have a nice sense of personal style, but the day before I opened my medical practice I hemmed ( no pun intended ) and hawed up until the last minute on how to dress. I chose to be informal. On most days, I wear jeans or khakis with a simple polo shirt or a nice t shirt. This allows me to move comfortably with my pediatric population and creates a non pretentious first impression for my adults here in Southern Maine.

    A few years ago my organization sponsored a conference and part of that conference was about how to present oneself. The speaker stated ( I have no idea if this is true or not ) that surveys suggest that 90% of the population prefer their physicians to wear a white coat, dress slacks and a tie. Afterwards, I presented myself to her in all my imformal glory ( I came straight from work ) and she said to me, without missing a beat, “and you must attract the other 10%.”

    My nurse practioner, who was with me at the time, said to me that was hitting on me. I was oblivious, but that’s not the point.

    The point? Fashion and style and first impressions are like chaos theory: full of strange attractors. :)

  29. During most of my undergrad, I would wear pj pants and a hoodie to class (weather permitting). The last semester, after I realized that I wanted to go to grad school at the same university, I started to consciously dress nice (and even comb my hair sometimes!).

    I got the research position I did because of my appearance, I’m convinced. Now that I’m a grad student, I dress even nicer and started wearing my glasses. The difference in how professors treat me is blatant.

    I guess I echo most everyone here when I say that you can’t help “judge a book by its cover,” and it would be foolish not to, so long as you’re open to change your opinion when better evidence is found. Isn’t that what skepticism is about, anyways?

  30. @TheSkepticalMale: *laugh* Yeah. Well, I’m from the middle of nowhere, and so I don’t think it’s QUITE the same as Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. However, it does seem like everyone I know knows each other, which gets weird fast.

    Oh, God. After living here (on my own) for 8 years, I finally got a car (I live in Central Phoenix and worked downtown until last year, so the bus system was easy for me, but now I work on the Wesssside).

    Tonight I will be driving nearly an hour, almost all I-17, to far N. Phoenix. KILL ME NOW. :( lol

  31. @Hanes: It probably did help. In the professional world, if you take care in your appearance (without “trying too hard”) it can go very far. Someone who takes care will be chosen over someone who does not, I’m positive of this.

    I have to work hard at this sometimes because I am not one to do my hair or makeup on a normal basis.

  32. “Dress to impress”

    A cliché for a reason

    But… that being said, I will dress up for an interview but will not dress up all that much for a date (no make up etc) because I don’t want to give a false sense of who I am. Does that make me les desirable? Only to some.

  33. So is it actually appropriate to judge a book by its cover?

    Yes, I think it can be a surprisingly accurate predictor of what you are/are not looking for, as long as you keep in mind that this basis also has limitations.

    And with that in mind, when I “look” at the skepchicks, I can’t help but think, “Wow, all this and brains too!?”

  34. I recently learned that half of my male colleagues do not know how to tie their own tie (everybody wears a tie where I work) and I’m pretty sure at least a quarter of my male colleagues don’t buy their own clothes either it’s mummy or the wife. So in my opinion, judging any male by their clothing is completely faulty. I’ve also met bastards in all kinds of cloths. Women tend to be more consistent in their style, however about a quarter are lacking some.

    I find character tends to shine through whatever clothing you’re wearing, however, not everybody is able to see this. Style can only be considered once one has established that the individual actually has style.

    Full Windsor (of course) Ambrose

  35. You may not be able to do much about your height or facial features,

    Maybe right now that’s true, but just wait until cybernetic prosthetic bodies show up. I’m going to teach my classes as Carl Sagan and go out clubbing as Motoko Kusanagi.

  36. You know, it’s always bothered me when people dressed in goth attire, facial piercings, blue hair, dreadlocks, mo-hawks, tattered and ripped concert t-shirts, etc. would complain about how people are always judging them for how they look.

    I thought that when you dress yourself to stand out (or not stand out), you are doing it specifically to convey a message to people about who you are. There’s nothing wrong with dressing goth or punk or like a hippie, but if your goal is to stand out in a crowd, push the envelope, or not become a cookie-cutter suburban yuppie, people are going to look at you as an envelope pusher, a non-conformist, a free-spirit who questions authority. Isn’t that the point?

  37. @Elyse:
    TOTALLY!

    ..also people who weard giant puffy down jackets, sagging pants, a menacing look on their face and a “pimp walk” getting offended when a lady crosses the street…uh, yeah, what are they trying to convey, “Harvard Thespian Society”?

    @Kaylia_Marie:

    and I have to respectfully disagree – I think that an enormous amount of information can be gleaned by certain facial expressions (or lack thereof)…but I’m just EXTREMELY observant and obsessed with facial situations (being a painter w/ portrait speciality).

    I would be interested to see an experiment where 5 seconds of silent video are shot, people assess what they think the person’s general smartness is, and weigh it against reality (I know IQ tests are imperfect…and IQ doesn’t correlate with education necessarily – see GW Bush).

    At least in my extensive experience…for example, Jen’s daughter just looks like a smart kid. It’s in the eyes, mostly.

  38. First impressions are useful, but as noted above, can be misleading. Proceed with caution. ;-)

    That being said, I know of at least one famous person (personal acquaintance) that can get away with standing in line with the rest of the customers to check in for a flight because he knows how to blend in. As a comedian and an actor, he knows how to alter what people think they see. He’s also exactly like you would expect him to be in person, too. That’s not something that happens often.

  39. Lol Elyse on your point about those who dress to stand out and complain about standing out. So true. I think these come from a privileged background than their new found attire would suggest and are trying to manufacture angst in the absence of actual angst.

  40. There’s nothing wrong with dressing goth or punk or like a hippie, but if your goal is to stand out in a crowd, push the envelope, or not become a cookie-cutter suburban yuppie, people are going to look at you as an envelope pusher, a non-conformist, a free-spirit who questions authority.

    Are they? I mean, what if I want people to see me as a person who questions authority and lives life by good Epicurean principles, but they see me as “Another brain-dead kid, probably on drugs”?

    I think the complaint “people judge me on how I look!” might often be better expressed as “people aren’t receiving the message I’m trying to send”.

  41. Blake Stacey said: “I think the complaint “’people judge me on how I look!’” might often be better expressed as “’people aren’t receiving the message I’m trying to send’”.

    Ah, now that’s an interesting point. I’ve run into many instances where a person’s choice in public presentation symbology, i.e., clothes, hair, makeup, and other acoutrements, is not recieved in the way they expect it to be. And they are almost universally unwilling to look objectively at their image statement and try to determine if, where, and how they may have misrepresented themselves.

    It’s actually a pretty complex issue that involves issues of the ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes, self awareness, other awareness, objectivity, and a whole slew of sociological and psychological issues. Interesting stuff. Not for the squeamish. :)

  42. @Blake Stacey:

    I think the complaint “people judge me on how I look!” might often be better expressed as “people aren’t receiving the message I’m trying to send”.

    Pithy as usual, Blake. And a concept I can relate to. Despite the fact that I do think one can glean valid clues from a person’s presentation, I often feel that people underestimate me based on my appearance. And it’s frustrating.

    And speaking of goth=non-conformity. Having grown up with a sibling who falls more into the “punk” category than “goth”, but who definitely sees himself as a non-conformist, I would argue that (at least in his case), he’s just conforming to a subculture, instead of to mainstream culture. IMO, a true non-conformist wouldn’t just listen to music & wear clothes that were part of that subculture – s/he would identify with music/clothes, regardless of what culture or subculture they were a part of.

    I don’t think I explained that very well.

    Simply put, if I like a song, I honestly don’t care if anyone thinks it’s cool, or whether it’s part of the genre with which I identify.

  43. @Stacey:

    IMO, a true non-conformist wouldn’t just listen to music & wear clothes that were part of that subculture – s/he would identify with music/clothes, regardless of what culture or subculture they were a part of.

    I think you explained that perfectly. I completely agree. Conforming to a different set of norms or rules doesn’t make you a non-conformist. You’ve just chosen to conform to an alternative culture.

    It’s funny though how I’ve noticed someone who dabbles in their sub-culture while dabbling in others is a poseur when in fact that person is actually the one giving the finger to “the rules.”

    I often feel that people underestimate me based on my appearance. And it’s frustrating.

    I can believe that.

    The comedian Jim Gaffigan said in one of his bits that people are always surprised when beautiful people can do things. “Not only is she beautiful, she can read, too!”

    Not only can you read, you can add… and kick ass while you’re doing it… and still come off as sweet and demure.

    It can easily throw people.

  44. @Elyse: On a slightly different note. Where I work we wear suits and ties everyday. One floor up there is a nice middleaged woman who is fighting time tooth and nail. She keeps herself very fit. She dresses in really short, tight skirts and form fitting tops with plunging necklines that empasize and exhibit her cleavage. She is a nice person and looks great. But I always wonder. Is it okay to stare? I think she wants us to notice. When women dress in certain ways it seems that they are stressing their attractiveness and sexuality. When you do this do you expect that you will get some looks?

  45. @Elyse: The whole conforming non-conformist reminds me of one the “Meanwhile” segments from the JTHM comics. Apparently the author of that series (Jhonen Vasquez) has received letters from people who talk about essentially being conformists to not conform. They smoke, and dress in black and act depressed, then spend the vast majority of their time complaining about all the rest of the people who do the same thing calling them poseurs.

    As to the poseur charge, generally this is lobbed at those who ignore the ideals a particular subgroup stands for opting to treat it as a style statement. There are a couple of good articles/statements from prominent Punk Rockers on what it means to be Punk, and they almost invariably state that it has nothing to do with the style of clothes you wear or what you listen to, even.

  46. IMO, a true non-conformist wouldn’t just listen to music & wear clothes that were part of that subculture – s/he would identify with music/clothes, regardless of what culture or subculture they were a part of.

    Thereby becoming part of a subculture of “eclectic people” who are all into that sort of variety.

  47. @Blake Stacey:

    Thereby becoming part of a subculture of “eclectic people” who are all into that sort of variety.

    That’s the thing, though. My tastes don’t seem to fall into one “variety”. Here’s an extreme example, I was a fan of George Michael as an adolescent. Regardless of what anyone thinks of him, he’s actually a very talented musician, in terms of vocals, song-writing, and creating arrangements. He’s fallen out of favor, and his former band Wham! is the butt of many jokes, but the songs are actually good. More often than not I fall into the female alternative genre (Fiona Apple, Liz Phair, Tori Amos), and my brother “approves” of those choices, but pretty much writes off all mainstream music as mindless. I’m the great defender of what I consider to be good mainstream music that gets undersold by the general public because it falls into a particular genre.

    Sometimes I wonder if a different artist had written the exact same song, if people might like it – just because that person released it. I think this may be testable as artists that fall out of favor often write for artists that are currently popular.

  48. By “that sort of variety”, I mean “that degree of variety”, where variety denotes the size of a set of genres. To put it another way:

    Most of the people in my social circle listen to multiple genres of music. We have our own preferences, of course, and one person is not necessarily as familiar with any given genre as another is, but some musicians are well-known to everybody: Tom Lehrer and Infected Mushroom spring to mind as random examples. And even the guy who knows the most about Swedish death metal doesn’t listen exclusively to it (he’s also the one who introduced me to Simon and Garfunkel’s song “The Sun Is Burning”).

    Those friends of mine who like to go out clubbing don’t restrict themselves to goth clubs or mod clubs or fetish clubs. . . Depending on the night, the same person could show at any one of them.

    Everyone belongs to the subculture of the eclectic — genuine for a night, or posers of all trades.

  49. I would say,

    Judge the book by the cover.

    I’ve been seeing the same woman for five years, except for the three months we broke up, around christmas, and we totally went for looks.

    To make it short, we met when I was lost and looking for the freeway and I saw her walking down the street.

    I was shocked (she was THAT cute). However, she gave me the “drop dead” look and kept walking. (To be expected, if you’re me…)

    Then she did a double-take and stuck out her thumb. I took that as a challenge.

    I pulled over and asked if she wanted a ride. I’m afraid I could think of nothing more clever to say…

    She didn’t. She was standing in front of her own house (she was walking home from a neighbor’s). She just wanted to talk to me. Her idea was to get me to pull over.

    Well, two hours of conversation later, we exchanged digits and , except for that stupid, stupid, stupid three months, we’ve been together ever since.

    I will, if possible, marry that girl. (We’re going on a cruse soon, so that would be a good time, I’m just sayin’…)

    I just have to get her drunk enough to say “yes”.

    I wonder if a woman can be that drunk…

    rod

    BTW

    We both judged by “the cover”. That’s how you fall in love.

    Being “above” that is how you NEVER fall in love.

    Love is better,

    rod

  50. @whitebird:

    That’s what covers are for.

    Not really. To truly test my theory, you have to take away the pre-conceived notions about who originally performed the song and who is currently performing it. When artists don’t write their own material, listeners often don’t know (at least at first) who actually wrote the song. Being unaware is the only way to realistically remove any prejudice for or against the song.

  51. @Amanda: Me too, me too! My hair got a lot darker after I had my kids (weird hormones), so I get it colored back to what it used to be. So I guess I’m not technically a blonde, but I was one for so many years that I still think of myself that way.

    Part of why I like the internet so much is the ability to make those first impressions based on what people say, instead of what they look like. I got to know one of my dearest friends based on a sharp wit and smart mouth, and it wasn’t until we got better acquainted and met in person that I realized he also had thirty-some ear and facial piercings, more tattoos than he has bothered to count, and a green mohawk. He does it to make a statement, and it does reflect some of who he is, but (like anybody) his appearance isn’t ALL he is. So I was glad to get to know the brain before I saw the nose rings.

    I am a little shy in person, and often come across as being stuck-up, when the truth is that I am trying to get the nerve up to talk to someone new. So I like how it works the other way too, people being able to make their impression of me based on what I say instead of how long it takes me to get comfortable enough to actually say it.

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