I run the risk of throwing myself into the lions den every time I open my mouth. There are those people that have a hard time connecting their thoughts to the words they say. I am not one of those people. If anything, my problem is not a lack of awareness, but an inundation of it. At the heart of any interaction, I have a single driving purpose: I desperately want you to like me. Tell me I’m funny, tell me i’m creative and original, marvel at the fact that I pack my sentences full of unnecessarily long words. It may be self loathing but it’s true. Yet sometimes I find myself offending the very people I’m trying to win over. I think the root of the problem is genetic. I have inherited my european mothers very thick, perfectly arched eyebrows. They are often furrowed, and on me, look somewhat villainous in nature. In fact, the upper portion of my face with it’s broken capillaries and prognathic brow looks like it was meant for someone far more physical then myself, a soldier or a boxer perhaps. When resting I appear lost in pensive anger. To make matters worse, I have my fathers mouth, with lips that curve upward revealing a dimple on my left side. When both the maternal and paternal halves meet to make an utterance, the result is a smirk. Then there’s my voice. I have a British intonation from my mother, which when used with an English accent is seen by American’s as both charming and witty (case in point: Hugh Grant, who cheated on his beautiful girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley with a prostitute and yet years later is still melting American audiences in movies like ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Music and Lyrics’). However, with an American accent it comes off as condescending with a hint of sexual ambiguity. So to review, whenever I say anything at all I am doing so with both a smirk and snooty delivery. Combine this with the fact that I have an overactive vocabulary and I can’t say something as simple as: ‘That meal was an absolute culinary cornucopia of confections’ without seeming sarcastic and judgmental. Moreover, I actually am sarcastic and judgmental which makes not seeming so twice as hard. Believe me I’ve tried different approaches. Showering a stranger with compliments only makes you seem more desperate and addressing the fact that some people perceive you negatively only exacerbates the problem. So for now I’ve taken to wearing fake glasses when I want to make a good impression, and writing my thoughts down on a website each week where people don’t have to see me speak and I can edit my words.