First Impressions: Yes, They Really Do Last Forever

WARNING: Mum, you're going to want to skip this post. Just pretend it doesn't exist and move on. Baby Jamie, the same goes for you too. In fact, let's just say that if you don't want to know about my sex life with The Remix, you should just close the window and get on with your day. There's nothing graphic, obviously, but still, Imma talking 'bout sex. Proceed at your own risk.

Now let's get down, shall we? 

Side Note: I'm hilarious. 

I'm finishing up the revisions on my latest manuscript, which means that I've started thinking about my query letter. For those who don't know, a query letter is essentially a page-long application an author sends to an agent in hopes of getting representation. To be fair, the query process is far more complicated but for the purpose of this post, I'm talking just about the letter.

Anyway, the older-school of thought was that if you were an unpublished author, then you didn't put much in your bio, which is a few sentences at the bottom of the query letter. But with access to social media now, even unpublished authors can have an online presence and agents want to know about that. I've even read of agents being ho-hum about an author and then getting super psyched about them after discovering their bog or Twitter account, which makes sense because an agent can feel like they're meeting you, in a sense. As such, not only is it important to have a social media presence, but it needs to be a good one because it's now serving as your first impression. And during our Happypants Reunion Tour last week, I was reminded yet again why first impressions are so darn important. No matter what you do afterwards, nothing can completely erase that first impression.


Okay, on with the story:

It was late 2005 and The Remix and I have been dating for about four months. The Remix was doing some side-work for a friend (The Remix is an electrician. Yes, I'm a lucky lady) who was remodelling a rental house and asked The Remix to install some pot lights (the never-ending story of his life. Poor Remix) and I, being a wonderful girlfriend, offered to help.

Well, let's just say that watching him stand on a ladder, with his massive forearms straining with the effort of sawing through a piece of drywall while the hem of his t-shirt snuck up past the top of his jeans revealing a flat stomach -- I could barely contain myself (which was ridiculous because I was already Ms. Handsy-Mc-Gee with him -- an anomaly from all of my previous relationships). 

Yadda, yadda, yadda...a little while later we were three-quarters naked and doing it in one of the upstairs bedrooms. And it was awesome. Spontaneous, kind of kinky, and destined to be mutually unsatisfying due to our similar heights and refusal to put anything but our shoes on the dirty plywood floor -- just what sex in a construction site should be like.

Just as we were realizing that things...well...weren't going to happen, there was a noise at the front of the house.

"Remix?" a voice called out.

We both froze.

"Hello?" the voice called out, again.

The Remix:

Me (still in the bedroom):
I mean, no harm done, right? It was probably the dude that owns this house and he's giving The Remix a high-five in the driveway for having such a cool girlfriend. Yes indeed, this will be a funny story for years to come. 

Then, The Remix came inside.

"Jennie?" he called out.

"Yeah," I said, walking to the stairs so he could see me. "Who was it?"

"Um...it was my dad."

"No it wasn't. You're just being silly. Seriously, who was it?" I said.

"My dad. I forgot that he was supposed to meet me here to help."

"Shut up. You're lying," I said, when what I really wanted to scream was:

"I'm not lying. It was really him," The Remix replied.

"So the first time he almost meets me is when he catches us having sex in this dirty place? Is he going to tell your Mom? We may have to break up. Fuck. Wait, that's what got us in this mess in the first place. Is he mad?"

"Not really."

"What do you mean?"

"Well after I told him what happened, he paused for a second and then told me to "get back inside and finish what I started."

Then we had a good laugh at Papa Remix's quip, gathered up The Remix's tools (ha) and decided to get something to eat.

When we arrived back at The Remix's house, my future B-I-L took one look at us and did this:

Miley - Point and Laugh

It didn't take long for us to figure out that Papa Remix had called my future B-I-L seconds after leaving the construction house, which meant that it was only a matter of time before The Remix's entire family heard about it.

Leaving me thinking this:

I'll get into what happened the first time I formally met my future in-laws at another time but the end of the story is they loved me. Well, maybe it wasn't love-at-first-meet but they weren't fans of The Remix's previous girlfriend and apparently being adventurous enough to have sex in strange places made me an improvement (an unexpected silver lining).

A few weeks after that, it looked like The Remix and I were getting serious so he invited me to his family's Christmas Open House, which was hosted by one of The Remix's ten aunts and uncles. Yes, Mama Remix is the eldest of ten children. So this wasn't some small party, there were close to eighty people there.

And let me tell you, did I get some looks from a few members of the fam. Nothing was said outright but almost every uncle made the similar crack of "Hey, The Remix looks to be in good shape. Guess we have you to thank for that," which was kind of funny. The first time, anyway. 

So now it's 2012 and we're visiting The Remix's family during our Happypants Reunion Tour.

Keep in mind that the story I just told you happened seven years ago

We were Chez Remix, catching up with Mama and Papa Remix as well as grandparents from both sides, when an uncle unexpectedly dropped in.

And what was the first thing he said to me after not seeing us for three years?

"The Remix is looking good. Keeping him in shape, aren't you?"

Because what else is there really to do? Plus it is funny. If it happened to someone else, I'd be doing the same thing.

So that, dear readers, was my reminder on why first impressions are important.

And if you're an author who's looking for an agent, it's super-mega-├╝ber important because, as the lovely Linda Epstein so eloquently puts it in her post on Top Ten Things You Can Do To Get A Literary Agent:

10. Don't be douchy on social media; agents do look at your blog, website, Twitter, Facebook, ect...Nobody wants to work with douchy people. (Well, I don't.)

So keep that in mind before you post that piece about how the agents who've rejected you wouldn't know a good book if it stabbed them in the thigh. Even if you think it's true, and you try to be funny about it, it comes across as douchy. I'm not pointing any fingers but there are more than one of you out there *stares* so take a look at your archives and figure out if anything in there could come across as douchy. Everyone has their venting moments, which are fine, but it's important to remember that what you put out there can haunt you for years to come. 

Just like I'll forever be known to The Remix's extended family as: The Girl Who Had Sex In A Construction Site.



  1. HAAAAAAhahahahahaha!! Sorry. Ahem. What I meant to say was "Bow chicka bow wow..." Heh.

  2. Oh my... I don't even have the words to respond!! I would have been mortified and immediately broken up with him, moved to a different state, changed my name... You handled it with so much more style than I ever would have! Too funny!


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