You’re brand new to every single person you meet.
Quick, you’ve got ten seconds to convince them you’re not as dead as you look. Their eyes scan you up and down, and they take in those shoes you can barely walk in, the microscopic hole at the knee in your black tights, the unwashed hair, those darling earrings. You’ve got ten seconds before they fall at your feet or dismiss you, roaring at some wildly funny joke you didn’t even catch.
Just ten seconds to prove to them you’re not a completely banal character. To convince them you’re mad, or unforgivably gorgeous, or endlessly witty, or tastefully eccentric, daring and funky and fabulous, or reserved with all the allure and mystery of a woman whose simple nature is to flirt with everybody, who talks real quiet so people will lean in and find themselves intoxicated by the fragrance of her perfume, the champagne on her breath, the velvet of her voice. Ten seconds before you’re any of the above or exposed as . . . horribly clumsy, inappropriately silly, a little loopy, slightly air-headed, painfully awkward, dreadfully pedestrian. Remember, just ten seconds to show them what you can do for them in a social situation. Just ten seconds for them to decide whether or not you’re worth being seen with.
It’s really just a