I enjoy meeting new people and forming new friendship.  Most of the time, we meet up in cafes where the casual setting makes it easier to get to know one another.  Recently, I met up with a new friend at a tea lounge.  We ordered some tea and a small fruit platter to share.

While chatting and enjoying our conversation, I picked up a piece of cantaloupe.  Unfortunately, the cantaloupe escaped my grasp and landed on the table.  Without as much as a second thought, I picked it up and ate it (5 seconds rule, anybody?)  Boy, was that a mistake!  Not only was it not the most sanitary thing to do, my behavior probably thoroughly disgusted my friend.

The problem is, I developed the bad habit of eating off the table from the time I dine at home, alone, on my clean dining table!  While the behavior is relatively harmless in private (other than perhaps eating germier food than if they hadn’t fallen on the table), the repeated behavior conditioned my brain into an automatic response when I am out in the public with friends.  The result?  A poor impression is permanently burned into the minds of those I meet.  This can be especially bad when it takes place during the first meet-up!  Talk about a down-right terrible first impression!

What is the lesson here?  Private behavior can rear its ugly head in public, and if one is not careful, it can ruin a good thing!  It’s always best to behave well when nobody is looking as it is when everybody is looking!