I wish I wasn't so incredibly reliant on pop culture references, but the truth is while you might have been reading, say, Little Women I was watching Facts of Life. (FYI, I did eventually read Little Women two years ago and it was kinda boring after the first 200 pages.)
One result of this is that while you can relate to some character of Jane Austen's or Fyodor Dostoevsky's, I can relate to...Chris Farley.
I think this scene in Tommy Boy pretty much sums up how I feel about my ability to screw up at least 50% of my first impressions. I reference it often. You see, I love getting to know people. I'm mostly an extrovert. But, I have no go-to way to handle a first meeting. My nerves get the best of me and I say totally awkward things and then I go into disclaimer-overload and then I make a drug reference or something, I start sweating and then it ends somehow. I feel like this:
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How much do you rely on pop culture references?