During a buckled down work morning - on deadline once again – I received a request from a peer. Checking the company directory, her picture popped up and I was stopped by a sunny, pretty face. “Kimberlee”, even the name spelled cute. My full, given name is not cute. It reads more like that of a Slavic princess, the kind of girl whose beauty is measured by the wide span of her back. A man told me recently the name “Jodie” fits me – fresh and young and lively. I like that. Growing up a “Jodie”, however, I always felt like a boy, or worse yet a frumpy and plain girl. Why couldn’t I be a Leah or a Brooke?
The initial reaction to pretty or handsome is odd and curious and often times unrealistic. I immediately thought my colleague so fortunate. Blonde hair (the real blonde, a mixed hue of cornflower and straw), high cheekbones, engaging smile enhanced with a shine of coral gloss and beautifully sculpted chin. Funny, she actually looks very much like my very best girl friend in high school. Her e-mail address indicates she resides in or near West Palm Beach. Of course, living the sunny Gidget lifestyle, girls in bikinis and boys doin' the twist.
I don’t know her, never talked to her, but envied this girl from a small profile picture, created an entire persona and lifestyle around a few pixels. We do it all the time. I created a story about the MILF at the gym, two-tone, blonde on black long extensions, fake boobs, overly tanned to a shade resembling purplish red. Too much makeup, too long false nails. Trying hard to hang on to an outdated look yet considered by most men “hot” all the same. And I disliked her immediately. Worse yet, I disliked myself in comparison.
I wonder if men look at other men and find insecurities in themselves. I usually like who I am a great deal. Try to be kind to myself, remain mostly positive and, yes, drink too much and sometimes behave in a manner I regret in the morning. Worry too much about being judged. Someone told me recently, “I admire the way you're living…of wanting to be real, not settling for someone else's idea of behavior. I think you are living, or trying to live, by a higher standard.” Have to remind myself of that when I feel hollow or unworthy. To quote Andie Walsh, nee Molly Ringwald circa Pretty in Pink, “That’s a beautiful theory.”
It’s all a package, the candy coated shell down to the nougat center. I got an e-mail yesterday from a boy I’d met out Friday night. By pure chance, he’d come across a personals ad I’d placed in Denver’s Craigslist. He wrote, “I came across that ad and said, ‘Hey I know that girl!’. It is definitely a small world. I'm totally shocked to see you in there. You should have no problem finding a guy.”
“Finding a guy”, that term reads so funny. Reminds me of the best line in “Forrest Gump”; Lt. Dan asks Forrest if he’s found God to which he replies, “I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.“ How do people “find” each other? Get past the initial moment, see farther than the beauty (or the average), the body (or the belly), past the quirks and down into the charm and get into someone’s head. Often feels like my mind and body are enveloped in a protective armor, well maybe more so a chicken wire fence. You can poke your fingers through the holes but never fully grasp the real me.
I have no guy. I have no one really pursuing me for something genuine. I have no date to my niece’s wedding in two weeks.
Some days I feel only the fat rolls.