Were you pretty? I mean back in high school when how you looked began to matter? I wasn’t. Still not for that matter. Not that it does matter, but this morning as I was walking back from the gym, my glasses down my nose so I can read as I go, I see a remarkably pretty woman coming the other way. She did not see me.
After she passed, I thought, “She’s pretty and she knows it.” Her clothes, face, attitude radiated the knowledge that she was attractive, very attractive. And I wondered what that felt like.
To explain why I wondered. I was very aware of my unattractiveness. At best I could be called rugged. At best, means if the light was right and I did not smile too widely. if I spoke, my broken glass voice would ruin any hint of visual appeal.
Forty years later, I have not changed all that much. Thanks to years of healthy living, mostly, I am thinner than I was then. Since most of the good looking boys then have added a few pounds, lost some fair or otherwise decayed, this means I am more attractive for my age than some originally handsomer fellows. That feels good, and I get some moral advantage, because whatever appeal I have now is the result of effort not nature. My ultimate goal is to have the coroner look down and say “best looking 100 man you’ll ever see.”
But youth lingers in the mind long after it vanishes in body. I can readily decay into self pitiful adolescent pouting. How about you?
So humor my neurosis and tell me: Does knowing you are attractive (male or female) affect you the way knowing you are unattractive affects you? Yes, I know that some of you who are attractive did not know it or believe it. But some of you did. You seemed so confident, so sure, so powerful.
Tell me what it was or is like to have people attracted to you and that you can or could choose from an array of romantic or personal or sexual partners. Tell me truly, was it, is it cool?
Because now, forty years later, when I see pictures from my youth, I still cringe. And I wonder what it would be like not to feel that way.