Monday, November 24, 2008

How to be Ugly

I was checking out at the grocery store the other day and the kid who rang me up said, "Got any fun plans today?" (I think he'll go far.)

This was the last stop on had been quite a few that day - we'd been out for about four hours - and I said, "Yes, I'm planning to go home and sit down. That's my kind of fun right now."

The 50-ish woman behind me grinned, so I said to her, "Right?"

She cocked one eyebrow and said with not just a little venom, "If you want to live longer you'd better do something other than go home and sit."

I'm visibly overweight, but still, da fok?

Of course, all the snappy retorts that I wouldn't have said had they occured to me buzzed around my head like flies all the way back to the car.

Like a lot of folks, I've wished on occasion that I were good-looking. But then, a lot of people I know who are don't necessarily think that of themselves, so I don't know if many people actually get the supposed benefit of self-esteem that way.

However, it sure seems you pay the price if you don't live up to someone else's beauty standards.

This brings me to two events of serendipity I've experienced recently (though those of faith like me like to believe there's Something Larger behind it.

Pretty much the day after being dissed at the supermarket, I decided it'd been a while since I'd visited Roger Ebert's blog (which is amazing, btw), and there waiting was this article on what is was like to be ugly and/or fat. What a wunnerful read.

The other serendipitous event I'll cover in a later post.


The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

You have a lovely wife who chose you over all her other (undoubtedly broad) possibilities. So you can't be that ugly.

I'm on the plain side, Irish-pasty, short, and unlikely ever to lose all the baby weight. But I lived with a genuinely beautiful woman for a year in college, and saw first-hand the misery her beauty brought her: obsessing over minor changes in her looks (and women's looks change constantly), saddled with boyfriends whose good looks matched hers but who weren't there in the character department, envy from other women, and a regrettable vanity. No, thanks.

Whisky Prajer said...

*sigh* Your customer-critic was just one more person who didn't know you were The Dude.

Yahmdallah said...

OHS: Yes, I certainly married up, I'll give you that.

Whisky: Yah know, even walking in The Dude's sandals for a day DID imbue me with a touch of The Dude. It was interesting.

And I hope this post didn't come off as too self-pitying. I was attempting a positive twist that Ebert accomplished (I think) by implying it doesn't matter if you don't think it does.

I do feel sorry for that lady who said what she did. If she walks around feeling OK with insulting strangers, her life must be somewhat of a wash.

Sya said...

I'm lower than average in the looks department (judging from some rather passive-aggressive comments I've had over the years), but like Ebert, I'd like to think I have other compensating qualities.

Anyways, this reminds me of a real life example of attractiveness, or rather the lack of, ending up not being what matters. I know two guys who often joke about their weight, but they're happily married. While a young woman I know who's the epitome of thin and attractive keeps on obsessing about how fat she is and makes guys run for the hills even before the first date is over. So looks, while it might be an indicator of health, doesn't really contribute anything to happiness or well-being. It's more of a state of mind.

Yahmdallah said...


Anonymous said...

Do you watch Southpark? The last episode in season 11 has the girls in the 4th grade class rating all the guys on cuteness. Kyle is dead last, and is devastated by it. But then we learn that the girls -

Well, no spoilers here. But it's hilarious, and seems relevant here.