A humorous look at the subjectivity of beauty and attractiveness
Like Solomon Said, It’s All Vanity
Physical attractiveness is rarely the primary factor motivating someone to have an affair.
So tell me, why is then, that we automatically assume that a woman/man who breaks up someone else’s marriage or relationship must be some blonde bombshell or a hunky Adonis with a six-pack? It’s rarely the case.
From reading the literature on extramarital affairs (and, trust me, I’ve read a lot!), I’ve learned that physical looks are rarely the primary motivation.
Rather, it’s about how the affair partner makes the cheater feel about themself that provides the bolus of narcissistic dope to help them implode their commitments.
Cheaters are often referred to as having ‘affaired-down.’ In other words, they become involved with someone less physically attractive than their current partners.
A recent experience made me to acknowledge the vanity of human nature and the ridiculousness of my own runaway imagination.
A few weeks ago, I received a surprise call from an old friend of the family. He and I had not had communicated since the late 70s.
He is a younger brother of a middle school friend in the midwest. He was always like a little brother to me.
So, like old friends who haven’t seen each other in a while will do, we spent time on the phone catching up.
We shared our stories, detailing the chronology of all we’d done/been through since seeing each other. ‘Where’s so-and-so now?’ … ‘Whatever happened to whats-her-name?’ …
‘When did your mom/dad pass away?’ etc.
We agreed to send each other pictures since neither of us found much value in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Both of us are of the old-school way of thinking. If people want to talk to us, they know how to pick up the phone and call us.
Keeping with my side of the promise, I texted him several pictures representing different periods of my life since we’d seen one another.
For grins and giggles, I included a picture of a woman standing by a boat, meant to represent ‘the woman my husband left me for’ that we’d discussed.
The woman’s appearance surprises most everyone when they see it for the first time. She is very stern looking.
Until We Laugh Again, Old Pal
He reviewed the various pictures and sent back several comments.
He remarked about how nice it’d been getting caught ip, how it seemed like old times, and — despite all the jokes we shared about our wrinkles, bags, and grey hair — he said he thought I’d ‘aged gracefully.’ Then, in his usual humorous way, he extracted a promise from me that I would not use his picture to ‘scare little children.’
He has such a great sense of humor. Our conversations have always been fun, with both of us playing off the other’s quick wit. When we get on a roll, we become like Laurel and Hardy —- never quite able to figure out who’s on first.
A Man of Few Words
I was still reading his first message when I noticed another one arriving separately with a lud ding. When I opened it, it simply said: “By the way … ‘Nice boat.”
I howled with laughter!
I knew exactly what he meant — and why he’d said what he had — in that manner. Bless his heart. With only two words, he’d found a way to make an editorial comment — all without actually making one.
Like all of us, he too was surprised that this was the woman my husband had chosen to Control+Alt+Delete the prior 30 years of his life for.
I suppose my friend’s little brother also must have been expecting to see a tall, buxom blonde in designer clothes. Instead, he saw a short middle-aged brunette wearing parachute cargo pants with zippers.
Now let me stop here and go on record as saying that I do not think my little buddy or I look any better that this woman — because we certainly do not!
We’re around the same age as my ex-husband’s New Woman. We, too, have the same imperfections: wrinkles, greying hair, the beginnings of bags under the eyes, and the like.
Too Good a Segue for a Humorist to Pass Up?
As we were taught in anatomy and physiology class, knee-jerk reactions do not go to the brain for interpretation — they just happen.
When I saw my buddy’s short and sweet reply ( and intuited what it meant) my humor monkey jumped into action. With lightning speed, I sent him this reply.
Here is the text I sent back in response to the ‘Nice boat’ commentary:
** FYI: To get the reference, both my old friend and my runaway ex are IT guys.
I know, right?
(Man rubbing his chin)
Hmmm … Current wife? … or access to a boat with two Evinrude motors? ….
Loading choices into memory ….
Please wait ….
(Blue Screen ) …
Windows encountered an unknown error ……
Checking Disk ……
Rebooting system ……
Please wait ….
Please wait ……
Please wait …..
Cannot load operating system …
Drive not found ……
Please wait ….
Please wait ……
Please wait …
Insert the key to start the boat motor.
The Pot Can’t Call The Kettle Black
Before I sign off, I (again) want to clarify that my friend and I were in no way making fun of my ex-husband’s new darling.
So, in light of the talk about aging, it might be fitting to include one of my recent glamour shots below.
Like the L’Oreal commercial used to say, “Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful.’
For years I moonlighted as a serious healthcare administrator. These days I am flying my humor flag and enjoying life. I write to dispel the rumor that I rode off quietly into the sunset. Smile and enjoy the ride. Life is good.