I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonnit…

Texting a friend about therapy:

Me: “We ended up talking about why I don’t consider myself ‘beautiful.’ She showed me a fucking Dove commercial. I’m never going back. (Kidding.)”

Friend: “No one should be forced to watch a Dove commercial.”

And by the way? I don’t consider myself beautiful, and I don’t see a problem with that, so fuck right off, Dove. But I am a middle-age American woman who mostly thinks I’m cute, sometimes pretty, so I do think I’m a goddamn miracle.

Besides, “beautiful” doesn’t even crack the top 100 on my list of issues. When I think about my last pseudo-breakup, my appearance isn’t what keeps my brain spiraling. He once got hard while we were taking a walk because I made a JOKE about wearing high heels during sex — it’s easy enough to believe he found me attractive. So can we focus on this weird haze I get into where I think I’m not smart or interesting enough to keep a dude around AFTER we have sex, even as a friend? That seems to be the dominating self-esteem weirdness here.

Beautifull of shit

I don’t think I ever roll my eyes harder than when a man on OkCupid comes at me with “Hello beautiful” (<– Lack of punctuation his, not mine.)

First, I HAVE a name. It’s in my profile. Twice.

Also, I’m 41, so please don’t make me quote Meghan Trainor: “Call me beautiful, so original, tellin’ me I’m not like other girls…”

I’m cute, dude. It’s OK, I know my lane. “Beautiful” seems to be some sort of résumé keyword men* say to average-looking chicks, assuming we all want to hear it and it’ll fast-track them into our draw’s.

BTW, it hadn’t occurred to me that “not like other girls” was a line until I heard this song. In hindsight, it makes sense—I am a special little lady snowflake…just like everybody else. My deep-seated desperation to feel unique is probably evident, so of course men would use it to infiltrate.

P.S. If I ever write a book, I’m calling it “Little Lady Snowflake.”

*SOME men. #NotAll. I know.

At least he didn’t say I’m “a full-on Monet.”

First OkCupid message from a 19-year-old: “If a thousand painters from the last 200,000 years got together and decided to paint a picture, their creation wouldn’t be as beautiful as you!”

Wow…I guess it’s better than just “hi”?

Actually, with that many painters working on it, that painting would probably be pretty busted, so it probably WOULDN’T be as pretty as I am. I don’t think I’m “beautiful,” but I’m probably cuter than Picasso and Renoir getting into a slapfight while Jackson Pollock just goes batshit and sloshes around on the canvas. So points to you, Toddler.

Popular. I’m gonna be pop-uuu-lar…

I filled out the wordy bits of the OkCupid profile first, no photos.

When I added pics, in the 10 minutes it took to arrange them, I got something like 18 “likes.”

Pfft. I’m adorable.

P.S. A half hour later, four intro messages, one from a faceless stranger who called me “beautiful” and added “take it anyway you want.”


Is there another way I could take “beautiful?” Do I have less of a command on English than I give myself credit for? I guess it could mean, “I want to put my parts in your parts, and I assume calling you ‘beautiful’ will help. I smell the needy.” Oh, wait! Did you mean I should take your dick “anyway” I want? Yeah, that’s how I’m gonna interpret that.

P.P.S. The end of my self-summary: “I don’t take this site seriously enough to pay for it, so if you ‘liked’ my profile, I can’t see it, sorry! (But at least I’ll be able to tell who actually reads the profile and who’s just hot for impish eyes on a bottle-blonde.)”

“Your smile would be even prettier around my dick.”

I’m not trying to be an ass, but I don’t know how men expect me to respond when their first message to me on OKCupid just says “Beautiful,” or “Pretty smile,” and nothing else.

It’s flattering, sure, and thanks, I guess, but…it’s a dating site. You wouldn’t be talking to me if you didn’t think I was cute. What else ya got? Show your work.

This isn’t conceit, by any stretch. It’s actually the opposite — I’m just no longer surprised when men find me attractive. Especially the kind of sketchy, monosyllabic fucks from whom these messages generally originate. I’ve been whistled at at the grocery store when I’m rocking dirty hair, baggy jeans, and a giant sweatshirt — some men have different standards of beauty than I do. I’m not hideous or anything; I clean up OK. But yeah, I’m gonna need more than “Beautiful,” and more than a word or two. Anything that focuses solely on appearance always reads to me like that Chris Rock bit about offering dick:

“Beautiful. (Can I offer you some dick?)”
“Pretty smile. (How ’bout some dick?)”

It’s fine, I suppose, if that’s what you’re on the site for, but that’s not why I’m there. (I don’t know WHY I’m there, exactly, other than blog fodder, but I know I’m not there for casual dalliances with the inarticulate.)

(Also, remind me if I ever write a book to title it “Casual Dalliances with the Inarticulate.” That’s some Sedaris shit, right there.)

“Don’t look at me…”

In addition to still being in love with my ex, I also have a massive, unrelenting crush on a guy whose girlfriend (yep, hella awkward) looks like Shailene Woodley.

And I look like me. Out-fucking-standing.

I know, I know — “I am beautiful, no matter what they say, words can’t bring me down.” Fiiiiiine. Can I wallow in my blandness today and be all about confidence and empowerment tomorrow?