Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I am not my cold sore.

I'm not often easily intimidated by looks. I'm not. I go through phases where I may not feel like the hottest girl in the room, or in the corner, or in my own cubicle, for that matter. I also go through phases during which I don’t care to be the hottest girl in the room either. In fact, today is one of those days. Today, sleep was of supreme importance.

But most of the time, no matter how hot I do or do not feel, I’m not incredibly intimidated by looks. I’m a little used to getting what I want out of life and this flows over into my amazing (but subdued) prowess.

Case in point: A while ago my friends and I took a mini-vacay down to Orange County. We stayed at a resort and spent most of the four days shopping, drinking, and laying by the pool. While out one night, we walked in to a bar and from the door I spotted him.

Now, this guy was my type all the way down to his European-style tennis shoes. About 6’5, broad shoulders, dark hair, tan skin, light eyes, well dressed…you get the point. Before he’d even seen me I pointed him out to the girls and said, “I want that one.”

All I had to do was casually brush past him on the way to the bar, turning back briefly for a polite, “Oh, excuse me,” and he was mine.

So much mine, in fact, that he followed me out of the bar all the way down to the beach, where my friends and I had shed our shoes, rolled up our pants and were pretty much frolicking in the dark ocean at midnight. He kissed me then, and that was all I’d wanted. I skipped up to the street, hailed a cab, and was on my merry little way.

This is just one example of exactly how not intimidated I am. There are many, many others.

So when I started talking to the self-proclaimed Simon Rex lookalike, I was surprised by exactly how intimidated I was by his looks. We met online and conversation was great, but I for whatever reason was really worried he wouldn’t find me to be attractive.

Then I had one hell of a day. I spent the day before our big date hanging out among a few Hollywood types—actors, managers, casting directors and such—and I received a ton of compliments. I was told repeatedly how beautiful I was and how great I was, etc. My thought was, “Wow, this is perfect timing. I really needed to be reminded that I’m attractive. Now I’ll feel confident.”

I woke up in the morning with a huge cold sore. The first one I’ve had in my life. At about 5 a.m. a nearby siren woke me up and as I put my lips together, I felt it. This huge bump on my lip. I sat up with a jolt. This cannot be happening, I thought. Not today! If the normal me wasn’t hot enough the Me-With-a-Huge-Cold-Sore would definitely not cut it.

I tried to convince myself it was a zit. I did everything I could think of. Hot compress, cold compress. You know, sawing it off. The norm. I decided all I could do would be to sleep more.

I awoke at a more normal hour and put in a few phone calls. One to my dad (who’s in family practice)—“Any emergency remedies for a cold sore?” (His answer? “Yeah, that’s too bad. … A lot of women get them on their wedding day too.” Oh, thanks Dad, now I have even greater things to look forward to?) Another phone call to my dear friend who just finished med school: “Oh EFF! Any emergency remedies for a cold sore?” And yet another to my 21-year-old brother: “If you were meeting up with a girl for the first time and she showed up with a cold sore, would you want to see her again?” (His answer? "You've been kissing the wrong dudes." Well, yeah! I didn't need a cold sore to know that!")

I ran to the store and bought the recommended creams. I applied fervently. I decided I needed to go out with him, with or without my little friend. If he was worth it, he’d like me anyway.

I met up with my friend Hilary for a brief pre-date glass of wine and she swore she couldn’t even see anything. That made me feel better.

I finally got there, and "Simon" was very attracted to me. He made it very clear he thought I was beautiful, with a great smile, great skin, and a fan-frakkin-tastic personality. No mention (or notice, from what I could tell) of my swollen lip.

It was a great night. He was great. He thought I was great.

All my concerns about him being out of my league dissolved, as did my stress. He liked me. And when I realized how much looks didn’t matter, I was finally able to consider whether or not I liked him. And ultimately, that’s the most important thing. If he’s not worthy of me liking him, what difference does it make how good looking he is or how good looking he thinks I am?

More on this later.


Anonymous said...

Wait, wait, hold the fuck up. "Self-proclaimed Simon Rex lookalike?" Are you fucking kidding me? That is so tool-y on so many levels.

Jess said...

It only came up because he started talking about how I looked like Madeleine Stowe.