The other day something struck me. Which isn’t unusual. What labeled this incident a departure from the typical was that what struck me was neither ball, nor bat, nor craving for unhealthy fast food. What came rushing towards my temporal lobe, at the speed of a meteor was an idea. A sweeping generality, in it containing the solution to a number of my problems; a thought that struck a cord within me, reverberating through all the layers of existence: “I should really try to be more appealing, exciting, and attractive.”
Some people have that magnetic spark. That je ne sais quoi that makes them endearing to your heart and appealing to your eyes. Maybe they have saved some whales, or go for jogs, or selflessly volunteer their time to worthy causes, but they almost never spend their days like me. To only a select group people, be they perverts or palliative care patients, my activities are seen as attractive, but to the greater public, less so. Not everyone would label an emotionally stunted, underachieving, spoiled, romantic, dreamer a catch. Which inevitably got me to thinking, how can I appear to possess attractive potential?
Inevitably I started out making a list of qualities I, myself, find attractive. A treacherous and dangerous rabbit-hole, that can at once overwhelm and occupy all of your time, and adversely make you draw a complete blank. From a blank slate how can one pluck from memory or sub-conscious a list attractive qualities? When not staring at you in the face, what is it that makes a person attractive? For myself, I raked my brain to come up with such a list and set forth in aligning myself, more acutely, to those qualities and characteristics. However, the first draft of this list was just the names of the seven dwarfs so I had to re-start. Then all I could list was Disney Characters. Then I made a list of all the Disney princesses in chronological order. Then I had to pee. Then I had a sandwich. Then I really got down to business and wrote a list of real attractive qualities. And then I wrote this essay. And then I edited it. And then I added in this part here cause I felt like the beginning had to be “zanier.”
I believe it was the great Edna St. Vincent Millay who said something along the lines of “Be happy, not crappy and smile!” Which to the mind unversed in verse translates to “get a better attitude, dude!” I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly upbeat person. I smile at strangers, and wave to people at traffic lights. I avoid confrontation to the point that I am sometimes treated like a doormat. I have a generally sunny disposition for the majority of my days, but after too many days of sitting alone, without sun, or with too little or too much stimulation my mood can turn sour. A single comment can make me fall to pieces and hole myself up in a depression foxhole for days on end. This coupled with all my other faults and flaws makes me about as appealing as aardvark. Sure, you can curl up with in on a cold dark night, but would you really want to? Bolstered by the imaginings in my over-active daydreams, I pictured myself being a shining beacon of warm lighted, effervescent good natured-ness. A mother Teresa in attitude if not in shroud. I would, with a minor attitude adjustment, bear an unshakable smile that welcomes all those who see it, and invites them into my presence. But how do I go about making a mindset 180? Research shows that one of the easiest ways to change your mood is to act the way you want to feel. A “fake if till you make it” strategy, which, as it happens, I am really good at. It’s how I’ve gotten to my age without accomplishing anything, while still being able to get out of bed each morning. And although I sometimes stay wrapped in my covers till the sun is at it’s high point, I have become adept at pushing down the feelings of inadequacy and hold onto hope that someday I’ll do something great. In much the same way when I am feeling blue I intend to push away the unhappy thoughts and act like I am happy, believing that someday I will be. So big happy smile on my face -no matter what.
Of course, as practically everyone will tell you, there is more to life than a smiling pretty face. Those people are, naturally, thinking of possessing rock hard abs. Or chiseled features. Or strong arms. Or clear skin. Any of the above. What people seem to find attractive, more often than not, is an alluring physicality. Explaining both the appeal of Matthew McConaughey, and why in standard “hot or not” tests, I score the latter. However there is something to be said for my lack of physical features that are deemed “attractive” that being: I don’t try. The care of my body starts and stops with light moisturizing. I am not one to drink gallons of water a day, steam vegetables, or run for miles. Doing pushups is an act of torture, going against rules put forward during my own, personal, Geneva Convention. While I have been known to be a fan of some types of crunches, it is generally the kind that has words like “flavor blasted” or “economy sized” in bold print on the bag. Becoming more physically appealing is on a list of things to do. But it will happen when it happens. I am not going to set out to change myself, because, truthfully, that is a lot of effort. What I should be doing instead, is trying to change society interpretation of attractive human forms. Out with the deep tans, sculpted stomachs, and flawless skin. In with freckles, skin- pink from even the most minor sun exposure, with a extra inch or two of skin in various locals. Changing that perception seems to me, to be as equally tiring, and unrewarding as running laps of gymnasium, with a bigger pay off at the end.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: the section regarding “adopting a better personality” has been omitted in this printing. After years of trying to make significant advances in this area, the friends, teachers, and family of the author have personally issued the following statement:
“The personality residing within the author of this essay has shown remarkable resilience to the years of strenuous exercises, personality tests, and threat making administered by our collective. Alas, it has sadly proved to be unable to conform to any changes. At all. Whatsoever. While it has long been the dream of this collection of family and friends to see the author adapt a better, stronger, personality, with a stronger work ethic, and less of a predilection for poorly executed puns, that dream will thusly remain unrealized. Therefore, we- the collective of dreamers, have asked that the section regarding the possible changes the author wishes to make to his personality, be omitted from this and all printings, because, frankly, while being impossible, it was also way off the mark.”
After brainstorming my list of attractive traits over a warm box of Chardonnay, I realized that what I find most attractive had almost escaped notation. A person being in “the possession of large heaps of money. Like, ‘Scrooge McDuck kind-of-money’” is invariably irresistible to me. therefore financial security made it’s way onto my list of characteristics, and was justifiably underlined several times. For good measure, a star was added. Then a box was drawn around the entire bullet point. Then the box was underlined. These facts are important because they demonstrate the significance I have placed on this characteristic, and gives you an idea of what this paragraph would look like, if I had any idea how to draw boxes and star things using a computer. Money is, after all, what makes the world go round. An although I am no scientist, I can make a pretty good guess that if the earth stopped going around it would spell certain death for everyone on the planet. So, if money can keep God’s green earth on it’s orbit, then I say it must be able to turn a not-so-attractive person, into a bona-fide “Boat Hottie” (Hottie is used here to describe a person in the possession of attractive features. The modifier ‘boat’ being used to express the highest level of ‘hottie.’ The scale of ‘hotties’ ranges from ‘boxcar’, to ‘scooter’, to ‘skateboard’ then to ‘car’ ‘convertible’ ‘surfboard’ ‘wind-surfboard’ then to ‘longboard’ for some reason then on to ‘blimp’ all the way up to ‘boat’. It’s a silly system, and I will not waste breath in defending it, but you can’t just ignore the terminology. Even if it sounds made-up. Cause it isn’t.) But as noted in the personality section of the essay, my work ethic is second to none. I will work long hard hours, doing backbreaking work, outside, for the smallest of rewards. But I just haven’t been given the opportunity to do so. I don’t know, maybe it’s because people find my intelligence and sense of humor intimidating, or something? Anyways, I’m repeating myself. Money. It’s important and I really need to get my hands on some. The first thought is always finding a job, and earning the money, but then I think we are drawing at straws or throwing babies out with the bathwater. It is generally agreed upon the first ideas are for losers, so because I am not a loser I will ignore that idea and think of others. Because within my acquaintance I seem to be lacking a frail, feeble-minded, millionaire, inheritance seems right out. Because of the topic of this essay, it would also be wise to rule out “attract a rich person” and “marry money” as means to my financially rewarding end. So it seems I am out of options on this one. Unless someone wants to send me a dollar for reading this, this ‘get rich’ might be a non-starter.
Lastly I am going to speak of what I have already accomplished when it comes to appearing more attractive, appealing, and exciting, and that has mainly been to surround myself with my group of friends, relations, and those who are reading this. Because of you all I feel immensely and incredibly attractive. Some might say that “attractiveness rubs off on you” or “you’re the most beautiful around the ones who love you” and “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but those people, I must say, have it all wrong. My feelings of worth and attractiveness in the company of those I am closest to is the result of an intensive, and well-orchestrated selection process. In my social circle I have worked tirelessly to surround myself with the slowest, most dim-witted and homeliest people possible. All in a effort to make me appear superior. In the presence of these people, these “lottery winners” as I jokingly call them, I appear incredibly intelligent, witty, brave, rich, courageous, sensitive, and fuckable. Even those who have stumbled upon reading this, have been led here by my intricate traps, and make me so much more attractive comparatively. So although I may not smile all the time, and have the physicality of a sloth, and the bank account of a church mouse, in relation to all of you, I’m not so bad.
I’m guessing no one is going to be sending that dollar, huh?