Have you ever been dating someone, and you either don’t really care for them or you’re falling out of love, and all you can see are their flaws? One day they’re handsome and charming, and the next day you squint at their face in total disgust and think, “Well, fuck me, you’re positively revolting!”
That’s mean, I know. But I can’t help it. My first serious boyfriend and I were that awful couple that never loved each other at the same time, so for the first year of our relationship I ignored him and flirted with every Tom, Dick, and Harry who smiled in my direction (which, let’s be honest, is a lot of Toms and Dicks). And then I finally started to like him as much as he liked me, and then BAM, he wasn’t feeling it as much, and then we both were matched in our misery and broke up. Boo-hoo, it happens, life goes on.
But let me tell you, during that year, all I could see was his Stupid Ugly Face. Due to the virtue of our locations I only saw him once a week, less if I could avoid him, but his mug was still a horrible shock whenever it came swimming into view on our weekly rendezvous. He had these horrid–tiny, miniscule, possibly the size of an atom–white dots near his eyes. And a giant nose that probably weighed 700 pounds. And his pores, his pores! His stupid rough hair and by GOD was his smile unpleasant, and why did his nostrils flare when he BREATHED?
You get the idea. I would literally sit in his crumbly apartment and stare at his face with confusion. But I guess this makes sense, because I didn’t really care for him and I had tried to dump him and blahblahblah.
The real problem lies in that I do this with everyone. Yeah, you heard me. Everyone. Close friends and my current beau get a pass, because my heart is fully of warm squishy feelings for them and therefore my brain cannot produce enough hatred to formulate mean thoughts about them. But strangers? Oh holy FUCK do I scrutinize you.
It’s not that I mean to. I fully realize what a shallow bitchbag I sound like, and in the interest of fairness, I do it to myself too. I could stand in front of the mirror with professional makeup on and just think about my face until I’ve magically morphed into a drooling, deformed troll. Blame the media or fashion magazines (or, if you want, my keen and observant eye) but it’s like looking at words and trying not to read them: your brain just does it. At least, my bitchbrain does.
So you know how your acquaintance asks if the hideous pimple on their face is noticeable, and you say no, because maybe you didn’t even look? Yeah, well, I saw it. And since I’m as sweet as apple pie, I won’t say a thing, but holy God is that a zit. And as for you, I see those bags under your eyes and the lint on your sweater and that weird tooth and the place by your jaw where the foundation isn’t blended right. But weirdly, I still think you–and most everyone, even after my brain rips them to shreds–is beautiful! It’s a rare gift. (Now fix that foundation, gorgeous.)