Friday, September 21, 2007

Maggie or a drowned rat?

When I think of myself in the world, I always imagine that my make-up is on perfectly, that every hair is in place, that I've got on just the right outfit. Then I catch a glimpse of myself in a store window as I stroll by feeling confident and realize I am a disaster. Without fail, my hair is flipping all over the place, and I have spilled something down the length of my shirt. Lovely.
But is that right? Is it possible that if I imagine I look great, then I can somehow alter reality? Maybe...

A few weeks ago New York was inundated with some pretty horrible rains. It was absolutely pouring, morning 'til night. The subway flooded out, the roads were covered in 6 inches of water, heavy fog. A commuter's nightmare. And also a nightmare for my hair, which has a mind of its own anyway.

I got to my destination, shook out my umbrella and rain coat. Replaced my rain shoes with heels, and headed to the cafe for some coffee. I bumped into a woman in the elevator who I don't see very often though I see her in passing. It so happened that I ran into her again later on in the day and the first thing she said to me was "when I saw you this morning, you looked like a drowned rat." And she says this in front of my friends! I was mortified. On of my friends, being the gracious and kind man that he is, and probably sensing just a hint of embarrassment on my part, quickly said, "I looked like a drowned rat too. It was pouring this morning." End of conversation.

Now I will add here that I don't think I looked like a rat at all, drowned or otherwise. And to be honest this woman has got to be one of the most unattractive people on Earth. Truly. And she's not nice either, which I think adds to her lack of good looks.

That evening, I went out to meet my friend, Ian for dinner. He is a Chipotle fan, and I was more than happy to scarf down a burrito with him and catch up. Every time I go out with Ian it is usual to have people staring at us, constantly. And it has nothing to do with me. Ian is just gorgeous, right off the cover of a magazine. So when we were in Chipotle, I noticed, as usual, people staring at us. It turns out it was a friend of Ian's, but that's not why he was staring. He came over to the table, greeted Ian, and apologized for not coming over sooner. "I thought your beautiful friend was Maggie Gyllenhaal." "Oh! You know, Christa, you do look like her," Ian said.

Can you imagine? From a drowned rat to Maggie in just a matter of hours! And I didn't even stop at home in between to tidy myself up. Maybe beauty really does live in the eye of the beholder.

No comments: