Friday, June 12, 2020

Our appearance, our souls & what bacon has to do with it




A very attractive woman told me I am a very handsome man. She wasn’t hitting on me, damn it. I think she was just being sweet, so her compliment made me sad.

It all started over my Covid Coif. I hadn’t had a hair cut in three months. You’d think my hair would have been grateful. It had found sanctuary, an autonomous zone where it needed not worry about scissored violence.

But, no, the number of hairs going AWOL seems to have accelerated.

Could it be stress? Coronavirus, BLM, Trump continues to tweet — it’s a lot of stress for a guy determined to save humanity one blog at a time.

So while I have a lot on my mind, there’s not as much left just above it.

Thus, when she said I look great, I defaulted and began a tedious list of the ways in which she was mistaken — and isn’t a pity how few of us can just graciously say thank you when someone compliments us?

We’re hard-wired to feel we’re failures.

It is, by the way, why I recommend no one over 40 look in the morning mirror until you've had at least three beers.

I mention this because this is a beautiful woman. How beautiful?

If I looked like her I’d fill my house with mirrors, strip down to my underwear and spend the day doing nothing but admiring myself as I sat around all day eating bacon.

Of course, I couldn’t tell her that. She might take it wrong, as might other nearby women. It could get back to her husband or my wife. Scandal could ensue.

In fact, the only one involved who could take it in the good-natured manner in which it was intended is bacon. Bacon is unflappable. Its emotional steadiness only enhances my reverence for this can-do meat.

I guess I feel sad because I sense her compliment is evidence that the Johnny Syndrome is infiltrating more of my life.

I first detected the Johnny Syndrome last year when I was golfing. Now, I’ve never been a tremendous golfer, but I was good enough to tell the difference between a good drive and a pitifully weak one.

Whether it’s age, Parkinson’s, or general indifference to the task, my drives began to lack vigor. What once used to travel 210 or so yards, would now flutter a mere 140 yards.

As bad as that was, worse were the patronizing compliments.

“You got all of that one!” “Great drive!” was the gist.

It reminded me of the praise the grown-ups showered on the slow kid when he succeeded in tying his shoes.

“Nice job, Johnnie!”

Now I was fearful the Johnny Syndrome was desecrating my vanity.

Was she just trying to cheer Johnny up?

Or am I misreading the whole thing? Maybe she was looking past my bald spot, beyond my paunch — maybe she was seeing straight into my soul.

It’s a nice thought, especially when we’re in the midst of so much upheaval over our appearances.

I hope next time anyone says I’m beautiful, I don’t start a petty argument. I hope I just say, “Thank you!”

Because in the ways that matter most,  I am gorgeous. I’m cheerful, alert, optimistic, unbiased and eager to see everyone gets a fair shake.

By God, I am beautiful.

So are you!

See, once you get past the baggage of appearance, it’s difficult to tell one of us from the other.

‘cept for me. 

My soul’s the one sitting there eating bacon.


1 comment:

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