My husband is as tactful as a four year-old who calls you fat to your face simply because, well you are. That four-year old feels no shame in saying it as it is and neither does my husband. But it is because of people like him, that some would rather hide the fact that they are seeing anyone than admit that they are dating someone who is, God forbid, unattractive!
If we are honest with ourselves, it isn’t just my husband who likes to indulge in a little cruelty every now and then. We all do. We love to call people fat, fashionably challenged with bad hair but then we try to ease the guilt by ending the sentence with something feeble like “Oh, but she’s nice though”. It’s not entirely bad to engage in some minor harm every now and then. We are human! But to allow vanity become the decider in the fate of a relationship, that’s just plain dumb.
Plus, we can’t really control who we wind up falling in love with. He might be gorgeous, rich and terribly romantic but the odds are more likely to be mediocre looking, living paycheck-to-paycheck and terribly romantic. So you say “Great! I’ll take it! At least he’s romantic”
There is a leap of faith. To risk being mocked by your friends and turn a blind eye to the scrutiny around you, might just turn out to be your best stroke of luck. Take for example the case of my dear friend Marwa. When she was still dating her now husband, it would amaze her how many times they would ‘coincidentally’ bump into friends of his wherever they went out. She had naturally assumed that he was just very popular! What she didn’t know was that she was being scanned, evaluated and given the ‘go ahead’ by his buddies. Thankfully they didn’t deem her to be an ugly cow and the relationship was spared. But if it hadn’t, her husband would have been the one to pay the price. Years into their marriage and he is still as in love with her as the first day they’d met. And it isn’t because she looks good. It’s because he still loves to talk to her, have fun with her and run to her when something goes wrong. She is his perfect life companion and if she looked any less attractive, which she will someday, I doubt that that will be the end of it.
Others aren’t so lucky. A male friend of mine shamefully admitted to having dumped a girl he had just started seeing when he took her to Sharm El Sheikh and ran into a buddy of his who found her ‘below average’. The guy didn’t even wait to go back to Cairo. The poor girl was already dumped some 20 minutes later. He had been initially attracted to her and willing to forego her average looks until his own vanity took over.
Now excuse me while I get off my high horse for an instant to admit that I still occasionally drool over the hunk running on the treadmill next to me and ogle most of the guys on the water polo team at the club but I’ve dated and fell in love with the bald, the fat and the terribly dressed.
And for that… I have no regrets.