Bring Something to the Table

A makeup artist I worked with in Tulsa once told me that the best way to determine whether or not someone has a good personality is to look at a picture of that person when they were 12 years old, the seemingly universal peak of awkwardness for most human beings. If they were a hot mess (like moi), chances are they have a pretty decent personality. If they were adorable, they are probably about as interesting to converse with as a coffee mug. (Tho my coffee mug talks to me in the morning, and we've had some very meaningful discussions, thank you.) But the point is, if someone has ever had to rely on something other than their looks to get by (i.e. get friends), they are probably pretty funny and can carry on a pleasant conversation. Unless, of course, they are still painfully awkward or went straight to Crazy Town and cashed out on the whole thing. Steer clear of these folks...or at least arm yourself accordingly.

I feel as though multi-dimensionality is way underrated and slowly disappearing, especially in the dating pool. (I should mention that I am not just broaching this topic in terms of finding a mate. Believe it or not, just because I am single, my life's pursuit is not exploring that very fact as "I Will Survive" plays in the background.) A lot of people depend on their appearance for attention and friends (ground-breaking observation, this is not), but I have found that many also do this with humor, self-deprecation of the less-humorous nature, sexuality, status, etc. I wish more people would embrace the value of having more than one or two facets of themselves.

For example, I adore people who are beautiful (in their own right), funny, and educated; or funny, self-deprecating, and outgoing in social situations. There is something about people who possess many levels of complexion that makes them (1) capable of connecting with a myriad of personalities, (2) grounded in a way that age nor experience alone can produce, and (3) human in the absolute best sense. These are the people who can throw around banter for hours, never missing a beat and contributing a wit that genuinely makes you laugh and up your game, but with whom you can also have a heart-to-heart and are great listeners, eliciting admissions that strike even you as surprisingly candid and heartfelt.

The most frustrating aspect of this desire to find multi-dimensionality in others is that I don't feel it is that difficult to acquire, much like STIs or free kittens. Read a book, hang out with a group of people with whom you feel you have nothing in common, listen to a conversation to which you (at the moment) having nothing to contribute, listen thoroughly to a new band, go to an improv club, spend some quality time with yourself developing your own beliefs and thinking through the big stuff you've done and have yet to do. Shit, use your brain. And maybe learn to dress and comb your hair.

Is this really so much to ask?


  1. I think I looked like grunge threw up on me at 12. Camo is not a good look on anyone outside the military! That being said, I was "raised right" (as I like to say), and you will never see me outside the house in sweats or PJ's or the like. Hell, I put on clothes to get the mail which is right outside me door. And you will never see me w/o my brows on and some mascara. That's just how a lady does it. Two cheers for using a comb!! (Except I think I forgot to yesterday)

  2. I have been trying to work on being human all my life... the results have been fleeting... my verification word for this comment is Frado...he must have been the forgotten hobbit...

  3. I think I hit my peak when I was 6. Yeah, that's the picture of me from Catholic school in first grade with my red suit on. The one where most women go, "Aww, you were so cute in this! What happened?" That one.

    And after the age of 10 I was a mess, too. Before that girls used to talk to me and they thought I was cute. And little did they know that I went to bed in Star Wars pajamas and slept in a bed with Empire Strikes Back sheets. Oh yeah. I was hardcore as in hardcore geek.

    So flash forward to 12 and I had more hairstyles than Val Kilmer had in that movie "The Saint." This pattern continued for the next few years. I had my "Ferris Bueller" do. Then there was the "Gordon Gecko" one and only because I thought the hair gel thing made me look cool. Again, geek. What did I know?

    And though I have evolved since then and my hair has started to recede, I haven't lost the humility. How can I when I have my women friends say "You know, you're a very sweet guy. I mean, you ARE losing your hair. And you're not as skinny as you used to be..." Nothing like a little positive reinforcement. ;)