Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Conversation - Is It All On the Outside?

As I watch the clickpop of a lean pocket in the microwave, my shirtless roommate and friend of 5 years enters, clearly on a mission to make his daily cereal with soy milk. Usually we'll do some small talk for a few minutes or look out the window at nothing in particular, but on this mornin' I'm gonna mix it up --

Me: "Hey, I got a question for you."
He looks up, deciding if he wants to leave or pretend to listen to what I have to say. As I look at his pink underwear, I think about how I appreciate that he's himself all of the matter what anything thinks.
Roommate: "Aight gurl, go ahead."
Me: "Would you date a guy if he had a large birth defect on his chest?"
He makes a grossed out face, wanting to say "hell no," but reconsiders -- for my sake I think. He knows I don't like brutal honesty in the morning.
Roommate: "Hmmm, like how big? Like big big or like small big?"
Me: "Like big. I'd say as big as a large cup cake or tennis ball."
Roommate: "And everything else is perfect? Like his personality and the rest of his body?"
Me: "Yeah...I guess."
I go silent, taken aback by my inability to answer the question and the realization that I don't know what 'perfect' means.
Roommate: "Then, I would...maybe. Just depends."
He leaves, but like my cold Lean Pocket, I don't really notice.

It's tough to predict what we'd do in a given circumstance, especially when it comes to another person's looks. I'm sure we all have deal breakers or things we can't deal with. Like, I can't handle a woman who don't shave, or that has terrible B.O., but if I met the right person...that's a different story.

There's nothing that a razor and some deodorant can't fix.


like the rest of the world, there is a superficial part of me who may not be able to get past these things. Who may react, over time, in a resentful and mean manner to my partner for smellin' up my crib. And, that's never something you want to do with the person you love, or like a lot.

This is Carla Sosenko:

( Picture found on

She's stunning. I'd date her. My dog would date her. Damn, my left toe would date her even though she has a rare circulatory disease called Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome. This means her right left is larger than her left and trails slightly when she walks; her back is an uneven, fatty slab with a dense lump above the waist; and, a gigantic wine stain that reaches all the way from her torso to her right thigh. She's a strong ass woman, despite all of the pain she lives with.

Now, imagine being on a date with this lovely woman and not knowing about her disease. Imagine it going amazingly well. You're getting goosebumps and think she's spectacular. Imagine her telling you --

Carla: "There's something you need to know about me. I have uneven legs that makes it hard for me to walk, there's a big slab on my back, plus it's very uneven, and I have a massive scar all along my chest that goes down to my thighs."

What would you say? What would you do? When I imagine this scenario, my mouth goes dry. It's like that episode of Oprah in which a soldier was on after getting his face blown off in Iraq. When he was on the show -- face completely malformed -- his wife was sitting next to him. Although she said she still loves him, you could tell it took a toll on not only her but on their relationship.

The outside, at times, can have a strong impact on us. And naturally, we're afraid of what we're not used to (most of us).

Then again. . .

Maybe it's not all about perfection. Maybe it's just about what does it for us individually. What may be perfect to me isn't perfect to you, right? Some of us can deal with long toenails, while others can't. And, it's okay if you would have never called Carla back. Just like it's perfectly fine if you had called her back. What floats your friend's boat may sink yours.

Time to eat that Lean Pocket.

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