Saturday, January 17, 2009

This was supposed to help. It didn't.

My art director/partner came by my office yesterday. I asked her to, actually, because I wanted her to get off the dime and finish a project we have been working on since before Christmas. Because it doesn't have a hard and fast due date yet, she's been content to let it sit so she can spend her days shopping online and texting her much-younger boyfriend. Because I believe layoffs are imminent, I'm not as content. I want it known that I care about my client, and she's not going to drag me down. I told her that.

She changed the subject. I'm taking Tuesday off as a vacation day. Since we have Dr. King's birthday off Monday, that gives me a four-day weekend. She wanted to know what my "big plans" are.

My "big plan" is to watch my Senator, Chicago's own Barack Obama, inaugurated. It's history. I can't be there in person, but I can watch it live from my living room. This is very, very important to me.

This bothers my art director. I should go out more. I should get a man. She's willing to help.

I told her not to give it another thought, as all the age appropriate men are married or gay. I meant this as levity, hoping to get her off the subject and out of my office.

I wasn't so lucky.

She went on to tell me that all I need is a makeover and I could score a younger man. I have nice enough skin to get someone younger, she tells me, and I have "a good personality." After all, I'm "very funny." All I need is the confidence that would come from the right clothes, makeup and hair. She is willing to help.

I don't know why she thinks this will cheer me up. I think I am rather honest in my self-assessment. It doesn't help to HEAR that all that's wrong with how I look.

She doesn't know me as well as she thinks she does, so she can't know how much not being pretty hurts. I'm not ugly, I don't scare dogs or children, I'm just not pretty. I know it, and it's always hurt. Because I'm smart and reasonably accomplished, it's not supposed to hurt, but it does.