I woke up to the taunting rays of sunlight spilling into my bedroom. Yes, sunny like Miami, yet 17 degrees. Not cute. Reveling in my Sunday morning reverie, I rolled around for an hour or so and then crawled out of bed and put my glasses on. I brushed my teeth and then brought my face close to the mirror and stared. I needed to get my eyebrows done. My mascara from last night hadn’t been scrubbed off enough because there were grey raccoon rings around the bottoms of my mud-colored eyes.
I saw what I always see when I get that close the mirror. Me. Imperfect, wide-eyed, curious, me.
Sometimes, when I like a guy, I wish he could see me. Not the outfit, not the mascara, not my proud exterior, and my obvious flaws – the core of me. My real intentions.
Yes, I realize that’s asking a lot from a man but I - like Obama - have the audacity to hope. It takes time, I’ve heard to scratch past someone’s surface, but I’ve got time.
It gets me thinking about the last time I was at the dentist, who’s actually my uncle so my visits aren’t usually as traumatic as the usual. After a successful routine check-up, he assured me that my chompers were in good condition and then went on to inquire about my canines. I have a pair of Dracula-esque fangs that aren’t really outlandish; in fact, I kind of like them.
“Raj, do you want me to file those out? You’ll have such a great, even smile!”
I was horrified. “No! What? I never even thought about that. What? They make me look hideous?”
“No,” he gingerly replied, on the verge of laughter. “I’m just saying your smile will look so even and just better. I’m telling you!”
“Unc, I refuse,” I replied, as I shot up from his chair and peered into the mirror. “I love my fangs. They give me character!” I shook my hand in the air for Italian-style emphasis.
“You have a great character with or without those, Rajul. At least think about it.”
As I strolled down the tree lined street in Brooklyn, trying to find my car, I did think about it. I hate to get all “kindergarten” about this but I’m a firm believer in someone’s physical and emotional flaws making them special. I rant about it in this blog all the time! I think the fangs give me a childlike grin – like I’m up to no good or something. And honestly, I usually am up to no good.
It wasn’t really a big deal but the whole concept perpetuated my desire to be seen as an individual. I yearn for this because when I like a guy – really like him – there’s no one else I can compare to him. He’s a creature of his own species.
I went out to dinner last weekend with a guy who I’ve established a fun, lighthearted rapport with. As he devoured his own pasta and then started eyeing my chicken, he told me he was at the dentist all afternoon for his routine. I slapped his hand away when he reached.
“I don’t share,” I teased.
“Hey, didn’t you learn anything from kindergarten?” He asked.
“I was at the dentist a few days ago too,” I said. “It went well but he asked me if I wanted to get my fangs filed out.”
He cocked his head slightly, “Let me see.”
I grinned for him.
“Oh yea – those,” he said. “Don’t do it. I like them – they give you character.”
I felt my grin melt into a little smirk. I pushed my plate towards him.
“You can have some of my chicken, now.”