5/16/2005

Vanity is only skin-deep

Why does everybody else always looks the same every time I see them, but I have a thousand different gradations of appearence? When I look into a mirror, it's a total craps-shoot. There's a thousand different things that can go wrong. My hair alone can be fucked up in up to 32 ways at one time. My hair is a true-time multitasking embarassment machine. Once in a while it manages to look cool, but most of the time it looks like Michael J. Fox molded 100 eggs of brown Play-Doh onto my head.

My complexion frightens me. I'm developing patches of color that haven't made it into the Crayola-128 pack yet. In flourescent lighting, my face is reminscient of a relief map of the Painted Desert -- that part where all the wildlife goes to die. I used to feel lucky for being a man, largely because women had to bother with make-up. But I'm getting to the age where I'm jealous of women, because I could really use some of that shit!

Looking into the mirror is a gamble. But at least you're expecting potentially bad news. I hate when you catch a glimpse of your reflection unexpectedly, perhaps in a store-front window, and you don't have time to brace yourself for what a traffic accident your appearence has become. Of course, some days you look so good you can actually feel it and you almost feel sorry for that poor, fat bastard with the pasty skin, the goofy shorts, mismatching socks and the hair that looks like his parents were a baboon and Don King, until you realize that poor bastard was just your reflection passing by the Denny's front window. That's a piece of humble pie.

But I'm learning to deal with it. I stay positive. Most of the time it's just unflattering lighting, after all. Too much light reveals things that have no business being seen. So as a rule, I avoid well-lit rooms, fluorescent lighting, track lighting, computer monitors, electrical storms, cigarette lighters, heat lamps, sparklers, spot lights, penlights and disco balls. I don't mind direct sunlight, though. I can still look pretty good in the sun because everybody has to squint. You just have to watch out for people with sunglasses.

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