Wednesday, September 21, 2005

White Shirt Wednesday is Judgment Day...

Vanessa here...

Has this ever happened to you?

So, I had to run into town today to this printer on Boylston Street to pick up these proofs for my boss, Aislin. (I know...I they've never heard of a courier or a .pdf file!) Anyway, I slipped over to Souper Salad for a Bostonian Walkabout (one of my top five sammiches [a whole other blog!] on earth -- turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce and the mysterious, yummy "walkabout" sauce.)

I'm standing there patiently waiting my turn and this group of young, hip financial tupes come in. (It's obviously White Shirt Wednesday in Boston...) They're cute guys (probably know it, too), and I admit, I looked twice. But they each looked at me, gave me the once over (did I see a sneer on Fashionably Baldy's face?) and then looked away as if dismissing me. Like a two second assessment of me deems me worth of more attention or not?!

And what did FB and the other high-fiving white guys learn about me in those mere nanoseconds?
  1. I'm standing in line for lunch
  2. I'm female
  3. I'm breathing
  4. I'm not naked
  5. I'm average looking

Yeah, you heard it. I, Vanessa Virtue, am average. Just like most everyone else. I'm not too fat, not too skinny. I don't stand out like waifs like Lindsey "Eat a Cookie, Honey" Lohan, nor do I cause a scene like Anna Nicole "I Married a Stiff" Smith.

But in those few seconds of recognizing my averageness, what did these guys miss finding out more about me if they'd cared to?

  1. I'm a funny, outgoing person
  2. I'm damn good at my marketing job
  3. I'm an Air Force brat
  4. I'm deathly afraid of flying
  5. I just gave $200 to the Noah's Wish Katrina Fund
  6. I was born in Germany
  7. I'm fiercely loyal to my friends
  8. I have a thing for dimples
  9. I'm obsessed with owning every skirt Kenneth Cole makes
  10. I'm a complicated, wonderful, special, unique human being with thoughts and feelings who deserves more than the once-over and dismissal

We all do this, though. We all judge books (and people) by their covers. We're all guilty of that three-second assessment of another person. Hell, I do it every day. I mean, this made me realize how bad I am about it.

Like, there's this guy over in our Research department who always e-mails me product trends and information so I can update our marketing reports and white papers. Worked together all this time and we've barely spoken in person The other day, I'm in the lunchroom refueling on coffee at 3:00 p.m. when I'm starting to run out of gas. (You know what it's like!) And Russell (that's his name) comes in and says "hey." Me being me, I give him the once-over:

  1. Soft, brown eyes
  2. Baby smooth-looking skin
  3. Tall
  4. Nice dresser
  5. Nice ass
  6. Teeth you could drive a Macy's day float through...

And when I hit #6, it was like the first five didn't matter. How mean is that of me?

So what was it those guys saw in me that made them turn away? How far down their mental list did they get before writing me off?

The point is...(yes, Vanessa, get to the point, please...)...this is a fact of life and beauty really is skin deep and in the eye of the beholder.

Someone once told me: "You know, Vanessa, the longer I know you, the more beautiful you become to me."

At first, I was offended by that, not knowing how to respond. But now that I think about it more, it makes a lot of sense. (Not the I'm beautiful part...natch!) There's more to us than mere looks or physical attributes. We're eyes and smiles and personalities and voices and laughter and...souls. And when you get to know me, you learn that.

So, next time you see that crazy lunatic person on the train or someone with severely challenged fashion sense, don't judge. Instead, mentally say, "Bless their soul."

And wouldn't the world be a better place? A gal can dream.

Hang loose,
Double Vee


Anonymous j said...

great post, vv. a pox upon those who'd make you feel bad about yourself

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>"You know, Vanessa, the longer I know you, the more beautiful you become to me."<<

This actually makes a lot of sense because the longer you know someone, the more you learn about them, the more you like them. There's this saying that a really gorgeous person can become ugly to you if they're not nice, friendly, fun to be around, etc.

You seem bubbly and full of life, full of spirit with just the right amount of attitude, humor and humility. I think the true, worthwhile people in your life will see through that and you are beautiful in every single way. (Not trying to sound like Christina Aguilara or anything.)

7:17 AM  
Blogger Michele said...

Very thought provoking. that you've had this personal epiphany..what, if anything, are you going do about Russell? Go back to the first 5 and be more welcoming when he greets you again? How long does it take for 1-5 to overshadow #6 and open the doors to #'s 7 and up?
Just never know who your next friend will be. And friends sure do liven up life.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Vanessa Virtue said...

>>What, if anything, are you going do about Russell? Go back to the first 5 and be more welcoming when he greets you again? How long does it take for 1-5 to overshadow #6 and open the doors to #'s 7 and up<<

Not sure what you mean "do about." That was the first time I'd ever really talked to Russell face-to-face. He's a work colleague, so I'm not interested in pursuing him as a love interest (and Hunter's still in the picture!) I was just noting that my immediate reaction to meeting him in person (as opposed to our e-mail relationship since he started at work) was to size him up and I had the mental road block when I saw his teeth. Which was bad of me because it's not like he was about to throw me on the counter and do me. He's a nice guy and I continue to consider him a nice guy...and a helpful work colleague. And yeah, he's got bad teeth, but you know what, my company has a kick ass dental plan. *EEEG*


9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been influenced by looks, but I have never let them get in the way of getting to know someone. I think whether feelings about looks influence what a person *does* is the salient part. And when I allow myself to know someone, that affects my perception of their looks. I *completely* understand what that person said to you. I have fallen in love with people I actually found funny-looking when I first met them . . . and they ended up as my standard of beauty.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michele, I didn't get the impression that VV was interested sexually in Russell, just that she thought he sounded and looked nice and then when she saw his teeth, she judged him, which face it, we'd all probably have that reaction. I think what she was trying to point out is the fact that we all size up people in a matter of seconds and when she realized she'd done it, it made her feel bad. At least that's what I got from it.

I still hope you'll poke fun at people and continue to put a fine tooth comb to our society and the way people are 'cause that's why I like reading your lbog every day.


1:27 PM  
Anonymous dfshidy83rj said...

Your ugly

3:48 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Virtue said...

Your ugly...what?!

I mean, come on people!

3:50 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

Ooops, I guess I wasn't clear.
Nope, not meaning another Love interest. Hunter is fascinating enough.

I guess I am basing my question on myself and on my own personal experience.
In college there was this guy..first impression..same as yours. Looking at looks only. It kind of put the brakes on things..friendship-only wise of course. I was polite but didn't really care to know him better one way or the other. Kept my distance. But then we were assigned as partners in lab.
At that point, I began to see his sense of humor and silliness, his willingness to help, his easy smile and his ease with other students. I was suddenly seeing him as a person worth knowing and by the end of the semester, I considered him a friend. (and cute too, go figure)
It is a sad realization that I started out pretty shallow, but I was given a chance to learn the lesson of being aware to NOT judge on appearances only. Do I still do it...oh yeah, human nature and all that...but I try to nip it in the bud, because experience has shown that continuing on that path would rob me of knowing some very interesting people.
So, the short of it...he's a fine co-worker you said. First time meeting him face to face. I'm just wondering if ....hmmm, not sure really how to vocalize my point....that you aren't adverse to future face to face Hello's all in the name of office comraderie?
Is that the word? Can't find it in my dictionary...but you know what I mean...I hope.
No romance hints intended, honest.
No offense intended.

7:16 PM  

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