My sister sends me an email with an attachment from the local “I Saw You” ads on she cruises online. It reads something like this: “You: sexy, well-dressed blond working at (store where she works) with killer smile and laugh. Brown boots. Coffee or drink?”
Totally her. She’s the only blond in the store.
Now if you’ve ever trolled around looking at the “I Saw You” section on any site or in any paper, you know that what you’re really looking for, although you might feign purely anthropological/sociological interest, is yourself. My sister happens to be one of those women who get noticed by the sort of person who writes these ads. Descriptions of her appear in papers and online like clockwork. It doesn’t matter if the guy is some bottom-feeding troglodyte because she’ll never know. She can just fantasize that it’s some independently wealthy Johnny Depp look-alike with a mysterious past who will ravish her daily until her brain explodes. Or maybe that’s what I would fantasize about.
I don’t ever see myself in those ads. It might be because I never leave the house.
But so not five minutes after I read her email, a woman comes up to my desk. She’s 45 or so, huge Einstein hair with bad red-brown dye job, chapped lips, crooked glasses, and an odor of fish food. Her wiry eyebrows jump all over her forehead like a couple of puffy squirrels.
“Hi,” I say and lean back out of her reach. I’ve been grabbed at by nutjobs before, and I’m not taking any chances.
“I just wanted to tell you that I love your eyebrows.” She leans heavily on the counter and flakes of dead skin from her lips fall to the marble surface. I recoil.
“Um…thanks.” I’m not sure what else to say about that.
“Yeah, they’re just like mine. Big and stuff. Don’t ever wax them or anything. Big eyebrows are great.”
Okay, now I’m getting a little freaked out. The woman leaves, but there I am with the truth unspooling around me like a dropped roll of Christmas ribbon. My sister and I both attract attention, but that attention is wildly different. Even if it was the same person complimenting us, at least she gets to filter it through her imagination. I get grizzly reality, no filter, no chaser.
I think I need to develop a drinking problem.