Guys know her, she whose name is “girl”

Ever been approached by someone you normally wouldn’t hang with and wonder why? Drawing on my previous research linking lesser attractiveness to greater approachability and helpfulness, I took a wild guess and concluded my harmless, every-person countenance is what drew the young blonde goddess to me for advice at the gym.

Even when I was Blondie's age and had a long, blonde mane, it was never as pretty as hers. Yet another reason to dislike her.

“I have no idea how to get this thing to work. It’s so complicated.” She shook her long blonde curls in dismay over the control panel of the elliptical machine to the right of where I pumping mine for all I was worth to burn stubborn calories. “Can you help me?” she asked.

In her frustration, she neglected to turn off her megawatt, imploring charm in the presence of another woman. She will learn, in later years, to conserve that power, once there is less to conserve. Plus, feminine wiles are a lost cause on other females.

I forgave her gender faux pas and showed her the right buttons to push, convinced anything she lacked in the mechanical button-pushing category, she could easily make up for in the relational button-pushing category. She was gorgeous and she knew how to leverage it.

Guys had already begun circling the elliptical machines, including some I had never known to partake in cardiovascular fitness, just body-building for appearance sake. I knew my brief acquaintanceship with this young blonde woman was going to be interesting. Not so much based on its content, but its lack of it.

She did not disappoint. For the next 15 minutes she chatted at me about doing aerobics at another gym, being happy to have discovered this gym because there are more and better looking guys here, plus the tanning included in the membership. Apparently she was unfamiliar with Baltasar Gracian’s concept that beauty and folly are generally companions.

The fact I was reading a hardcover theological book also did not register on her radar. Probably because it did not fall within the “all about me” category that gives her a read on her environment. So I just smiled politely and listened. Well as politely as I could muster 45 minutes into a cardiovascular workout that had been interrupted by clueless bluster.

She remained a blur of long legs and curls, unsweatingly working out on her machine as I left. As soon as I dismounted mine, some young buck eagerly jumped on it before I even had a chance to wipe down the handles with disinfectant. I smilingly recalled the days when my trips to the gym had been more hormone- than health-driven.

Blondie returned two nights later and sought me out from the elliptical machine on my left, to relate a personal victory story to me. “Someone asked me for my phone number between the locker room and here!” she squealed with delight. “Can you believe it?!”

“Well no s—,” I sarcastically thought, recalling Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve’s observation, “Tell me who admires and loves you and I will tell you who you are.” She interrupted my musings by remarking he was better looking than any of the guys at her HIGH SCHOOL. That bit of info cast a whole different light onto her immaturity. She was just a kid, whose mind might someday equal her looks.

“You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen, but if you are beautiful at 60, it will be your soul’s own doing,” Marie Stopes is credited with saying. That’s coming from a British author, campaigner for women’s rights and pioneer in the field of birth control. Stopes was also a paleobotanist, or studier of fossilized plant remains, her chief credential for knowledgeable evaluation of fading flowers of the human variety.

The paleo prefix fits the situation, for although the blonde at the gym may have been modern-day attractive, she certainly brought out the old Neanderthal tendencies of the other young attractives who were working out. It works that way with both genders.

Years ago, my friend’s attractive teenage brother was riding in the car down the street when two attractive girls waved flirtatiously from the sidewalk. “Do you know those girls?” his parents demanded.

“No, but they know me,” he replied. “My name is boy.” Truer words have never been spoken.


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