I was out with some friends at an unremarkable bar in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Saturday night. It’s apparently a haven for students of Carthage College, which means I was a good 8-10 years too old to be there. This was apparent as I sipped ginger ale from a red solo cup (is that what that Toby Keith song was about?) while bros drank PBR directly from pitchers.
My brother and this guy were hammered and yelling at each other in circles about politics and my other friend was there with his girlfriend. This made me an obvious candidate for fifth wheel, leaving me a lot of time to uncharacteristically stare at my phone, while unintriguing things happened all around. However, there was one moment that I found a bit interesting.
After talking with a male friend from her college, my friend’s girlfriend turns to my friend and the following exchange happens.
GF: Do you think I’m frumpy?
BF: What? No!
GF: (Glancing at the college friend) Because he says I’m frumpy…
BF: (Gives daggers to the college friend)
CF: Naw, don’t worry about it dude… We’ve (he and GF) been friends forever. It’s cool.
I have a few thoughts about this exchange
- Really college friend? I didn’t realize friendship tenure earned you immunity as an asshole. Also, why is that something you want? It’s like, “Shit, I’m coming up on five years of friendship with Larry over there. I can’t WAIT to start making him feel horrible about himself!” Seems a bit off, but maybe that’s just me.
- What good can come from asking your significant other if he/she thinks you look unattractive (unless I’m misreading this and ‘frumpy’ is a term of endearment)? You’re obviously asking this question from a place of negativity and insecurity. And he’s obviously only going to give one response - “No. You’re not.” What’s the best case scenario? Is his response of ‘no’ going to catapult you into a secret reserve of hidden self-esteem? Probably not. So you’re left feeling crappy. The BF is feeling uncomfortable, also crappy and angry at the CF. And CF, blissfully ignorant as to everything that just happened, excuses himself to refill his one man pitcher.
It’s just a crappy scenario for the couple. It sucks to feel ugly (especially considering the topic was unnecessarily broached by some jerk off). It sucks to hopelessly try and help someone feel not ugly (especially considering the topic was unnecessarily broached by some jerk off). And really, it just sucks in general that physical appearance is something that weighs so heavily into our self-esteem. There’s such a long list of legitimate shit to feel bad about. In my utopia, whether or not we’re ‘frumpy’ doesn’t make the cut.
Selfishly though - I think if I were ever asked that question I’d probably get up and just start running like Forrest Gump. I’d be like seven counties away before I felt safe. So kudos to all involved for hanging in there with remarkably little conflict.