I recall one afternoon when I was in high school and was chatting with a very nice girl who was a year or two older than me. I don't remember exactly what prompted her to say this, but she said something to me that has stuck with me to this very day.
"Mike," she said, "You're going to be a handsome man when you're older."
She really was a sweetheart of a girl, so I never doubted that she intended it as a compliment, but the unsaid truth behind the comment was that clearly I was not a handsome boy. Of course, this wasn't big news to me given that I was a big-nosed stick-thin teenager. The end result of her comment, amazingly, was that I did mange to eke out some hope that one day I'd be a chick magnet, swimming in perfumed heaving bosoms.
That day eluded me.
I did have some girlfriends along the way, and Daisy's vague resemblance to me is near-proof that I tricked at least one woman into allowing my sperm into her vagina one time, but the chick magnet thing never happened. (Obviously I'm joking about the "one time" thing. I'm having sex with my wife RIGHT NOW.)
Back when I was single, I heard tales that having a wedding ring was the REAL way to get women to notice you. The theory was that once you were taken, and had visual proof on your finger that some woman found you worthy enough to marry, then other women would find that irresistable and would offer their naughty bits to you. Either I'm totally oblivious (possible) or I can say with complete certainty that I have completely debunked that theory in a mere 11+ years of marriage.
Really, the only time in my life that I felt the merest hint that I had something that another woman might find chick-magnetty was when I owned a motorcycle. Motorcycles, as it turns out, are sexy. Computer programmers on motorcyles are less so, but still.
The motorcycle is long gone, but these days I have something else to feed my ego. I strolled into our local nice restaurant last week to grab some take-out. It wasn't ready yet, so I stood to the side and made idle chit chat with the wait staff. After a minute the bartender ducked under the bar and came up to me.
He stood a little closer than was comfortable, put his hand on my shoulder and quietly said, "Mike, I have to tell you, if you're going to come into a place like this, you're going to have to zip up your fly."
Doh! These stupid pants!
When he referred to "a place like this", what he meant was "a place staffed mostly by gay men." The restaurant is owned by a gay couple, and plenty of the staff is gay. While I was fumbling with my pants, one of the owners walked by and spotted me.
"Why didn't you tell me his fly was down!" the owner mock-yelled to the bartender.
I did the closest thing to blushing that I do, which is sort of an awkward embarrassed smile.
"Well, at least I still get to watch you jog by at lunch sometimes," he said, clucking in approval.
I made some sort of sheepish comment about my arms-a-flailing running style.
"Oh," he said looking at me over the rims of his glasses, "It's not your arms I'm looking at."
He handed me my take-out and as I walked out, he yelled, "And be sure to wear those jeans again!"
And THAT is why San Francisco is a great place to live if you're a guy. Where else am I going to get this kind of positive feedback? It's not that I'm going to go cheat on my wife, but it's nice to pretend that I at least have the option.