Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I'm So Sexy

I do a thing, and I'd bet cash money that you do it, too.

Here's the thing: when I'm hanging around with friends, and I happen -- for whatever reason -- to end up looking especially dorky, or doing or saying something especially graceless, I'll say something like, "Oh, yeah, I am so sexy right now." Sarcastically, of course.

You do it, too, right? It's a pretty common thing to do. You recognize that you're doing something generally considered unattractive, and you tag yourself on it (with a hint of humor) to let others present know that yeah, you're aware.

Now lately, I've been reading through Emily Nagoski's blog ( archives, and recently, I hit this entry:

But since I know you probably won't read it, here's the summary: She got up one morning to take the dog running, and because it was cold, she put on a bunch of really kind of ugly clothes, and then as soon as she stepped out the door, she fell on her ass. And she thought to herself, "This is what sexy looks like."

When I got to that point in reading it, I thought: yep, I'd've made some snarky comment at myself at that point, too.

But then she goes on: getting up in the dark and cold to take care of the dog? That's proof that she's a nice, responsible person. It makes her sexier to her significant other. (And how adorable is it that she calls her boyfriend her romantic euphemism?) And then the blog entry goes on: she went to work, and this, too, is what sexy looks like. And then she gets home late and her boyfriend is waiting for her, covered with dog hair because he's been petting the dog, and smelling of curry because he made dinner, and that is also what sexy looks like.

And it was worth taking a minute to appreciate that.

It was worth taking a deep breath.

She wasn't being sarcastic.

And maybe, just maybe, I should stop being sarcastic with myself, too, sometimes. Is it not ironically but actually sexy if I wear a shirt that exposes my muffin-top? Or if I laugh when I'm eating and slop spaghetti sauce down my shirt? Yeah, maybe it is, because it means I love and trust the people I'm with not to laugh at me... not to mind... not to even care. That's a lot of love and trust, right there. It's the kind of thing that says, "I want you to know all of me."

That is kind of sexy, actually.

And it's the kind of sexy that I need to remember to write into my stories once in a while -- not just the magical, falling-in-love, everything-is-perfect-and-beautiful sexy, but also the other kinds of sexy.

The kind of sexy that gets baby spit on its shoulder.

The kind of sexy that forgets its allergy meds, but skritches your pet's ears anyway.

The kind of sexy that cries on your shoulder at 2am.

The kind of sexy that challenges an 8-year-old to a belching contest, or lets a 4-year-old paint its fingernails.

The kind of sexy that lets you nurse it through a cold.

Sometimes, it's worth taking a breath and remembering... sometimes, the deeply unsexy is profoundly sexy.

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