hildeguardog's Diaryland Diary


The Theory of Relative Hotness

I'd like to discuss the Theory of Relative Hotness. We're all familiar, right? You see a girl in class. She's ultra-hot. You ask her out. Suddenly, att the bar where you're having a drink, you can feel that your attraction has become primarily a psychological construct based on the memory of your previously unimpeachable opinion. She's still hot, but now there's something fishy about it.

A similar feeling is when you're rocking out to your new favorite song. You're alone. Driving. The song is incredible. Sure, not everyone's into punk rock, but maybe they would be if they just heard this song. Next time your friends are in the car, you casually play it, and furtively adjust the volume so the stereo's slightly louder than it was before. That dancy bass line rolls in with the galloping drums; the snotty yet intelligent singer snarls the opening lines. Your best friend, sitting shotgun, turns it down.

Or when you take your girlfriend to that restaurant you always loved going to with your family. It's the best Chinese on the northside. Seriously. Can't be beat. Your sitting across from your girlfriend at that tiny table. The thin tablecloth is already drenched from the sweat off the water pitcher. The food comes. Your girlfriend's face sighs (she doesn't sigh--just her face). It's a split-second lapse in her good manners and keeping up of appearance, but you caught it.

You can almost hear your self-assurance deflating. It's not that you feel disrespected, it's that you know they're right. That song really has no universal appeal. This food looks and tastes pretty bland. The new girl sitting across from you is not particularly attractive.

Yet it happens, again and again.

I'm slowly learning what banal songs I am pre-disposed to loving. I'm learning where I'm mistaken for being incredibly attractive.

The tough part to wrap your mind around is not when you're the victim, but the predator. When that girl met you at that party where you were bound the flourish. Your wit had been sharpened with a stone. Your disheveled hair looked purposeful. That creepy, ever-present smile was mistaken to be gregarious.

So you respond to her texts. She's predisposed (predisposition plays a big role in the Theory of Relative Hotness) to finding you funny. Everything you say is funny, even though you meant little of it in jest.

She lives far, so this will get dragged out.

When you finally meet her again, her smile does a double take. Like it got tired for a second. But you caught it. You know what that break in character means, even if she doesn't get it yet.


She finally gets it when she introduces you to her friends. They're very polite. They speak to you as you spoke at the adoption center, to the dog you did not adopt.

You stay at her place but don't make a move.

The next day you leave with a kiss on the cheek.

Over the course of the next week, you keep exchanging texts. They're much less enthusiastic. The electricity has grounded. You both act with reserve, like you cheated on one another and refuse to fess up.

5:46 p.m. - Friday, Jan. 09, 2015


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