“If I Had Grown a Man in a Lab, He Is What I Would Have Created”

UPDATE:  I saw Marilyn yesterday, and she was full of complaints about an affliction called “pash rash,” an unsightly facial skin irritation that results from making out with a stubble-y dude.  She seems to find it bitterly ironic that experiencing “passion” should have such a negative effect on one’s actual attractiveness.  It’s a classic life-art dichotomy — like in The Picture of Dorian Grey — where you can have intense experience or aesthetic perfection, but not both.  I can sympathize with her. I have unruly hair, and I need to put a lot of products on my skin to make it not greasy, plus my eyes get irritated if I don’t take out my contact lenses; if I go to sleep at someone else’s house, it’s fuckin’ chaos.

All of these are “luxury problems” rather than real problems, though.  By contrast, my e-mail correspondant “Claudette” says that she was celibate for over two years before the incident I’m about to relate.  Claudette is in her 20’s and was living in Delaware at the time.  She claims that “I am fat, frumpy, and plain.  I look like Ina Garten.  On a good day, if you’re feeling generous, I look like a zaftig Nigella Lawson without the sex appeal.”  I am reluctant to believe any of this.  I tend to think all my readers are beautiful, or at least above-average looking, like a drunk Lake Woebegone.  But you can picture her as plain if it makes her seem more relate-able to you.

She writes that “in January, I met a group of friends in Newark, N.J. for a basketball game.”  They were going out to the bars in Manhattan later, so she needed an outfit that was cute, walkable, and suited to a range of temperatures.  “I started with my beautiful Lucchese cowboy boots, a souvenir from a trip to Lake Tahoe, and worked backward from there.”

Lucchese cowboy boots

Lucchese cowboy boots

Here’s her list of what else she was wearing:

Red wool funnel-collar coat

Target giraffe-print cardigan {they don’t make these anymore, thanks to idiotic planned obsolescence}
Hot pink tank
Dark denim jeans


Hot pink lace bra


Hot pink cotton panties
Black cashmere socks {editor’s note: How are you supposed to wash cashmere socks?  Surely you don’t need to take them to the dry cleaner’s?  I just put mine in the washing machine, but I really feel guilty about it.}

When Claudette got dressed in the evening, she had no reason to think anyone would be scrutinizing her matching lingerie and rich-person socks.  “But when I arrived at the arena, by coincidence I was seated next to a spectacular-looking boy.  I mean, if I had grown a man in a lab, he is what I would have created.  He was thoughtful, funny, brainy, generous, arty, charming (he grew up in Louisiana, so he had that delicious Southern boy appeal) and so unbelievably hot that I thought, ‘There is no possible way I will be able to convince this boy to make out with me, so I guess I’ll just be myself.'”

They went to a bar in the Village called The Kettle of Fish, where ” I drank beer, I ate junk food, I told dirty jokes, I told him to give me all his quarters so I could play pinball, I said ‘watch this’ and stole a bottle of Cabernet from the bar, and at some point I realized he’d spent the whole night by my side.”

“At around midnight, I did something I’m not terribly proud of.  I turned to the group and whined, “You guys, I’m having too much fun to get the train back home.  Can I sleep on someone’s couch?”  Why not be proud of this brilliant line?  It’s like a more tactful version of “do you want to come up and see my etchings?”, and besides, it worked.

“He offered.  I accepted.  I did not sleep on the couch.” She didn’t even leave his apartment until the following afternoon!  She concludes her story by lamenting, “I miss that guy.”  Wait, what happened?  Why aren’t they engaged by now?  “I WISH we were engaged!”  It turns out they went on, like, two dates, but “after a two-hour phone conversation one night, I screwed up my courage and asked him if we could watch the Superbowl together, and I didn’t hear from him for three weeks.  Sad panda.”

Astonishingly, it seems this gentleman has some sort of emotional issues.  Claudette was left with pash rash and heartbreak, but she still has the hot boots, so maybe we will be hearing from her soon?

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5 Responses to ““If I Had Grown a Man in a Lab, He Is What I Would Have Created””

  1. So cowboy boots…

    what do you girls here think of guys in cowboy boots?

    I live in NYC, haven’t actually be on a horse since my friends 7th birthday party (where I was lead around the backyard on a decrepit pony), and am certainly not from any part of the country that normally requires the wearing of cowboy boots, but that hasn’t really stopped me. They are comfortable, unique, and look good with jeans.

    Am I totally off the deep end here?

  2. Ok fine, in the grand scheme of things, pash rash might be a luxury problem. But the fact that my face is literally peeling off is not luxurious at all.

  3. My personal luxury problem: sleeping on boys’ dirty sheets, after they’ve gotten sweat and bodily fluids all over them, makes me break out. Ugh.
    And it’s always acceptable to begin planning an outfit from the shoes and work your way up.
    Dear Henry, cowboy boots can be hot. Wear ’em if you want, and I won’t make fun of you for being in the city, at least not as much as I make fun of people who drive SUVs though the wilds of Manhattan.

  4. "Claudette" Says:

    Henry, cowboy boots in the city are fine with me. It’s what you wear them with that makes them questionable. A soft t-shirt or sweater and worn-looking straight-leg jeans? Good. Skin-tight high-waisted Wranglers and a Garth Brooks shirt? Not good.

  5. socks: with cashmere and wool it’s really better to wash them in lukewarm water in the sink with some detergent or shampoo. squeeze (don’t wring) moisture out then lay flat to try on a towel (or over a mid-heat radiator).

    that way they’ll retain their shape and won’t get all felty or pilly.

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