Looks Can Be….

“Your dweeb is late, so I am ordering an appetizer. I also need alcohol if I have to listen to that whiny, high-pitched voice for an hour.” Michelle flagged down a bartender and asked for the biggest glass of red wine in the house. It was 11 am on a Friday, and this downtown sports bar was already filling up.

Michelle and I were both in marketing, and Bill had promised us lunch if we listened to his sales pitch. He was selling air time on our local cable channels, which, at the time, was a relatively new concept. “Okay, Jeanne, What do you think he looks like? I bet he is 5ft 2, 100 lbs, thick glasses, and no hair.” I laughed ” You are mean!” But the truth was I wondered what Bill looked like too. We had all talked on the phone for several weeks. Even though he could be super funny, his voice sounded more like a hormonal woman desperate for chocolate and a romance novel. I kept one eye on the incoming steady stream of mostly male customers and my opinion to myself. This was the early 90s, and you couldn’t secretly preview anyone on Facebook or LinkedIn. I hadn’t asked Bill what he looked like and told him to look for a tall redhead and a blonde trying to look important and businesslike.

A tall, dark, and very handsome man headed towards our table with a large glass of red wine. Michelle snapped, “Finally! But where are my onion rings?” “Do I look like a server?” Bill laughed and sat his 6’2 self down in between us. Our mouths dropped open. Bill was model gorgeous and nothing like we expected. When Bill turned his head to get a server’s attention, Michelle looked at me, smiled, and bit her lip. I mouthed, “You’re married!” Michelle continued to give Bill a hard time and told him the tab had already started as he was late. We had a great time and the lunch flew by quickly.

Even though Bill was funny, charming, and super hot, neither Michelle nor I thought our customers were ready to pay for cable ads. He still picked up the tab and told us next time it was on us. Later Michelle and I decided we were never again going to “conjure up” an image of anyone before we met them. Now we have Linkedin, Facebook, and a variety of other platforms to get a sneak peek and form an impression. But is it really an honest assessment?

I knew a woman named Carol, who met a guy on a dating app. She called me and told me she was very disappointed when they finally met for lunch. He was obviously 20 years older and many pounds heavier than his photo. He had very poor eyesight, walked into a wall, and she had to help guide him to a table. He complained about liberals, drug addicts, and smokers during lunch and that he would never date one. When Carol insisted she didn’t smoke, do drugs, or hadn’t voted in years, he still insisted on walking her to her vehicle. Why? He needed to sniff inside her car to make sure it didn’t smell smokey when they said goodbye.
I was like, “NEXT!”
Carol laughed, “No, we are going out again.”
Smartass me, “Why, does he need a seeing-eye date?”
“I don’t know. There was just something about him.”
They dated on and off until she temporarily took up smoking. 🙂 Yes, this is a true story and still makes me laugh.

As easy as photos are to find now, they are still not an accurate assessment of who one is. Or will be. Or could be. Like Robert Palmer sings, a pretty face don’t make no pretty heart. And vice versa. But I’d check your next Tinder date’s vehicle for smoke, excess clothing, and garbage.

Homeless untidy smokers just might be a deal-breaker.