I owe you an apology. The date you took me on was lovely. You did everything right, and me, oh me…What have I done?
I’m writing to you through Tinder, as we did not exchange numbers and I believe, after an agonizing evening of analysis that I may know why.
We met here, on this app, where you were attracted to my bio made up of heart and sushi and peace sign emojis, and your range of photo choices impressed me. In one you were with your friends at a bar, in another you played the guitar to your grandma. You stood in front a bathroom mirror, sat on a mat at the gym, lifted weights at the gym, and even spotted a friend at the gym. And then, fatefully, you said, “Sup?”
We went to a movie that you picked out and said I would like and you called me “babe.” “It’s a comedy,” you explained. “Not too complicated,” you assured. “You’ll like it, babe,” you concluded. We laughed, but me not too hard or too loud as to be a lady. And when you bellowed at the raunchy parts, as you should, I smiled sweetly, doe-eyed, as if I didn’t understand. I believe then I’d performed well.
And the dinner! Well, it was nice, wasn’t it? I did order fish, which was risky, but it was salmon and I’d hoped that you would realize that J. Lo eats salmon to improve her skin, and I was only thinking of you! How a man like you might like a glowing woman.
But after careful reruns of the night, I can see now that I’d doomed myself before I’d even left the house. And now, in order to help you help me, I’d like to recap the moment where you kindly shared with me that one great fault.
You warned me that I was a bit intimidating. “Why do you say that?” I asked in a tone that I hoped was only inquisitive and not too presumptuous or too smart or too brash.
“You know what your problem is? You’re too pretty,” you said and wrinkled your nose with visceral disgust. “You care too much, and it kinda freaks people out.”
Now, I know that due to this grievous misstep you won’t have any reason to give me the time of day again, but I wonder if, for the purposes of my education as a woman, you might help me to ameliorate this wrongdoing by answering one or more of the following questions:
- Should I have worn my hair in a pony tail or tucked it behind my ears?
- Would it have helped or hurt to have worn jeans? Maybe low rise would have been too much. Maybe bootleg would have been too little.
- What if I’d worn the pink lip gloss but skipped eye shadow? Or would it have been better to have omitted them both?
- Or is it merely genetic? Will forever be doomed to be too pretty? Is this it for me, Tony? Give it to me straight.
In addition to my earlier apology, I want to thank you for the generous gift of your experienced opinion, and for any further information you may be able to provide.
Before I met you I only thought that I could be too fat, too ugly, too stupid, too loud, too quiet, too lewd, too proud, too prude, too slutty, too tall, too honest, too macho, too emo, too meek, too religious, too bleak, too strange, too pale, too plain, too frail, too bony, too busty, too boring, or too trusting. Or maybe even too clean! Or dirty… Or eager. Or flirty. Or hairy. Or weak. Or scary. Or strong. Or needy. Or nice. Or into brown rice. Or messy. Or mousy. Or easy. Or cheesy.
But now I realize, Tony, that I can also be too pretty!
But I want you to know, whether you find it in your heart to respond to my message or not, I won’t give up trying to be the ideal woman. Because what matters, I know, is what you think. So I can’t give up. I couldn’t.
Sammi LaBue lives in Brooklyn and is the proud co-owner of many houseplants. She is currently accepting prayers and positive thoughts for Lisa, the matriarch of her houseplant family, who she assumes is either sick, depressed, or just seeking attention.