Facial Profiling

A few years ago, I was friends with this guy — we’ll just call him Steve — whom I actually met via the internet. The story of how we actually met isn’t that interesting, so I won’t relay it here. (It involves a newsgroup about step aerobics. I’m sure you’re shocked.) I thought he was the bee’s knees, the cream of the crop, and, alternately, the cat’s meow and pajamas. He adored me and insisted on bestowing upon me not only names that included a variety of royal titles but an array of fabulous gifts as well.
I flew out to see him quite a few times (he lived several states away to the west), and he actually drove out to see me quite a few as well, each time bringing me more fantastic gifts. And when he wasn’t actually presenting them to me in person, he was sending them to me via some sort of express mail service. One time he even sent me, overnight, six dozen of the most outrageously mouth-watering homemade (by him, of course) chocolate-chip cookies ever to grace the planet. Yes, he was “all that” and a bag of chips. Chocolate ones.
He was a fantastic cook (vegetarian), an amazing writer, a great athlete, and possessed a cruel wit that I found utterly priceless. He couldn’t dress for shit, though, but with a little effort he could have been quite sharp. All he needed was a few trips to Kenneth Cole, Banana Republic, and a few other black/gray stores, and he would’ve been set.
We were the best of friends for a couple of years. Because of the physical distance between us, we communicated quite a bit by Instant Message and email. We were prolific like you couldn’t imagine. I think he’s the only man I’ve ever met who could type as fast as I can.
We “should” have been a perfect match, but for some reason it just never worked for us. The physical/romantic thing didn’t work. I tried to be attracted to him “that way”, but it just didn’t happen. He was in love with me and thought I was the most gorgeous, amazing, fabulous woman in the world (he showed exceedingly good [and accurate] taste), but it wasn’t enough.
It wasn’t enough because I found him physically unappealing. No, he wasn’t fat at all (in fact, he had been OBESE, but had lost close to 100 pounds through diet and exercise and was extremely fit when I knew him) and he wasn’t hirsute and he didn’t have a deformed parasitic twin growing out of his side who spouted off comical one-liners. It’s just that I couldn’t look at his face full-on.
In profile, he looked very cute. He had a good nose, a strong chin, a fine brow. So when we were in a car, and he was focused on the road in front of him, I would actually think, “Hmmm, he’s quite good-looking!” and would even sometimes act accordingly. I daresay I’d be coquettish (or as coquettish as is possible for me). But then he would turn to face me and the spell would be broken.
I don’t know what the deal was. How could the nose and chin and brow that all looked so lovely in profile conspire to look so different when faced head-on? I just don’t understand.
Walking beside him, I was fine. It was only when he would turn to face me that the revulsion set in. Imagine how much of a struggle it was to always position myself so that only his profile would face me. And here he probably thought I was trying to be romantic at restaurants by insisting that we sit on the same side of the table. Bah.
Anyway, he turned out to be a total liar about way too many important things (no, I won’t say what), so my feelings for and about him did a total “about face”. Now none of it really matters anymore, does it?
And you know what … I make you a bet he didn’t even bake those cookies.