Angelina Jolie, Meg Ryan, and Oprah walk into a bar. Who gets noticed? Who gets laid? Who intimidates? Who is approachable?
George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, and Bill Gates walk into a bar. Who leaves with the most phone numbers?
Depends, doesn’t it? Such speculations can lead to lively discussions and friendly arguments. It can be fun to make fantasy lists and suspend reality for a while. These discussions reveal values and judgments, intentional or not.
My college roommate and I periodically meet for lunch in a town halfway between where we live. She was the blonde, wholesome, outdoor type, while I was the brunette, wholesome, indoor type. We had our moments of dating and popularity. A few years ago during lunch, we walked past the bar to go to the restroom. When we returned to our table, my roommate said, “You know you’ve gotten old when men in bars don’t look at you any more.”
There is a freedom and disappointment in becoming invisible to men. At first it’s a shock to no longer be noticed. I never realized that I took it for granted. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I was ever a beauty who turned heads and stopped conversation when I entered a room. Not by a long shot. Men had to get to know me to be interested in me. I’m just saying that they looked and not in repulsion. Being cute was about the best I could hope for as a short, petite girl with curly hair and a smartass sense of humor. I didn’t know I’d miss it because I didn’t know my power.
I learned to accept being invisible and have even embraced it. The freedom that comes with my new status works out well. I like living alone and am no longer interested in dating or being in a romantic relationship, so I’m not sending out that vibe anymore. It was unexpected and not so bad.