January 29, 2004
A Leg Up
Nothing says casual first date like fresh flowers and kettle corn. So when Matt the internist suggests we spend Sunday afternoon exploring a Santa Monica street fair, I'm in. We share roasted almonds, sunshine and our own true Hollywood stories. There's a lot I like about Matt -- he's well-traveled, well-read, and well-built. Somewhere between the organic fruit and the bad art, I tell Matt I spent my morning at the gym.
"Yeah, you look like you work out a lot -- you have those thick soccer legs."
"I'm sorry, what?"
"They might just look that way 'cause they're so short."
He did not just say I have thick legs. He did! He just called my legs thick. And short. And he insulted soccer. I have to hand it to Matt, he sure knows how to sweet talk the ladies. Why doesn't he just come right out and say I have the thighs of Goliath?
Now Matt has no clue he's committed a dating taboo.
"So, what's your schedule like this week, ya wanna hang out again?"
Sure Matt, we'll double date. You, me, and those two tree trunks I call my limbs. We could catch a flick. Of course we'll have to go to a theater with stadium seating, so Stubby and Solid here have plenty of leg room. Wouldn't want my vice-grip thighs to wrap around you during the scary parts. No really, I'm just kidding, a second date would be great, Mr. Clean. Oh, I'm sorry, did I just call you bald? No, of course not. Because polite people -- normal people, people who get action more than once a year -- don't point out someone's physical flaws on a first date. By the way, have you heard of an orthodontist?
Perhaps I'm being too hard on poor Matt, but his comments sunk my battleship. If he's focused on what's wrong with me before the second date, what's going to happen by the fifth date? The fifth week? Our fifth anniversary?
"Happy Anniversary, babe. We made it despite your dry elbows and wide hips."
No wonder Orthodox women cover everything but their ankles.
But maybe I brought this on myself. Matt was the one who suggested the outdoor date, but I was the one who arrived in low-rise shorts, a tight baby tee and platform flip flops. So, technically, I have only myself to blame. I was the one who exposed my gargantuan, size-4 bod to criticism. I'm surprised Matt held it together in the presence of such sizable mass. The horror! The horror! I'm also surprised he didn't suggest I lay off the fair's free samples.
Maybe I'm being oversensitive, a drama queen, but being single is hard on the ego. I meet a lot of men, I kiss a lot of frogs, I get a lot of pink slips. With all that rejection it's easy to ask, "What's wrong with me?" It's normal to fall down the rabbit hole of self-doubt. Now the man I'm on a date with is pushing me further over the edge. In dating, self-confidence is key; self-confidence is sexy, and it's hard to feel confident when your date is feeding your insecurities.
I know, I know. Matt asked me on a second date, which means he didn't intend to insult me; he just didn't think before he spoke. But to call my legs "thick" and "short," he had to have thought it to himself at some point. And that's the real reason why I won't be seeing him again.
He could have said, "Yeah, you look like you work out -- you have great abs," or "nice arms" or "the body of a teenage pop star, let's go to Vegas and pull a Britney." But he didn't. He gave me the classic L.A. look-up-look-down, then noted what was negative about my body. In dating, in life, it's easy to find problems if you look for them. I don't want that in a relationship. I want a man who looks for what's right, not what's wrong. I want a man who focuses on my flair, not my flaws. I want a man whose "Kiddush" cup is half-full.
I know I'm not Maxim cover girl material. I never claimed to be a gazelle. Short legs run in the Davis fam. Well, technically, our short legs don't run. It's hard to be quick with such a small stride. It's more like I power jog or gallop or walk with a quick gait. Whatever I do, I don't play center. I don't model mini-skirts. And I have yet to buy a pair of pants that don't need to be shortened. Still, I like my legs. Sure, they're a little muscular, but I'm happy being the thighmaster. And the man who looks for the positives in life will realize that dating a woman with powerful thighs has its benefits. 'Cause I got legs and I know how to use them.
Carin Davis, a freelance writer, can be reached at email@example.com.