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December 31st, 2006

Don't ask me why, but on a drive home some time before the winter break began I had Wendy ask what I find attractive in a girl. I named off four or five qualities that seemed fairly broad, yet after the brief silence that followed she claimed that I was "too picky". I'm not really sure what made her think my choices are so picky, but they pale in comparison to some of the things I heard others say during high school. Guys who only wanted to date a girl if she was, for example, 1.7 - 1.75m and 54kg with blonde hair. Quite absurd, really.

While physical appearance has some bearing on perception¹ it doesn't seem as important to me as personality traits anymore. Oh sure, there's nothing to say that my views are any better than what gets advertised at the check-out counter of the local grocery store, but if I'm going to be a fool I might as well be a hopelessly idealistic fool. Thinking up my list for Wendy, there was one particular girl I had in mind that seemed the ideal fit, but having told her about my feelings already it's just a matter of waiting to see what the future brings.

Hearing Wendy's response to my answer, I then asked what qualities she looked for in a guy. Her reply? She was interested in dating a picky guy. Whether she meant me or someone else altogether is certainly open to debate. This does raise the question though - what does everyone else hold important in terms of finding others attractive?

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¹ Check out Goffman's "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" for a sociological description.

βάρβαρος

Driving home from Oregon was an even more interesting experience than the trip there. Heavy rains were falling along the road north but that didn't keep anyone else off the road. I held my breath and made a wish while crossing the Columbia River between the Rose City and the Couve like so many times in my childhood, although none of you get to hear what was on my mind during that morning's downpour.

I was supposed to meet Mimi and the Ku family for lunch during my drive back, but Mrs. Ku was out and none of the phone numbers for the Baek family were current - despite my having three to call. I got my hair cut instead, which turned out much shorter than expected. After a recent discussion about how others react to a drastic change in hairstyles (namely, receiving the silent treatment) I'm a little worried about how MK will react when she comes back from vacation. She's already seen a photograph and mentioned how bald it makes me look, but she's also planning to do something with her hair over the break. Maybe we'll both hate each other for the start of next semester? I seriously doubt that would happen though; she'd probably just beat me up.

There was a light snow in the mountains but horrendous fog after I crossed the Columbia River for the second time (my second crossing has nothing to do with getting lost, as this map shows how the river cuts across and eventually up). Visibility was about one car length in any direction, and most of the time it was impossible to read the text on freeway signs. A green board proclaimed that I was entering Washtucna but nothing stood out from the fog - the city could have been burned and pillaged by barbarians (speaking of hair...) and I wouldn't have known any better. Still, telling horror stories about it now shows that I made it home in one piece.

It also snowed in Pullman while I was gone, even if there's very little sign of that now.