There he is… sitting across the aisle on the train from you. He’s reading a book or a newspaper or something. His glasses look like his mom bought them for him … and he’s in his 40s. He’s wearing a button-down shirt but it’s a size too big for him. He doesn’t seem to have had a haircut in the last year or so, unless you count the Flo-bee, but to his credit, his hair is clean. You can practically see the phantom outline of the pocket-protector he wishes he was wearing gracing his shirt pocket. He glances up from his book long enough to check something on his smart phone. He missed a spot shaving. This, my friends, is an ugly guy.
But before you turn up your nose, snigger, and go back to staring out the window, stop a second. Let’s think about this. What is it that makes this guy ugly?
I read an article last week (and I wish I could find the link to put here, but alas, it’s gone and I haven’t been able to find it) about how smart women should go for ugly men. This article defined smart women as those with higher education who are financially and emotionally independent. It postulated that we tend to want to find an attractive mate, a hot guy. The article implied a sense of entitlement on our part because we are so smart and independent, but it also cited subconscious biological drives to create more genetically perfect offspring (Hey! Have they been reading my sci-fi novel?). But as the article so radically pointed out, hot guys tend to cheat on smart girls at an alarming rate. Now the only research I’ve seen about this is from said article, but yeah, it makes sense. So the author of the article recommended that smart girls go after ugly guys.
I confess. I LOVE ugly guys. I always have. Okay, I’ll qualify that and say that I have always loved nerdy, geeky guys. I am human and I do have a problem with fugly guys, guys who have given up and collapsed into slovenly losers. But I doubt that’s what this article was talking about and I know it’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the well-intentioned man who just wasn’t favored by Nature with the body of a Greek god. Maybe his skin is a little pasty from sitting in front of the computer too much. Maybe his biceps aren’t ripped because he has spent more time at the library than at the gym. Maybe his clothes and hair just aren’t up to Tim Gunn’s standards because he’s been too busy working on his design for a better mouse-trap. Ugly guys are not ugly because Nature didn’t favor them. They’re ugly because Nature gave them an entirely different package.
In my experience, there are very few men who are truly ugly. I can think of a lot who are not considered traditionally good-looking but who make me squee each time I look at them or talk to them. In fact, the love of my life is just not a particularly good-looking man. Instead he’s charming and witty and inclined to hyperbole like you wouldn’t believe. I was attracted to another god-awful ugly man once who had more personality than a peck of Weiners and was possibly the best actor I’ve ever come across. I have a work-crush on a guy who makes some of my other friends go “really???” And as we all know, one of my number one biggest celebrity crushes of all times, the actor who has played the role of the hero in more of my novels than any other actor (8 at last count) is Michael Emerson, aka Ben Linus on Lost. I LOVE that man!
Okay, so what is it about these ugly guys that melts my popsicle? Simple. Good looks are a crutch. You can argue with me all you want and say it’s not always true, but men who are considered hot tend to know it. Attracting people is easy for them so they work that angle and never get creative. I find the majority of hot guys, though they may be delicious to look at, completely boring. But ugly men, on the other hand, learn to plumb their resources. They go deeper, look farther, and come up with more interesting things for their journey. Even the lowly role player/video game addict has a level of imagination and creativity that hot guys seem to lack. Ugly guys are onions. They have so much buried under the surface. Just because they don’t know how to bring it out on their own doesn’t mean it’s not a gold mine of possibility.
I also have a theory that ugly guys and nerds make better lovers. On the one hand, these are people who research everything. They may not have a wealth of experience (and face it ladies, do we really want a man who has a wealth of experience?) but they will have done their homework. They will have researched the minutia of how to please a woman. And they’ll be eager to prove that they’re just as good in bed as someone far more genetically blessed. And okay, maybe that’s just a fantasy of mine, but not such a fantasy is my theory that someone at whom ladies do not generally throw their phone number will be much, much more responsive and faithful when one does. An ugly man is not going to lose interest and leave you because he thinks he can do better.
So next time you pass that fixer-upper guy in the hall and feel inclined to giggle behind your hand, stop and consider that he may be the one you’ve been waiting your whole life for. He’s more likely to send you flowers and let you have the remote. At least that’s my theory. Whether I’m right or wrong I can guarantee you that an ugly man will keep you interested far longer than your average gormless soap opera hunk.