Big Muscles & Unemployment

men who are boring, muscular & cheap

So it would seem that big muscles and duration of unemployment are positively correlated…

“Is it hot in here or is it just you?” Not that I wasn’t flattered but this to a 96lb., teenage college sophomore in the university gym coming from a man twice my size, weight and age with more tattoos than visible skin took me by surprise.

I thought to myself: “I’ll just plaster a fake smile and give an unenthusiastic ‘haha’ so you’ll think I’m amused and you just be sure to wipe the machine when you’re done and don’t follow me home.  Deal? Good.”

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Ten years later and I am sitting across from an equally muscular rugby man and self-purported intellectual, minus the body art. He’s been talking for 45 minutes and I have absolutely no idea what he’s saying. I understand the words but, strung together, they make no sense to me. He continues: “so the theory of relativity is really about whether this person or that has a bubbling dichotomy in the apex of his hypothesis because without such undertones, there is no point to existence…” Oh goodness, he’s smiling, I better smile too. Hope he doesn’t ask me a question. I can always interrupt with a toast “to good times” then say “tell me more” and hope he doesn’t catch on. Wait, but I shouldn’t drink too much wine because it would be rude to start yawning or fall asleep.

Oooof, good thing he is amusing himself and doesn’t seem to care what I have to say. I have never been grateful to make such an observation with a man before. As he went on, I looked at the folds on his face, between his eyebrows, and wondered what it would look like if he were to get Botox injections. Not that he needed them. Women’s faces are judged much more harshly whereas most men compare themselves to fine wines, getting better with age. I wondered what the tattooed campus perv was doing these days. However, my thoughts were interrupted by a freakishly long nose hair across the table as it pulsated in the wind. It must have eluded him in the bathroom mirror for the past several years. He’s not bad looking and has a hot body. Maybe he is just nervous-talking. I can understand that. I’m not going rule him out because of one giant nose hair and an incoherent soliloquy. Most of the men without flaring nose hairs are nabbed by more aggressive girls before grad school, so I have to be open-minded and see beyond lapses in facial grooming.

The food arrived and I was happy. Not only because I was hungry but because he wouldn’t expect me to talk while eating. Silence. Appreciated.

My turn to talk. “I love this restaurant, I have been coming here for years! When I first arrived in the city, I used to sit at that table and write in my journal. The waiters all know me and although they don’t take reservations on the terrace, they will for me, as well as for an old lady who comes in every day. How is your steak?” He quite enjoyed it.

When the bill came it totaled 45 dollars. Reasonably priced seeing as how we had had wine and dinner. I waited the customary five seconds to see if he would reach for the bill, which he did not. It’s the new millennium and it wasn’t necessarily a date so I didn’t mind paying my half. After all, I did choose the place. As I was about to open my mouth, he says: “so it’s 22.50 each.” I acknowledge.

I say to the waiter holding the credit card machine, “Ok, make it 25 for me please.” Happily, he says “thank you madam, that is very kind.” My dinner companion then does some visible mental math while moving his lips (I guess intellectuals can’t do mental math without sounding out the numbers) and finally says, “then I guess I just owe 20.” The waiter’s smile dissipated and although he has seen me at this same restaurant with different dates over the years, I could tell that he disapproved of this particular one. If at any point in the evening a woman realizes that the waiter’s opinion is more important to her than that of her date, a repeat rendez-vous should probably not be in order.

[In truth, I have not run the regression but I do not believe there to be a true correlation between unemployment and large muscles. In fact, my most muscular male friends are actually employed and highly disciplined, like Oliver* who was kind enough to pose for the photo herein.]

– Albany Eden

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