Where Is Justin Timberlake When You Need Him?

Last Saturday, I went to the movies with my friend Sarah.  She was waiting for me outside of the cinema.  Sarah has long, thick, flowing red hair.  She has curves in all the right places, too. (Don’t let her try and talk to you about her “muffin top” because the top of the muffin oozes out in the form of a bodacious rack and cleavage.)  More importantly, she embraces her sexiness and wears it as comfortably as she does her multi-colored scarf and dangling turquoise earrings.

As I walked across the parking lot, I noticed her hair was blowing in the wind and she had on her chic sunglasses, making her look even more glamorous.  Then, I became painfully aware of myself with my scarecrow hairdo that I had pulled back into a librarian bun to tame the lioness mane.  I felt out of sorts that night, and I realize now I’ve been feeling that way on a daily basis.  My “sexy” vibe has been disconnected.  Immediately, I wanted what Sarah was portraying.

Fast-forward to later that evening as the two of us were sitting at the bar at Chevy’s (a restaurant near the cinema).  I happened to mention to Sarah this feeling of “unsexiness” that’s been pervading my daily life.  It’s not just because I’m single.  And it’s not just because I’m a teacher and deal with 150 high school students 5 days a week (though that has been a big part of it).  It’s not that I don’t think I’m pretty.  It’s just that I don’t know how to live outside of my head and inside of my body all the time.  I’ve lost connection to what I think makes me beautiful.  I wonder if I’ve ever oozed sexiness?  Sarah laughed and told me that I’m not oozing sexiness because I’m not feeling it, it’s not that I don’t have it inside of me.  I started down the “woe is me” path of not knowing how to talk to men and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah excuses.  She laughed again and asked, “Do you have ovaries?”

“Uh, yeah,” I said, totally confused.

“Do you have a uterus?” she questioned me.

“Yep.  Was just reminded about that last month.”

“Well, then, you’ve got the sexy goddess in you.  You just aren’t connected to her right now.”  And damn’t if I didn’t know she was right.  I thought that would be the end of discussion, but she sipped her $5 glass of chardonnay and flirted with the bartender.  She batted her eyelashes and asked him where would be a good place to take her lovely friend here “trolling” for men.  She said all of this with laughter in her voice and fingers through her hair.  I was getting taught Sexy Flirting 101, and I knew it.  I fought back a little bit by saying, “Oh God. . .Sarah,” while hanging my  head.  And I tried to justify that I knew how to flirt, but I just need to be attracted to the man otherwise I feel guilty for manipulating a guy to do my bidding.  “Duh,” she said and laughed while her breasts pressed tightly on the bar table and the bartender topped off her wine glass and smiled an even bigger smile than he had a moment before.

Our trolling took us to Hot Shots, a sports and bar grill right next to Chevy’s.  I began getting nervous upon entering when I saw a stocky man wearing a blue tooth headset and an Ed Hardy shirt and sunglasses at 9 p.m. I began singing Jutstin Timberlake’s “Bringing Sexy Back,” in my head as a way to boost my self-confidence as we walked in the door.  JT immediately faded from memory when we entered the dark bar that was blaring some randomly famous entertainer’s music of the moment.  The place oozed “sleaziness” ( the sleaziness factor was upped later when I learned that they have wet t-shirt contests and vibrator races every Thursday night.)  Any thoughts of classy Justin Timberlake styled men dressed in sport coats, sweater vests and Converse tennis shoes faded from my hopes of redemption for going along with Sarah’s hair-brained scheme.

I knew Sarah was out of her element too when I caught her acting like we were searching for our long lost friends who told us to meet up with them.  I played along, hoping that we looked like a natural fit amongst the sea of drunk men (most wearing Ed Hardy shirts, or some type of embroidery on their jeans or plaid shirts, and all with close shaved heads that showed off sideways ballcaps, designed sideburns or “manscaped”facial hair) and young women (most sporting orange fake-tanned skin, “bump-it” hairdos of bleached blonde hair standing up in a triangle on top of their heads, and skinny ponytails holding back fried ends snaking down their backs).  (Sorry, I know that was a difficult sentence to read, but you try and capture a place like this in words.)

As we walked towards the center of the bar, Sarah laughed so hard she snorted as she said, “Oh God!  I would hate to say I met someone in a place like this!  Ha ha!”  My librarian bun felt even tighter than my stomach as I thought, “Oh sweet Lord it’s come down to this.”  We finally sat down at the bar where the Hooters wannabe bartenders wouldn’t wait on us right away.

We began the “trolling” right away.  Sarah prompted me to tell her what man I found the most attractive.  I scanned the crowd and found one guy (not wearing an Ed Hardy shirt and minus any embroidery on his plaid red shirt).  He had nice teeth.  I smiled at him.  He didn’t smile back, and continued “holding court” as the alpha-male, cool, single guy while his overweight, uber-nerdy, married buddies tried to hide their “man crush”.  I crossed that dude off the list, but not after feeling a bit rejected because he didn’t smile back.  I cursed myself for tying my hair up in the librarian bun, and began to hunch my shoulders and berate myself for not being pretty or sexy enough.  I even thought for a moment that I should get my hair chemically straightened and buy some sexier clothes and workout even more.  I sighed and heard Sarah telling me to quit over thinking things.  She tried to tell me how pretty I am and that I did look hot that night.  But, I’m learning that sexiness comes not from just what you do to improve your looks on the outside, but how you feel about yourself on the inside.  And, in this crowd, I felt out of sorts.

All of you reading this have probably been following my other posts of my foray back into the dating world.  I’m striking out left and right.  (I even got depressed when a “silver-haired fox” blocked my profile on match.com after I wrote him a charming and witty email.)   I thought my 0-? record was because of the quality of man I was meeting -whether through the dating site or out and about in my daily life.  I am now starting to realize that the bigger part of the equation: my self-concept, my demeanor, my opinion of myself have a far greater influence on me meeting, or not meeting, someone who is right for me.  By blocking my natural sexiness, I am throwing off my self-confidence and making myself sink into a small pit of despair again over being alone. And, like I mentioned in my last post, I am really wanting to “let go” of putting the pressure on myself to find Mr. Right.  I am far more interested in being the Right One for Myself.

I didn’t come to this conclusion that night at Hot Shots.  It took the following picture to set me straight.  I call it the infamous “penis purse” picture because unfortunately both my body and purse were cast in silhouette.

Throughout our talk and funny experiences that night, Sarah tried to help me see that I need to put myself out there.  She threw out examples of putting myself in places where men would be around in quantity.  Ideas like working the beer tent at this year’s “Art on the Square” downtown in May.  Or, the idea I should let her take the “sexy body shot” picture for match.com that many women do to get themselves noticed.  Those are all valid, and good ideas. But they seem unnatural to me.  I have to be myself, just like Sarah and all of my other beautiful friends, and let go of my constant worry and analysis of my life.  (I guess I have to let my ovaries and uterus be a little more hootchie-kootchie than my brain and self-doubt too.  Translation:  let my femininity rule me a bit more.  Sarah is a good example of that type of goddess power.)

If the real Justin Timberlake can’t follow me around and sing “Bringing Sexy Back” to me, then I have to step up to the challenge of harnessing my inner beauty and discovering my own sexiness first and foremost. And, if comedy (and looking like a sexy librarian) is part of my overall sexiness, then I choose to embrace it.  (Minus the “purse penis, of course.)

Just for fun: