A simple complex

I've never been "the cute one." Well, maybe that's not true, because I have hung around quite a few ugly dudes in my life... So let me rephrase. If you took a random sampling of, say, 5 guys from any public place, there is a less than 20% chance I'd be considered "the cute one."

Do you see what I did with the math there? It's clever, right? It's because I'm a writer. And I'm a writer because I have a face for writing. Because I'm not cute. So I have little else to do, besides bench press things (as my Facebook friends know from my stupid statuses now and then).

This is going somewhere, I promise.

When I receive compliments, I usually receive them in stride, unless they're about a) my writing (which I read, so I know how good it isn't) or b) my cuteness (which I get to judge every day I shave my face... Which is why I don't shave that often). So, whenever someone, especially a girl, compliments me on something that borders "cute" on any side, I usually brush it off. If the person insists on doing the "no, really, seriously, you blah blah blah," I usually just hear the rest as "blah blah blah" in my head and then quote it back to them (or on my blog when I'm stuck for stuff to write, like right now).

It's a complex. I know it's a complex, and I know where it comes from. It stems from not being cute. Like, at all.

I see myself somewhat like this: if you shaved down Winnie the Pooh except for a goatee, and dressed him like a lumberjack who lost his sense of style and taste, then put him in blue and yellow Nike Air Minot shoes he paid way too much for... You'd be close to having a clone of me. But he'd have to really dig the color "orange" and have a complex about being not cute.

Even when my wife pays me compliments or playfully tells me how cute I am, I get all blushy and dismiss it. And she's incapable of lying, which should of course lead me to believe that - hey, maybe I could be cute at times, if the lighting is just right (meaning, "turned off") and there's some Barry Manilow on the hi-fi... But then I realize she's my wife, and she also made her entire career around loving helpless, unwanted animals. So, when I hear her call me "cute" I think of how she calls Tiny Tim "cute" and realize that the only way I could be any cuter to her is if I had disjointed, inward-growing paws and a bigger nose.

I bring this up because not once, not twice, but THREE times today I've been called cute. By non-wife people. And they were GIRLS. And it's got me all complexed.

So you get to hear it. Sorry, you.