Do they love you or your looks? | Opinion | The Press and Standard

by | April 15, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: April 12, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Recently I found a beauty blog that posed a profound question: Gel or acrylic nails? Just kidding, that’s too deep for this blog. But it did ask: What happens when you stop posing and get real with bae?
In other words, when you relax and gain 15 pounds. When you “forget” to work out or shave your legs for weeks. When you sleep in stained t-shirts and sweatpants. Is all that OK, or is it bad manners?
Several respondents really objected to weight gain. Others said you need to A) accept the bad with the good and B) find more important things to worry about. One guy said he legit didn’t find his wife attractive because she’d “let herself go.” (He got pounded pretty hard.)
Then someone asked a simple question: How do you know if someone loves you, or your looks? Hmmm.
I once interviewed a couple who’d been married 57 years. They were both white-haired and wrinkled, but photos showed they were extremely attractive in years past. The wife in particular was stunning, a blue-eyed brunette with hair to her waist.
During our interview, the husband leaned over to me, wagged his finger and said, “She is more beautiful now than the day I met her. She still makes my heart jump.”
That’s how I am with my husband, Widdle. He is, by his own description, bald, short and chubby. He is also the best-looking man I’ve ever seen. The first time I met him, I lost the power of speech.
Him: “You must be Julie.”
Me: “Fluh. Fluh. Fluh.”
Him: “Is that a yes?”
Me: “Ooot.”
Him: “Do you have a medical condition?”
Me: (Swallows, producing audible gulp.)
Him: “Are you… do you still want to go to the movie? I mean, are you capable?”
Me: “I need some waher. You? Waher?”
Him: (warily) “If it’s an unopened bottle, yes.”
When we were finally en route to the theater, I clutched my water bottle and stared straight ahead, like an 11-year-old sitting next to her secret crush.
Widdle seemed hugely amused by something. Probably my hair, which refused to be beaten into submission that day. Or maybe he hadn’t realized I was shorter than the average 11-year-old.
Then he cleared his throat and said, “So… why don’t you have any children?”
Friends, I’ve been writing what is pretty much a confessional column for more than 30 years. I have very few secrets left. But he was the best-looking man I’d ever seen, and I wasn’t in my right mind.
Instead of telling the truth (that my timing was off for 25 years), I replied, “You don’t know me well enough to ask that.”
Widdle either coughed or laughed, I couldn’t tell which. Then he gamely tried again. “Fair enough. Do you have any tattoos?”
By now I was unhinged. “You don’t know me well enough to ask that, either,” I blurted. He definitely laughed then.
That’s when I knew there’d be no second date. First I couldn’t speak, then I went all shrill and snarky on him. He was probably trying to figure out how fast he could politely take me home.
“I don’t have any tattoos,” I squeaked. Widdle eased his truck into a parking space. “Fine by me,” he said. “I don’t have any either.”
Seven months later we were married.
So that’s how you know if someone loves you, or your looks: When you freak out on the first date and they still marry you seven months later.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

(Julie R. Smith, who continues to freak out on Widdle, can be reached at

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