Whatever floats your boat...
In my lifelong effort to try not to be a sucky human being, I do my best not to be judgy, but sometimes I can't escape the prejudice that a lifetime of overwork and doing without has instilled in me.
Such was my internal battle yesterday. I work at a university. Part of my job is determining whether students have met their requirements. A student approached me who wanted me to evaluate some courses he plans to take at a university abroad next year, in either Amsterdam or Paris. He wanted to know if they would satisfy some general education requirements he hasn't satisfied yet.
I told him no, that sadly, after the quarter units were converted to semester units, they wouldn't have enough unit value to satisfy his requirements. His gym-toned shoulders literally sank and he made a sigh of dejection. I said, "Regardless, you should still do the study abroad. International travel will be the most edifying thing about your college years." He replied to my comment with a non-committal stare that told me he already has traveled abroad. Probably many times. To his credit, he didn't feel a need to proclaim it.
And I must say that non-committal stare was made with one of the most beautiful pairs of green eyes I have ever seen. Framed by one of the most handsome faces I have ever seen. He had the build of a perfectly proportioned athlete, even though he isn't at this university for the sports. He was wearing sweats and a long-sleeved tee shirt, but they looked tailored and expensive, a $300 athleisure ensemble.
And he was smart. The courses he wanted me to evaluate for requirements were tough ones. I suggested that he could get the gen-ed requirements out of the way in summer school at a community college, but he didn't want to have community college work on his University of Prestigiousness transcript.
When I meet people like this, I expect them to exude snobby entitlement. But except for his disdain of community college, I couldn't find any of that in him. He was genuinely nice. Good, I thought, then I won't have to dislike this dude just because he's got it going on every which way: good looks, physical strength, intelligence, brand-name education, and affluence.
I thought of one last approach to his problem. We could approach our educational policy analyst to ask about the unit limitation. We did. The analyst found in the student's favor. The courses he wanted to take abroad could satisfy his requirements after all.
He was so grateful he hugged us. He pulled up a sleeve as he was gathering up his papers, and that's when I saw it, a tiny tattoo on his forearm. The crude and cruddy kind that seventh graders make with a ballpoint pen. It looked like he'd tried to have it removed. It was just a ghost of a tattoo now, almost invisible, but still there.
A little one-inch dripping penis. Lifelong evidence of a stupid moment. I already liked him. Now I liked him even more.
Yup. Life marks us in all kinds of ways. Some of us are marked by class resentment, some with junior high tattoos. Everybody's got something, even the ones in athleisure wear.