Hello, my name is Sarah, and I’m a 6.5.
That’s out of 10. 10’s are like Victoria’s Secret Models. And that’s not including personality, okay!! Don’t get upset! Did I ruin it? You’re being unfair! That’s above average. See that girl standing by the fireplace—she’s a 6. Yeah, she’s got a smiling face and blond hair, and you’re a whole half point better looking than her. Aren’t dates fun?? Don’t you just feel confident and sexy and empowered?? No? No.
Welcome to my Saturday night. In a crowded, yet cozy beer hall in Brooklyn, I took refuge from the incessant snowfall and met a 30-year-old, 5’6,” brown-haired, run-of-the-mill man child for a first date drink. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this date—I almost never do—but I wasn’t dreading it either. I had wanted to be with friends enjoying a jazz festival in Greenwich Village, but alas I did not have the extra $50 to spend. So I resigned myself to go on a date… there are Saturday nights worse spent, right? Apparently not, because I had the lovely experience of being judged on a 1 through 10 scale of physical attraction for the first time ever—at least to my face. Yes, a fully-grown and gainfully employed male of thirty decided a first date was a wonderful and flirty time to dish out some good old-fashioned schoolyard judgments on my appearance. What a lucky lady I am! Oh, to be young and alive!
At first, I thought he was joking. We had been laughing while playing a game of Jenga, so this had to be some weird kind of teasing. He looked me in the eye, stone-faced. He was completely serious, and I was stunned, angry, and hurt. He saw my crestfallen expression and began to not apologize—oh no—but to justify his rating and further explain the scale to me!! How on earth could I possibly be upset by this? It was an above average score; I was being unfair! The audacity of this man was astounding; you’d have thought his last name was Trump.
I knew that this was a ridiculous scenario playing out – I mean, who behaves like this? Especially on a date! – but it still stung. As much as I love myself and feel comfortable in my own skin, I was invulnerable to the insecurity and shame he had just thrown at me. I felt like I had been stripped naked in front of a crowded room of people and laughed at. I might as well have had all my hair cut off and been paraded around town, with that nun-like woman crying out “Shame” behind me. I have so much empathy for Cersei Lannister it’s unreal… but back to my own saga.
I grabbed my puffer coat and began to suit up for the snow, defiantly announcing, “I’m leaving.” That’ll show him. He was confused and tried backpedaling – can’t we pretend it didn’t happen? Can I do anything to fix it? I can’t believe he really wanted to spend more of his Saturday night with a measly 6.5. How flattering! I must really have a sparkling personality. I said no, of course, and blinked back a few tears on my walk home. The dating world of NYC is a cruel and ugly place. It’s hard to find your perfect 10 when there are so many 6.5s in the way.