That phrase seemingly hasn’t hurt my dating life as much as I thought it would by living in trendy New York. Surrounded by tastemakers and fashionistas, it wasn’t until a wholesome Christian girl knocked some hellfire and brimstone from my arse that I learned how close to God I could’ve been.
I wouldn’t think that I’m the most attractive looking man in New York. I may get a few looks in Bed-Stuy, but that’s because the rough look is never out of style there. And, no… I don’t suffer from low self-esteem, it’s just that I’ve had facial hair since 13 and shaving gets to be low on the totem pole of things to do when your nickname in the office is Kunta Kinte or Hey, Mon!
Plus, the scruff factor serves as a truth teller amongst women. I know you guys have the up-and-down glance made into a science – with a checklist in your head just to keep things you like in order. But with me, you get to see my personality shine through the good, the bad, the ugly and jacked-up hair days.
Amid all this college kid angst enters Kennedy, a 23-year-old grad student who attended Columbia as a Psych major. She could honestly have any man she wanted with her bubbly personality, sexy lips, 1000-watt mile and poofy hair that’d make Maxwell jealous. I tried to earn this girl’s attention every Thursday when we’d both be at Cody’s Grill for lunch.
I was attracted, yet she had no clue who I was. Contrary to my homie Carl’s belief, I don’t chase girls – I jog. And as fate would have it, she had just come back from a run and wanted a drink. I, with two lunchtime Coronas in my hand, sensed the urgency and inquired if she wanted one. She gave me the “look” and her face slightly turned smug.
My smile was my shield from judgment and, reluctantly, she took the beer and invited me to sit down. Eventually, we discussed how familiar it was to see each other here every Thursday, talked about the places we partied at and how much a Columbia education costs. When we touched on the subject of dating and being single, she blurts out, “You’ve probably been single for a couple of years now, huh?“
“Four, actually,” I replied and her beautiful eyes lit up. “You know why, right?” she asks. I shake my head no and she answers with, “…all the scruff and gruff – the girls probably don’t like it.” I rebuttal with, “You keep smiling,” and she says, “Only to keep from laughing!” Ouch. Base! My feelings were tinged, but not burnt. But she turned up the heat when she managed to clown my hairline, my Old Navy hoodie and my Bo Jackson sneakers all in a 15-minute time span.
In all that she finally broke it down to me:
“A lady doesn’t really care if you have the washboard abs and the silver tongue to make all the girls come. But when you make absolute NO attempt at trying to get her attention, then you’re failing yourself. Simply put, cleanliness is next to Godliness.“
And with that said…
Ladies… Can a man with personality and wit outshine the dude who wears Dolce & Gabbana with a NY fitted hat and some Timbs? Or are we slaves to personal preferences? Speak on it!