Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Underdogs are the "handsome" men in life.

I had the great honour last Wednesday of meeting a friend for lunch whom I hadn't seen since grade school.  In fact, I hadn't personally spoken to him since fifth grade.  God bless social networking sites.  During the past year, we managed to meet again through Facebook and hit it off immediately.  Ironically, and I didn't find this out until we were dribbling Carne Asada down our chins, he couldn't remember who I was when I "friended" him on the Web site.  I must say this information somewhat befuddled me.  I've always considered myself a rather unforgettable character. 

This is Bri (or Maria Bryant as he knew me back then).  You have to remember me!  I'm the little girl who used to hold hands with Peter in the 2nd grade?  I was the tomboy who developed boobs in Sister Mary Jose's class and ran awkwardly with my elbows pinned against my sides so they wouldn't bounce?  I was the chickie who always had something goofy to say?  No, nope, and not at all.  D'oh!  Now, isn't this awkward?

He explained that he didn't remember much of this time period.  I don't blame him.  Some of the Catholic nuns and kids were very cruel.  As an adult, it was determined that he suffered with ADHD and had severe Dyslexia as a little boy.  Also, he wore horned rimmed glasses in elementary school and was the butt of the "mean girls" jokes.  Today, he's extremely good looking (no blushing, my friend) and I know any single lady would jump at the chance to hook up with him.  He's smart, self-assured, and fun to hang out with.  How I'd love to watch the reactions of some of those mean girls if they saw him now.  I'm so proud of him.  He had a rough start but pulled himself through some horrible times.  Amazingly, he holds no grudges - except for some of the nuns but this is another blog entirely.

I've always had a habit of rooting for the underdogs.  I mentioned the 2nd grade, hand-holding romance earlier.  This little boy was also the subject of classroom gossip and teasing.  Why?  For so many reasons it's sad to recount but one in particular was that he had warts.  I remember this because I was given so much grief for touching his hands.  "Oh no, Maria!  Warts are contagious.  Don't touch him!"  I refused to acknowledge such nonsense. When he gave me a little ring (probably from a box of Cracker Jack) and a special card on Valentine's Day, he sealed my devotion forever.  I met up with him and his wife at a reunion about ten years ago. He's such a nice man and his wife is lovely.  Why are kids so awful growing up??  He survived.  I'm glad for him too.

I had a discussion with my husband and friend just recently about the guys in my life.  How I'd never been interested in dating popular or extremely good looking men.  My attraction led me to funny, intelligent fellows; ones who had something quirky to say - who caught my attention.  The physical stuff; the bulging muscles, the chiseled face, the steel blue eyes..if they had some of these traits, that was nice - if not, I didn't care.  It was always the personality I fell in love with.   Looks fade eventually.  I'd rather die laughing with my partner than being worried about how good he looks in a casket.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I've been blessed.  Not only for the gift of my husband, Eric, but for the many experiences and loves before him.  Without these guys helping me become the maniac I am today...well, that's just it - I'm special and unique because of their funny, intelligent, interesting, and quirky personalities.  They've kept me laughing and questioning, discerning and passionate.  I'm glad I've always rooted for the underdogs, because after all...they're definitely worth it. 

P.S.  For my dear ones, and you know who you are, I pray that the women around you recognize the wonderfully quirky, loving, and incredibly handsome underdogs right before their very eyes.