You always hear about the total nerd who leaves school and becomes The Hotness. You know, all those movies that thrive on it. The Queer Eyed nerd, the brainiac hiding behind coke bottle glasses who suddenly becomes hot for that one magical prom night and has the ruler of the school fall head over heels. Then the nerd turns ruler down because they don't love the person behind the face...and then...they end up together anyway.
Or the Voted Ugliest Person In School person who comes back at 5 year reunion as the Hollywood Star. You know. The George Clooneys of the world.
It doesn't happen in real life as I know it. Or so I thought.
Until I bumped into...well, let's call him um, Lanky. Ok. So Lanky in college was just that. Lanky. Everything about him was lanky. In fact, he was more gangly than lanky. He even had lanky hair. It looked unwashed most of the time, and always hung limp and stringy.
BUT. He was a great guy. I used to hang in his room. In fact, he was such a nice guy I occasionaly even scrubbed his sink for him when it turned too grey to bear. I was happy to. I couldn't really keep up a conversation when he was doing battle with a supermage now could I. I mean, the rest of us tried. But the sonic booms emitting from those speakers with sub-woofers and surround sound proved a little too difficult to outshout.
In fact, he was so nice, he seemed to be a hit with the ladies. Nevermind the glasses, the hair, the chicken legs or even the unhealthy obsession with blowing things up.
After college though, we lost contact and I thought that was that. I didn't even think about him much, except in fond memories of 3am nacho guzzling and 6am final paper writing ICQ/MSN conversations. (the conversations go along the lines of, "screw those birds, why are they singing. My god, the sun's up. Man I need more caffeine")
Fast forward what must be close to 4 years. Maybe more.
I'm minding my own business on a sunny Saturday, wandering around the swankiest part of town with not a scrap of makeup on my face, in bag lady clothes and my too-short hair pulled back in a haphazard ponytail.
Enter some random tall guy in dark sunglasses staring at me. I glare back at him. His friends seem friendly, if a trifle geek-chic in a tres chic area. Why is this freak staring at me? What? I'm too ugly for Toorak? Just because he's got the geek-chic look down pat. GAH.
Then he pulls off his clipon sunnies. And I realise it's Lanky.
Lanky with much nicer hair. Lanky with a buff bod. Lanky with a refined college professor look to him.
I gape for a second, before my brain finally clicks over. It takes me a few more seconds to remember his name. "Lanky!" I cry. The smile that I used to classify "crooked" suddenly seems wry and strangely charming.
He's still recognisable, but geez he scrubs up well. The coke bottles have been replaced by thin wire frames that suit his face. He's still not devastatingly handsome, but he's charming enough for girls to consider him good-looking in a nerdy way. He's what that professor from the Da Vinci Code SHOULD have looked like. Not Tom Hanks.
He has a presence and stillness that seems to belong on gentlemen. The Pierce Brosnans of the world. My head is not comprehending.
He's still the same though. He gives me a big hug, and we chat. We exchange email addresses (ah, so that's what his surname is, I'd forgotten!) and we catch up with the goss on old friends.
And then we part ways, leaving me gobsmacked at what I'd just seen.
My first, real life, metamorphosis.
People gape when I do my geek freak to cool chick routine every so often, but I have to say, I never realised why people started and stared. And now I know why.
And it scares me that we're all such a bunch of superficial saddos.
Listening to: Charlotte Martin's remake of the Rolling Stones classic- Wild Horses.