I was hungry at the start of my shift so I jetted to the pizzeria across the street to grab a quick slice. As I was chatting up the kid behind the counter a totally smoking babe walked past the window hand in hand with her boyfriend. In typical guy fashion we both continued to talk about how the Mets sucked while our eyes lit up the girl’s ass like radar tracking an enemy plane. When I turned back expecting the usual lustful smirk the kid’s expression was crestfallen. He said, “Girl like that! Us working stiffs only get the leftovers.”

The egalitarian side of me recoiled at this notion. Leftovers? No one is a leftover! I am a working stiff and if I ever told my girlfriend I thought of her in the same terms as two day old meatloaf I would be dead before my body hit the floor. I knew the kid was having some self esteem issues but there was something other than being unlucky in love behind his comment.

Everyday we guys are bombarded with images of women we are “supposed” to have. They stare at us from magazine covers. Beckon us in beer commercials, Girl Gone Wild ads, and porn web sites. In the affluent area were I ply my trade there is a never ending parade of trophy wives with firm Pilates honed bodies, botoxed faces, and surgically enhanced boobs. If I said I never felt a twinge of longing or envy I would be lying. I am just as susceptible to those images as the next guy.

But I am a little older and wiser than the pizza boy I hope. In another life I worked in a mental hospital that catered to the rich and famous. I saw women struggling to maintain “perfection” by vomiting up everything they ate till they ruptured their esophagus and bleed to death internally. Girls cutting themselves, trying to hang themselves with pantyhose in the shower, offering me blowjobs for cigarettes, and crying till they almost shook apart – the collateral damage of “perfection.”

I remember one trophy wife whose eating disorder was so bad she had a very real risk of dying. Her fat rich husband’s only concern was if she stopped puking she would get fat and he did not like fat girls. Scumbag.

Working stiffs get more than their fair share of beautiful women. I lucked out! I see plenty of average guys with knockouts. Yet the images the assault men every day are raising the standard to an unattainable level and women are literally dying to keep up. Besides if you are holding out for that supermodel you may miss the love of your life right in front of you. Sure her ass may be a little wide. She never wears bikinis and high heels while fetching a beer from the fridge – but she will love you. And when you get older and gravity has taken its toll on you both she will be the warm body you reach for in the middle of the night.

I wanted to tell the kid all this but I had to go back to work. Back to where the women recoil in horror from the dessert menus. Back to where smelling vomit in the ladies room is a weekly occurrence. So I said,

“Every dog has his day kid.”

Then I left.

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