Friday, June 10, 2016


Since June 10th is 6/10, it reminds me of one of the dumber moments of my life.  One is never so insensitive than when trying to be sensitive.

On an evening about 15 years ago, I was chatting with my friend Liz over ICQ.  I’ll pause for a moment for everyone in my generation to have an “Oh man, ICQ, I feel old…” moment, and now let’s continue.  Liz was feeling pessimistic about her love life, as I believe she’d recently split up with a boyfriend.  I was attempting to be supportive, though she was still feeling down about her looks.  She wrote something along the lines of “it’s not like I’m pretty enough to attract a lot of guys” or whatnot, and my response was….

“I don’t know about that, you’re at least a 6/10.”

Even now, you’re probably slapping your forehead with astonishment that anyone would be such an unstoppable moron as to write these words, but here was my logic. 

1. I personally didn’t think Liz was very attractive myself, so while I obviously wanted to make her feel better about herself, it would’ve been disingenuous to overly praise her beauty.
2. I wrote “at least,” so really, 6/10 was just the bare minimum.  Right?  Right?
3. Hey, 6/10, that’s a positive number!  If asked to rank myself, I surely wouldn’t go any higher than three or four out of both realism or (false) modesty.

Ok, so that’s where I was coming from.  As I recall, Liz didn’t really respond to the comment, or made no mention of it, or we got talking about other things.  The next day at school I was walking with Morgan, a mutual friend of both Liz and I.  Liz’s recent breakup came up, and I brought up our ICQ chat and how Liz was down on herself.  Morgan said something like “awww, Lizzie is really cute,” and I said “I tried to tell her that, I even said she was a 6/10.”

At this point Morgan stopped in her tracks and said WHAT.  I repeated myself, a little more uncertain this time, and then Morgan slugged me in the arm with such force that I probably need Tommy John surgery.  It was essentially a Champ routine — a comment, a PARDON, repeating the comment, then a severe beating.  While I was massaging my ruined arm, Morgan was letting me have it about what a five-alarm stupid thing that was to say to a person, and it began to dawn on me (jusssssst a little bit) that I may have made a mistake.

It occurred to me in hindsight (or, perhaps, once Morgan explained it to me while yelling) that I could have simply said “I think you look just fine” and left it at that, since that was all I was trying to say.  I certainly didn’t need to stick an actual numeric ranking on the subject, that was a wee error.  Really, “just fine” is the definition of 6/10.  It’s every 54/40 song, it’s every bowl of Cheerios, it’s every Donovan McNabb season.

So I give myself a 6/10 on good intentions, and a 0/10 on execution.  Morgan gets a 10/10 for punching power, as just think, I may be pitching in the major leagues right now had it not been for her vicious (yet not entirely unwarranted) attack.  I’ll see her in court.

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