I was out with my friend S. the other day, when a young couple, female and male, early 20’s I’d guess, stopped us and asked if one of us could take their picture. We chitchatted a little, asked them to move into the sunlight for better lighting (we were considerate), took some pictures of them, reviewed those, thought better of it, took better shots, and then went our separate ways.
When the couple was safely out of earshot, we turned to each other. The conversation went like this:
S: That girl? She was so pretty! Didn’t you think she was pretty?
Me: That’s exactly what I was thinking!
S: I’m so jealous! I wish I was that pretty!*
Me: Me too!
S: She was too good for him.
Me: Oh, hell yeah.
With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, there may be a few elements of that conversation that could be improved. For the record, the boyfriend looked fine. He just wasn’t exceptional. Not the way she was. She caught your eye, while your gaze might just pass right on over him without stopping. That’s not a crime. He could even have been a Getty. Although, based on clothing, I have my doubts.
Back to the her: based solely on appearances, both of us immediately felt that this girl’s looks entitled her to someone better. It seemed perfectly rational at the time. It made sense. Some of the most irrational thoughts always seem perfectly rational. We both had high expectations of this complete stranger. She should do better. She should dump her nice boyfriend, and get herself someone more in her league. Her looks league.
What were the assumptions behind this line of reasoning. Do good looks naturally lead to higher expectations? Do we assume that she had all these better choices, and then chose this somewhat blah guy? Did he trick her? Is he, in fact, evil?
In future, I will probably reflect less on other people’s choices, and more on my own line of reasoning.
* For reference purposes, she looked like a younger version of actress Kelly Hu. Hu is probably best known for being really hot on the Scorpion King. Check it out.