Many years ago at the Toronto Press Club, a man called me “Striking.” (For the record, men have called me a lot of other things over the years. “Bossy” immediately comes to mind. But I digress.)
I was flattered, I think. But I wasn’t exactly sure what ‘striking’ meant. The language of men has always deluded me. Let’s face it. The way men think has always deluded me.
I asked around.
“Maybe it means you walk into a room and men feel struck by your beauty,” said friend Kathy,
“Maybe it means you have a mean left hook,” said former friend John, who discovered that I did.
Recently, a man pointed me to this list of definitions, which apparently makes it all clear.
Variations on the word ‘Pretty,’ when used to describe a female:
Beautiful: tall and pretty
Cute: short and pretty
Striking: pretty with a big nose
Sexy: pretty with skimpy clothes
Charming: pretty and thinks you’re attractive
Attractive: just pretty enough (it doesn’t say for what, but we can guess)
Okay, here’s the thing about noses. My nose, of the good solid Roman variety, apparently made me a good photo model. “You’re face has great planes,” said a former professional photographer. “It doesn’t moosh into one flat surface on glossy paper.”
Damn straight, we wouldn’t want a nose that mooshes. At the same time, I have to wonder about being defined by my nose.
So I asked my husband what ‘striking’ meant to him.
“It means you’re memorable,” he said wisely. (Meaning, he was wise to say it.) “Look at history. That bust of Nefertiti – she had a big nose. And everyone thinks she was the babe of her century.”