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Hotness is in the eye of the beholder

November 06, 2009|By LISA PREJEAN

"So, honey, how would you feel if I nominated you for the hottest man in Hagerstown contest?"

My husband lowered his newspaper and glanced over his reading glasses with a "you've got to be kidding me" look.

Our kids suddenly grew silent, waiting for his response.

"You know you can't do that," he said with a grin. "I don't live in Hagerstown."

Plus, there is the issue of me writing for the newspaper ....

Just imagine, though, if every wife in the Tri-State area viewed her husband in such a favorable light. What would that do for our ratings on totalbeauty.com?

If we tell the "researchers" there what really matters to us, perhaps they'd view our area in a different light.

We wouldn't be rated as one of the country's top eight cities with ugly guys.

Maybe our men don't have gym memberships. Perhaps it's because they're too busy coaching their own children. Running up and down the field with people half your age isn't a workout for the feeble. And there is something quite appealing about a man who gives of himself for his child's team. So there.

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Not all of our men have advanced college degrees, but there is something to be said for a man who gets up and consistently puts in an honest day's work. Faithfulness, loyalty. That's where it's at.

So what if they don't wear suits every day. Flannel is softer for hugs.

Besides, what do we want to teach our children about relationships? Superficial things are what matters? How you look is more important than who you are?

I consistently teach my high school English students that "hot" should be used to describe temperatures, not people.

The teen boys in my classes have taken to self-correction. Each time they start making a comment about a "hot" girl, they stop mid-phrase and say, "ahem, I mean 'attractive' girl."

They laugh, and I know they're humoring me, but my point is getting across.

The girls have asked me, though, to tell them the truth.

Don't I think this singer or that movie star or so-and-so is "hot?"

No, I tell them. I reserve that adjective for my husband alone because of the connotation that comes along with it. Wanting something that is not yours amounts to greed or lust, and relationships cannot be built upon either of those traits.

So let the researchers call our men what they may.

We know the truth.

Let's just keep them thinking that there's no one here worth checking out. We'll reserve all the real gems for us and show our children that it doesn't matter what others think of us, as long as we're content with what we have.

Fanning the fires of contentment is about as hot as it gets.

For more information about The Herald-Mail's Hottest Man contest, go www.herald-mail.com.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at lisap@herald-mail.com.

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