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Situational Cuteness

“That guy’s cute!”

I glanced around at passing cars to identify the cute guy my friend, Stephen, was talking about. My eyes landed on a very confusing suspect standing along the side of the road.

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“That guy’s cute!”

I glanced around at passing cars to identify the cute guy my friend, Stephen, was talking about. My eyes landed on a very confusing suspect standing along the side of the road.

“Are you talking about that homeless guy?”

The homeless man was, in fact, not cute, but I had a feeling I knew what Stephen meant. The man didn’t look like the dozens of homeless we pass each week lining the streets of Ybor City. He didn’t look old. His face wasn’t littered with overgrown facial hair. His skin was not creased and lined from countless hours in the Florida sun.

“Well he’s cute for a homeless guy,” Stephen explained.

I pressed his explanation: “So if he had a house, he would be less cute?”

“Exactly,” Stephen affirmed. “He’s situationally cute.”

And thus our theory of situational cuteness was born. The premise is that one’s current situation…location, surroundings, position in life…are in direct proportion with one’s level of attractiveness. For example, on any given Friday night at Steam, there are cute boys everywhere. The venue caters to a younger crowd: fresh-faced twenty-somethings with trim bodies and taught skin. An attractive, well-dressed, well-groomed man is very likely to go unnoticed in that particular crowd. But take that same man and put him in another fun and casual bar where there are a large number of patrons who are still under the impression that denim shorts and Crocs are acceptable fashion. Our attractive friend would no doubt grab attention in that particular crowd. That same man in, say, a Wal-Mart in Ruskin would be super model material, although it’s unlikely anyone at the Ruskin Wal-Mart would ever really appreciate his good looks and fashion-forward style.

Situational cuteness can be used to explain why every straight girl I have ever brought to a gay bar ends up meeting a guy and hooking up while I go home empty handed. It can explain how, when rejected by a boy, suddenly all of his ex-boyfriends suddenly become irresistible. It can even explain how beer goggles can convince me that the 2 I woke up next to was a 10 the night before.

Simply understanding the theory of situational cuteness has allowed me to dodge a few bullets by taking a moment to ask myself if this guy would be cute in various other scenarios. However, this new understanding has forced me to question the situations I frequently find myself in. The places I shop, dine and drink are all generally full of attractive people, making it all-too-easy to be lost in the crowd. If I were going to fully take advantage of this theory, I had to consider changing my routine. I would have to drop all of my hot friends. I would have to start hanging out at dive bars where the majority of customers are on social security. I would have to consistently position myself where I would maximize my potential for being the most attractive person in the room.
Then I imagined visiting the Ruskin Wal-Mart to purchase markers to write my homeless sign. I pictured my fellow shoppers. Dirty sweatpants stretched taught across huge asses, overalls, poor dental hygiene – a veritable freak show with me standing in the middle. I realized that being the cutest guy in the room meant I would have to be in a room with these people.

Oh well. It was a stupid theory anyway.

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