Yeah, I’m in love with a woman and all my friends think she’s ugly. They say her smile’s scary, her hair is dirty, and it’s really difficult to know what she’s on about sometimes. Not that I really care what they think, beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that blah-blah, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me at all. I want to go hang out with her, bring my friends, introduce them, and I guess I hope that they will understand what I see in her. Does this just make me seem insecure? I just want to show her off is all.
Sure, she isn’t the most refined woman in New York. She’s a little rough around the edges, though I take offense when I hear someone say that she’s a complete mess. I mean, come on, if we were all cut-and-dry, easily understood people, the world would be a plodding, boring place, right? Personally, I love the way she can baffle and beguile at a glance, the way she can completely change my perspective on a dime. It’s called character, and she’s got it.
I’ll admit, the first time I saw her, I was sort of put off. I thought she came on a little strong, a little wild. I thought there was something, I don’t know, fraudulent about her. I guess I’m used to women who go for her kind of appeal but can’t really pull it off. You know, the artsy ones that want you to think they’re so deep, but eventually you come to realize it’s all pretense, all a sham to impress the right people. The ones out there to seem edgy and controversial, but once the controversy fades…
But the point is that first impressions can be wrong, mine as much as anyone’s. Past the bravado and posture, I came to realize that this woman has a tender soul, a loving touch. Sure, she knows how to shock, but underneath the showmanship there’s a real, living being, a woman who wants to be understood for herself. She has a past, scars, and stories to tell if one asks the right questions. Hers is a beauty that cloaks itself in misdirection, but is all the more rewarding for those who persevere. She doesn’t just hand it out, so to speak.
So yeah, my friends say she’s ugly. But I don’t care. It’s their loss. I’m in love.
de Kooning: A Retrospective’ is on display at MoMA until January 9.