Monday, April 27, 2009

Truth and Looks

"Are you cute?" the 20-something man on the other end of the phone asked me. I felt startled. I had cold-called him from an insurance agency to set appointments for an agent. The young man had recently bought a new truck and was open to the idea of switching insurance companies.

I was an 18-year-old freshman at BYU, just trying to earn some extra cash without having to work much. I think it was my second day on the job.

"No," I answered without much thought. I was at least 40 lbs overweight and a poor dresser. Although I hoped that someone would find me cute, I was far from fitting the traditional definition.

"Ah," the voice on the other end of the phone purred, "that means you're really cute."

"No!" I said getting more insistent, "No!"

"I'm coming down there," the guy announced.

"Where?" I asked.

"To the insurance place. Maybe, then I can convince you to go out with me."

I felt panicked. I had given this man, through the course of conversation, important details about where I was including the address of the insurance office.

I hung up the phone and turned to the other girls. I explained that there was a man coming to see me. They had to tell him that "Jenna" had gone home and I would make the rest of my calls using the name "Kathy." Although these girls are not normally ones who would have been my friends, they agreed.

It felt like moments later the guy showed up. He asked for me, but the girls kept their promise and told him I had left. He flirted unabashedly with the girls there, trying to figure out which one of them had actually called. He never even looked at me, the fat girl in the corner still making phone calls.

One of the sales agents working late in a back office heard kind of a commotion as this guy and his friend requested looking around the office, sure that the beautiful, albeit humble, Jenna was there somewhere. The agent told the young man that the office was closed, followed him down and locked the door.

I quit the next day.

More than anything, I feared this man's reaction. The look of disgust that would have inevitably crossed his face when he learned that I--I was the caller with the cute voice. I doubt he would have asked me out, especially once he saw me, and I doubted even more that he would believe me. If the other girls said, "There. That one's Jenna." I expect that he would have say, Can't be. And he would have kept pressing for the "real answer."

So what's the truth about you? Are you cute?


Unknown said...

That is SO embarrasing! I would have died.

I don't know about cute, but a door-to-door salesgirl insisted on calling me gorgeous and beautiful today, that is until I refused to buy her bottle of soap.

the wrath of khandrea said...

wow. that is quite a story. i can't believe the guy came down there. seriously, he was probably some hard-up returned missionary that was thinking what a clever "how we met" tale this would make when he and his new bride introduced themselves in their new family ward.

what a creep!

Unknown said...

No, sorry, Jenna, I can't relate. That has never happened to me so this post makes me envious :)

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I can relate, oh too well. I used to answer the phones for a large group of buyers in a government organization. I fielded all the vendor calls. One guy called and flirted a lot. I remember the day he showed up and peeked into the room where I sat at the switchboard talking on the phone. He didn't say a word, but I KNEW who it was, and asked someone after he'd left and they confirmed it. He never called again, someone else began calling for his company instead.

People said I was cute, but I was never skinny and stylish. I look at photos from my YA years and realize I wasn't as fat as I thought I was either, but my self-esteem was non-existent. I was the one who was often overlooked. I was the guys' best friend and always the bridesmaid.

I can relate.

dh said...

I think I have an ugly voice... sorta deepish for a girl, so I've never had any compliments on that.

Back in the day, I would have said I was good looking.. I was tan, about 110 lbs, terrible self esteem... But now, after four kids, I am terribly overweight. I also rarey ware makeup and my hair is always tied back in a bun. :(

I went in for my annual exam on Monday and my OBGYN whose also high council in his stake said I was beautiful and I just about died because I most certainly do not feel it. And I knew that my legs weren't shaved ha ha.