I’ve had occasion recently to ponder the aesthetics of this bio-mechanical apparatus which allows ‘me’ to travel throughout the world during my lifetime.

It began during a routine chiropractic appointment.  I was gabbing away, as my joints were being stretched and popped, regarding the significance of the Spirit Intuitive Reading I had had on  New Year’s Eve with Heather Embree, and how the comments she made had resonated fully with me, but had also surprised me.

When speaking of potential romance in my future, Heather described a man she felt I would soon meet, and as she listed his characteristics — he would see the big picture and care deeply about the issues surrounding humanity and the planet; he would enjoy debating ideas with me, often with a wicked sense of humour; he would respect my opinions and desires; he would be someone who truly engaged in life — I felt that she’d knocked one out of the park.  This man being sketched in the air in front of me would be someone I would wish to spend time with.

I would meet him, she believed, at an arts event, one we were both attending, she added helpfully.  But I was startled when she directed, “So make sure you always look good when you go out into public.”

This took me aback for a couple of reasons.

Heather is an exceptionally beautiful young woman, but her life partner is a man much older than she, and, if one chooses to make such judgments, not nearly as high on the ‘attractiveness’ scale:  it seemed unlikely she had chosen him for either his looks or his habiliments.

And then, of course, there was the notion that she was in a profession that acknowledged the prominence of the spirit:  I was surprised that she felt a snazzy outfit and a charming coiffure would be more necessary in finding a soul-mate than … well, a charming soul!

As I was describing my confusion on this issue to my chiropractor, a fit and attractive young woman in the prime of life, I saw her observing me with an appraising eye.

“She’s right,” she declared, shortly.  “I mean, you remind me of that show, ‘The Worst Outfit’.”

“Not that your outfits are as bad as the ones on that show,” she replied hastily, “but think how great you’d look after one of those make-overs.”

“You,” she stated emphatically, “are a diamond in the rough.  You just need your edges chipped off.”

“Hey!” I retorted gamely.  “I want people to see who I really am, not just my packaging,”

“How else do you know who you’re attracted to, except by how they look?” my chiropractor queried.  “Like, there are three men in a line at a party.  How do you know which one you’re attracted to except by their looks and dress?”

I pondered this for a moment.

“Well, I guess I’d wait until they SAID something.”

It seemed a perfectly reasonable statement to me, but it raised the most deprecating of facial expressions in my health care practitioner.

“Nah,” she replied disdainfully.  “I know within 15 seconds of seeing a man whether I’m attracted to him or not.”

“Hmmm,” I said thoughtfully.  “You see, to me, that seems sort of … shallow.”

Okay, I didn’t actually say that last part out loud, because when someone is holding your cranium in both hands, ready to exert forces on it which might, given optimal angles, sever it completely from your neck, you don’t want to piss them off.

So all I said was, “Hmmm.”

I must add that, rather than hurt or umbrage, my reaction to these statements was … well, amusement.  I mean, how often is it that you get fashion advice at the same time as spinal alignment?

But it did get me thinking.

Quite honestly, I feel I’m past the age when it’s either necessary or appropriate to put all my goods in the shop window.  And it disturbs me that fifty years after women marched for equal rights, our worth as individuals, not to mention as romantic partners, is still so linked to our appearance.

Yes, that’s the crux of it:  even in our enlightened age, I feel that men are judged by what they do, and women by how they look.

I’m reminded of this on those rare occasions when I see news reports of major fashion shows:  the women strut onto the runway clad in the strangest get-ups imaginable, outfits which restrict their movement and limit their activities in the most significant of ways.  But when the male designer emerges at the end of the show, he is invariably clad in a pair of black pants and a black turtle neck.  Why?  Well, he has WORK to do, he can’t be spending all day on his wardrobe!

And I realize that men are hard-wired differently than women, that they are more visual in terms of attractions than we are.  But still … do I really want to be with a man who has chosen me on the basis of physical attractiveness when that attractiveness is fading as the years chug by, and can be altered in an instant by one wrong move on the freeway?

That makes about as much sense to me as an unthinking obeisance to a god who threatens to smush me like an ant if I don’t toe the line laid out by his legal representatives on this planet.

Nope, don’t think so.

So now I’m in a quandary.  And need some fresh ideas.

What do YOU think?  New wardrobe?  Or shall I maintain the old rumpled exterior, and keep looking for a man who sees beyond it?

I’m waiting for your comments.