Tag Archives: Deal Breakers

Deal Breakers: Teeth

Last year I went out with Harrison, who I’d met online. The first night I met him I came out of my building and there he was, standing in front of his (very nice) car waiting for me. He wasn’t as tall as he’d claimed, but he was taller than me, so no big deal. Overall he looked exactly like his photo except that he was wearing glasses. This was a nice bonus because, I absolutely love glasses on a man. I jumped into the passenger seat and we zipped downtown for a movie. Harrison opened doors, led me by the small of my back… basically made me feel like a girl (which we all know I love).

As we entered the movie theater I was standing in front of him on the escalator. He said something to me so I turned around to look at him. That’s when I got a direct view into his mouth and realized he was missing at least two teeth towards the front! The missing teeth were on his left side which made them easy to miss when I was sitting in the passenger seat of the car.

I realize that the condition of a persons smile can vary based on a number of things. It can be a reflection of personal style (gold teeth), bad habits (smoking) or lack of access to proper/affordable care. But that doesnt make poor dental hygeiene excusable. I’ve never seen anyone in my office with a gold tooth. I’ve never seen a politician with missing teeth and I’ve never met a person who didnt want a whiter/brighter smile.

Not that a person has to have perfect teeth. My sisters tell me that I have “rabbit teeth” because my two front teeth are slightly larger than the others. But all of my teeth are accounted for and they’re all white, thanks to those little strips and my regular dentist appointments.

Teeth are important but… are they a Deal Breaker?

I really want to say no, because teeth are fixable. If a guy is tall and interesting, but has awful teeth, my instinct would be to stay patient. There are a plenty of options for a person who is trying to create a decent, if not perfect smile. Of course, it costs money and you have to be willing to make that investment….

About a week after that first date, Harrison called me to tell me that he’d taken the day off of work because of a tooth ache. Then he informed me that he’d made an appointment to get the tooth extracted.

Another one bites the dust.

If I was going to go any further with Harrison, we’d have to address the fact that his teeth kept falling out. I took a deep breath, “Are you going to be okay?”

“Yes, I’ll be fine. This isnt the first time I’ve had an extraction.”

I couldn’t even pretend to act surprised, but I wasnt going to let up. “Well, are they going to give you some sort of replacement or implant for the missing teeth?”

“Cece, that stuff costs money. Unless you have two grand you want to give me,” he laughed.

I didn’t know what to say, Harrison had been driving his (very nice) car for less than six months. His teeth had been dropping like flies for years, but his financial priorities weren’t to get his dental situation covered. Instead he bought a car, which in New York City is not a real necessity.

That’s when I realized that Harrisons missing teeth may not have been the issue. Its what they represented. Call me crazy, but the reality is that you can only get so far in life with a mouth full of gaping holes. If a guy is okay with only being able to get “so far” in life then he may not be the man for me.

Having bad teeth isn’t always something that can be controlled, but it is something that can be addressed. And I would rather be with a man who takes the subway, smiling proudly the whole way, than a man who covers his toothless grin while driving around in a (very nice) car.

Deal Breakers: A Mental Match

I was messing around on twitter today when I came across this quote: “Surround yourself with smart ppl!.. Half of being smart is knowing what youre dumb about!”

I cannot tell you how many tall guys haven’t made the cut because they couldn’t hold an intelligent conversation with me.

About a year ago, I was at Native, a restaurant in Harlem. My date (who lived in Brooklyn) mentioned how much the neighborhood was changing. I made some comments about gentrification and offered my thoughts on it. Then I casually asked his opinion, since he was a native New Yorker. He replied, “Um, same as you” and went back to his food.

Not that I’m the most brilliant chick in the world, but there is something to be said for mental compatibility.

Have you ever been in a conversation where one of you stops and says “How did we even get on this subject?” That is my favorite! Nothing is hotter than being able to close down a restaurant with a guy because our conversation has wound its way from “how was your day?” to something ridiculous like VH1 reality shows to a random topic like social responsibility. I need a guy that can go there with me. Its not even about being on the same page all the time either, I love guys who are smart in ways that I’m not. Guys who know things that I don’t and see the word from a completely different angle. These are the guys that can bring something to the table during any conversation, challenge me and make me think. Hot. Hot. Hot.

I think I look for a mental yin & yang dynamic; different yet equal and my yin & yang grows over time as we both never stop learning from each other and the world.

Anyway, if we’re not a mental match we’re not a match. Is that too much to ask?

Deal Breakers: Height

When I was in the third grade we had weekly “show and tell” in my class. It must have been a slow week because (unlike the time that Mary Verdades brought in her uncles glass eye) there was more “tell” going on and not a whole lot of “show”. After hearing random stories about weekends at grandma’s house, etc. Sandra Cartel marched to the front of the class and declared: “I think that we should all start drinking lots and lots of milk so that we can grow up to be as tall as Celeste!” then she skipped back to her seat. I looked up, confused and horrified; what did my height have to do with show and tell?

For the duration of elementary school, my body went through a growth spurt that wouldn’t quit. I was gaining inches in all directions and by the time I reached junior high I was a 5’10 preteen who was forced to shop at Lane Bryant. Costume fittings for school performances were torture and school dances were awkward because all the boys who I danced with were eye level with my boobs. These were the same boys who would hug all the girls goodbye on a daily basis, taking an brief moment when hugging me to lay their head on “the twins” before letting go.

You can imagine my relief when I got to high school and saw dozens of 18 year old men (aka Seniors) who roamed the halls at 6 feet and above. Once I realized that boys my age came in sizes that were more compatible with me, I never looked back (or down).

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve received a lot of criticism about my height requirement from girlfriends, my sisters, even my Mother. The general argument being that by not giving shorter guys a chance, I may be missing out on someone amazing. I totally understand what they’re saying but I don’t think they understand that its not just about being a tall woman (I could rock the whole Christie Brinkley/Billy Joel look with no problem…) but its about being a tall, overweight woman.

How many times have we seen a big woman with a teeny tiny man and thought to ourselves She would break him in half!?

I can remember doing a production of The Music Man one summer. During a big number the director choreographed a dance break where I dragged my “husband”, a 5 foot 5 inch actor named P.J. out on stage, forcing him to dance a two-step with me. Our dance ended with him twirling me around and then jumping into my arms. I would catch him and we would hold our pose with me cradling him in my arms like a baby. The audience thought it was hilarious.

The idea of being a walking punchline makes me extremely uncomfortable.

I can hear some of you now saying “CeCe, you shouldn’t be so concerned with what other people think” and you’re right I shouldn’t. But even if I got over that, I’d still be stuck with how I feel.

I’m going to be totally honest here: As much as I own my life as an independent woman, when it comes to traditional gender roles, I play the part of a female with gusto. Having a man stand tall above me, being engulfed in his arms when he leans down to hug me, all of that makes me feel good. I’m notorious for extended victory dances after beating boys at bowling, pool or cards. But when it comes to wrestling matches, I have much more fun losing. As I mentioned in an earlier post, there’s a 99.5% chance that I will be wider than any man I date, so there’s a physical dominance that I will grudgingly accept. When I’m with a guy that’s taller than I am, a lot of the awkwardness I feel about my size fades away.

So height is a Deal Breaker for me. As many times as I’ve tried, I just can’t get serious about a guy who is shorter than me. Of course when people try to convince me to go against what I’m attracted to I can read between the lines okay, big girl… beggars can’t be choosers, you better take what you can get! but I don’t see myself budging on this one.

I have a hyper-awareness of my size as it is and I really don’t see myself getting into a relationship that brings even more attention to how big I am.

What about you… Could you date a shorter man?