SLOAN COLUMN: I ’m a champ at focusing on flaws
Today was not a good self-confidence day.
I finished my morning shower and made my way over to the sink. Using the dry end of the towel, I wiped the steam off the mirror. What appeared left me with only one thought – “Ugh!”
This was about the furthest you could get from a Stuart Smalley Daily Affirmations moment. The little voice inside my head did not offer any confidence –boosting words, like “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.” Not on this morning.
All I could see in my 60-year-old reflection was nose hair, ear hair, and lots of wrinkles. My body looked flabbier that usual. Blinded to any possible good qualities in my appearance, all I could see were the flaws and imperfections.
On the drive to work I decided that getting a haircut might help me feel a little better about myself. It won’t make me any more handsome, I thought, but it might make me a little less ugly. Hey, you’ve got to work with what God gave you and beggars can’t be choosers.
I’ve never been one to enjoy looking at pictures of myself. It doesn’t matter that others may not see what I see. I think people in general tend to focus on their flaws when they look at themselves, and if doing so was an Olympic sport I would have a gold medal hanging round my neck.
As I waited for lunch hour to arrive so I could make my way to the barber’s chair, I had time to think about what some in the past have thought about my looks. It dawned on me that quite a few people have compared my facial features to those of someone famous.
Years ago, when my hair was much darker, I was told I looked like country singer Clint Black. Another person said I resembled George Strait.
I can assure you that I don’t look or sing like either of them.
A friend once said I bore a striking resemblance to former Chicago Cubs and present Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon. I think it was probably the black plastic-framed glasses and the salt and pepper whiskers.
I’m not sure whether or not they were joking, but one person told me that I could be a doppelganger for Col. Harlan Sanders. At the time I sported a little gray goatee that I affectionately called my “soul patch.
” And for the record, no one has ever accused me of looking like Brad Pitt.
The craziest, most unusual comparison I can remember came several years ago while in the checkout line at the former Bi-Lo grocery store in Hartsville.
When I finally got the cashier with my few items, the young lady at register looked at me for a moment and asked, “Can you take your glasses off for a moment?”
I was confused, but obliged.
“You know who you look like?”
she asked. I had no clue.
“That guy on the TV show ‘Person of Interest.’ You look just like him,” she replied somewhat excitedly. I had heard of the show but had never seen it. I’m sure I still had a very puzzled look on my face.
“Thank you, I guess,” was my awkward reply.
Just then I heard a voice coming from behind me.
“Let me see.”
I turned around and there was a lady who may or may not have been a little older than me. She gave me a quick glance and I was told again to take off my glasses. The moment had now turned from bizarre to comical. I did as instructed.
Another quick once over and the lady completed her inspection.
“Well, maybe,” she said. “I kind of see it, but not really.”
After checking out, I grabbed my groceries and headed for the truck, still not sure of what had just happened.
And by the way, the actor whom they said I looked like, was Jim Cazaveil. He also played Jesus in the movie “The Passion of the Christ.”
I wonder if either of those ladies considered that maybe the famous actor looked like me. I can imagine Jim Cazaveil finding himself in a similar grocery store predicament and someone informing him that he “looks exactly like Bob Sloan.” I’m not so sure he would take it as a compliment.
The low point in comparisons came when my first wife told me I was a dead ringer for the Hunchback of Notre Dame. She was angry at the time and I’m pretty sure she meant it. Things have gotten better, though – a lot better. Deb, my wife-to-be, told me the other day that I reminded her of Richard Gere. Ladies and gents, that’s a huge win in my book. It appears Quasimodo has found his Esmeralda.
I eventually did get my hair cut and, yes, it did make me feel a little better about myself. I suppose this old mug isn’t so bad after all.