I had an odd experience. I was watching an online speech on marketing. First I thought, “That guy isn’t as good a speaker as I am!”

I am like this. If I go to a restaurant, I want the food to be better than what I can cook at home. If I buy something, I want it to be better-made than I could do myself. If someone is doing something, anything, on a professional basis, I want them to do it better than I could. I guess this makes a certain frail sense when I am paying for things, but to have that reaction to something free on the internet is completely unreasonable. It is particularly unreasonable when you consider that I also get paid for speaking, so under my own rules, I ought to be good at that.

Anyway, after being cross about that, I thought, “I used to date this guy!”

Yep. It was my first or possibly second big crush. I was probably 18, and and an undergrad, and this guy was the grad assistant in one of my classes. He was probably 24 or so.

We all hung on his words. In fact, at the very moment that I mentally identified him, I flashed on a scene in that class. The girl next to me whispered, “He’s unbuttoning his shirt!” in a tone of awe.

He did, as I recall, unbutton the top button of the plaid flannel shirt he was wearing. We all wore those shirts in those days, male and female, even though it was hot. Unbuttoning a button was a sensible thing to do.

But this guy was so handsome. He was a swimmer, and had golden bronze curls like a Renaissance cherub. When I read the words in “I, Evadne, was mate of the god of light,” in a lit class, I totally thought of him.

Of course, I was 18.

So there he was, now in his fifties, looking like a completely ordinary guy in a business suit, and sounding a little bit silly with his EST-influenced pep talk.

Maybe he became a motivational speaker while he was still so handsome that people stared at him, mesmerized, without caring much what he said. Maybe he is still charismatic in person. The rule is, “Once a beauty queen, always a beauty queen.” I myself, though I do know on a rational level that I am now a matronly woman who often dresses like a bag lady and forgets to get her hair cut, continue to feel beautiful because I forget unless I am looking in a mirror.

It is possible that he would have become a better speaker if he had looked like Woody Allen to begin with, because then he would have had to wow people with the force of his words. Beautiful people are not, as is stereotypically thought, always stupid or self-centered, but there is a level of beauty that allows a person to feel that he doesn’t really need to bring anything else to the table. This man was intelligent, but he didn’t have to be.

None of my business, really. I can only very hazily remember the details of our relationship, and haven’t thought of him since then.

#2 daughter got here last night. I will be working today and missing all the family amusements, but we have a lot of fun stuff planned for tomorrow.