Girls With Porcelain Skin In An Alternate World

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 14.472% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Anyone who’s seen me date knows I have a type: busty, zaftig, and pale.  I’ve dated other women of all types, often to great results, but I’m inevitably drawn to pudgy women whose skin has never seen the sun.
And yet I wonder.
I had a hellishly isolated middle school experience, where I was bullied so much they had to transfer me to another school just so I had a chance at making friends.  I grew up literally believing that I would go to my grave not just a virgin, but alone in the universe; my family was there for me, but they were it.  If you were to ask twelve-year-old me to envision my life today, he would tell you that I’d probably be working a convenience store clerk job, putting in my eight hours before returning to an empty apartment, watching TV, and going to bed.
And why not?  That was what I did in school.  I couldn’t trust anyone, since the bullies frequently presented themselves as friendly – the better to get some embarrassing dirt on me before turning on me.  So I took the bus to school, reading, and I went to classes alone, and I ate lunch alone, reading, and I read on the bus back home and then I busied myself doing stuff at home.  Alone.
Friends were not my strong point.
And when I eventually did start to clamber out into socialized territory somewhere around 11th grade, most of the women who were nice to me were busty, zaftig, and pale.  It’d be an easy theory to go with, saying their plump nature made them more sympathetic to other ostracized kids, but some of those girls had tons of friends; they were just sweet to everyone, and I was swept up in their wake.  And as it turned out, the first girl I dated was a plump Irish redhead, and the second girl was a pale Scandinavian, and the third was a short Jewish girl from a , and by then a clear pattern had been established.
And yet.
And yet.
When I was in ninth grade, there was a girl called Rayna, an absolutely beautiful black girl who was – as much as anyone was kind to me back then – really, really nice.  She’d make small talk with me between classes, and sometimes we’d even chat at her locker – and if you were ever a lonely kid like I was, you know how those ninety seconds of conversation were things you’d treasure and replay throughout the day.  Rayna may have been the teenager I talked with most in a given day, and certainly one of the only ones who ever sought me out.
And she was pretty, and kind to me, and in retrospect I think she may have wanted to ask me out.  She mentioned parties that she was going to, or sometimes said what she did on weekends.  But I was so used to being shunned that I was just happy for her, and it never would have occurred to me to ask her somewhere or even that we could interact outside of school.  And another sorta-friend once said to me, “Wow, she likes you,” and I went, “Oh, you think?” and I never actually connected “like” to “dating like,” and so that particular avenue went unexplored.
(Though I should add that when I finally went off on the bullies in my chemistry class, in one of my most famous personal stories, Rayna was the first one to cheer.)
And I wonder: what would have happened if I’d asked Rayna out?  Looking back with more experienced Ferrett-eyes, I think she would have said yes.  And what would have happened if she’d been my first kiss?  What if, instead of nice pale-skinned girls who had been the first to respond to my overtures, it had been a nice dark-skinned girl?  Am I little more than a duckling, imprinting on the first set of women to find me attractive?  Would today, instead of porcelain skin being my strongest visual overture, would it be someone more like Rayna instead of Beth, Gayle, and Dana?
I don’t know.  Alas, I think of Rayna fondly, as she was my friend at a time when I wasn’t quite sure what a friend was.  And the visuals don’t matter all that much anyway, as I tend to be more attracted to brains than to body – I have very intense crushes on women who I have absolutely no idea what they look like, but am pretty sure I could fall dazzlingly in love with them based on their brain chemistry.
But occasionally I am flipping through photos and I see someone like Christina Hendricks, and there is this visceral wellspring of lust that explodes out of seeing that milky skin and curvy figure.  And I wonder.  I wonder where that attraction came from, and could it have been altered if some different girls had kissed me back when I thought no girl ever would.
I don’t know.  Some days, I don’t know myself, and other days I know how much I don’t know myself, and that thought is more than a little disturbing.

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