I’m cute. I always thought that to be cute you had to be the physical embodiment of cute. Small things are cute. Things (be they animals or humans) with angelic faces are cute. Weak things are cute. My puppy is the physical embodiment of what it means to be cute. Tall, big-footed, clumsy oafs like myself are not cute. And yet, despite these governing laws, I am cute.
How do I know this, you may wonder, given the lack of evidence to support such a theory? Well, people have been telling me for years. And after a while, you start to believe it. If it were one or two select people- like my mom, who was the first person to say it- I’d be inclined to believe that the opinion was biased and therefore invalid. But as more people who you think very highly of start to say it you begin to suspect that there may be something to it. You value their opinion, in general, so you can’t discount their opinion on you.
Looking at it from their perspective, or from what I imagine their perspective to be, I can start to make a case for it. I make silly little faces, all the time. When I have a guilty treat that I should so NOT be eating given my dietary restrictions, I make the guiltiest face. Like the kid that got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, as one friend observed. I’ve been accused, several times, of perfectly imitating the face of Beaker (the squeaky muppet)- always by accident and NEVER by design.
In the book I’m reading the author said “My face is a transparent transmitter of my every thought.” That’s me. If there’s something on my mind, you can tell with one glance. And if I’m trying to hide the fact that something is on my mind, it’ even more apparent. My brow furrows the same way that your body automatically adjusts it’s balance to keep you upright. It’s reflexive, involuntary, uncontrollable. This makes me a terrible liar, but it also- sometimes- makes me cute.
Also in the appearance section, I love to wear cute things. You show me a t-shit with a cute little animal on it and I will buy it without even asking the price. I’m not talking glitter kittens or things you might suspect a crazy cat woman to wear, I’m talking little cartoon creatures or chibi caricatures that are just ridiculously cute. If I see that t-shirt I will buy it and wear it. I am sure that at some point it will become ridiculous for someone as old as me to wear such things but I doubt I’ll stop wearing them when that time comes.
In more relevant ways, you will never find another person who will squeal as loudly or as uncontrollably as I do when I see something that it just painfully adorable. I once believed that my cause of death would be seeing something so cute that it would cause me to squeal at a frequency that would actually explode my voice box, or head. Despite having seen things that are so unimaginably adorable that it literally caused me physical pain, my head has yet to explode. But I have hurt a lot of people’s ears.
My puppy, for example, is the cutest thing in existence. Seriously, without exaggeration. And he is sitting here on my lap as I type this. And sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed by how indescribably adorable he is that I actually can’t breathe. I will stop whatever I am doing, look at him, and feel this overwhelming urge to squeeze the life out of him because he is just so unimaginably cute that I want to somehow physically ingest the adorableness.
My deep appreciation for all things cute leads me to seek out things that should be reserved for small children. I will get in line to pet that adorable zoo animal, even if I’m the only adult in line. I will buy that children’s book that’s clearly written for ten year-old consumption, just because it’s filled with a felt bunny tummy or a finger puppet with a cute face. I will tote my stuffed monster with me on long trips, and buckle his seat belt as he sits next to me in the passenger’s seat. (Something which small children would totally do if they could drive.) When the movie Wall-E came out I purchased a little Wall-E stuffed animal, brought him with me to the movie, perched him on my lap so he could see the screen, and covered his eyes when the Wall-E in the movie was being crushed. I got some confused looks on the way out of the theater and just told myself that others were jealous they didn’t have their own Wall-E to snuggle, too.
I suppose in the end, the most compelling reason to make the argument that I am cute, is because I am so unabashedly child-like in my behaviors, responses and general quirks. And although that may prevent me from being tough, pulling off a good misdirection or an air of mystery, or even reacting to something with reserve- it does make me cute. And I appreciate that.