Friday, August 18, 2006

Always Kent, never Superman

I have dark curly hair and a sort of generic face. Pretty much everywhere I've gone as an adult, someone has said, "Hey, you look like Clark Kent." This happens in different places and comes from people who do not know each other. One co-worker back in my IHOP days started calling me Clark as a nickname. It's not all that flattering to be associated with Clark Kent. He's a nice guy, but a total bungler. When I saw _Kill Bill 2_, I thought the lecture on Superman/Clark Kent was brilliant, and it also made me even less fond of being compared to Clark Kent.

Little while back, I was wearing jeans, a white T-shirt with a plaid, wool coat over it, unbuttoned, and a baseball cap. Jae looked at me, smiled fondly, and said, "You look so Pa Kent." We watched Smallville for awhile, and she definately meant the John Schneider, younger, handsome version of Jonathan Kent, vs. the elder Pa Kent we've seen in other media. Still, marks a differnt era in my life, I think, the switch from Clark to Pa. More flattering, too.

3 comments:

matt dick said...

I have just developed an idea for a small book. Perhaps you have just added to it. It is about life's stages and their transitions, but from the perspective that isn't the normal, i.e. high school, college, marriage, house buying, kid-having, etc.

It was born from an experience I had the other day. We went to a party, and I found myself in the kitchen helping to prepare some of the food while the bulk of the party-goers were in the back yard. I was sharing preparation duties with a woman, and I was thinking, rather shallowly, how attractive she was. She had a bright, talkative personality, nice body, energetic nature, pretty face. Pretty much the full package, and I remember distinctly thinking "she is hot."

About a half-hour later she was talking to someone else she knew pretty well and said, "Well, you know I'm a grandma now..."

Okay, so first of all, we looked into it later and it turns out she's only about ten years older than me, and so her son and she both had kids very young (in his case kind of (but not totally) scandalously young), but I didn't just think that she was nice, or pretty, I thought specifically that she was hot.

So I've begun to think that I have passed into a very definite stage, where plausible grandmothers (GRANDMOTHERS!) can be hot.

You are now being compared favorably to attractive men who can reasonably be called "Pa". Again, he's a handsome man, not too terribly old, and he's definitely rugged and manly. So there's a lot to mitigate the negative connections with that association, but it's definitely a new place to be.

Life stages, alternate life stages.

jwxsbje

Josh Gentry said...

So you want to catalogue life stages that are things we all experience, but aren't the traditionally acknowledged stages. Instead of "married with kids," you'd note the stage where "grandmothers can be hot." And the stage where new music is no longer as good as the music of your youth. The stage where you first refer to college students as "kids." And, of course, the stage where you start to be compared to Pa instead of Clark. I like it.

Josh Gentry said...

I see it now. You have a website, people contribute their own little moments of revelation that they are in a new life stage, you share some on the website and eventually release the collection, perhaps as a PDF download.

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