Thursday, 11 May 2017

On the Matter of Ears.

The manager at one of the coffee shops I frequent never fails to attract my attention because I find all aspects of her physical appearance pleasing, including her face.

It’s a face that I would call handsome rather than pretty, with features that are sharp but not indelicate. I’ve never seen her smile, which suggests that there is nothing false about her. (I have observed, you see, that not everybody who smiles is false, but false people invariably smile false smiles, frequently and when it suits their purpose. Ergo, someone who never smiles is unlikely to be false.)

Her small mouth is commendably stable, which suggests a calm and orderly mind, and her eyes project the strength of someone who is comfortable with authority but not given to delusions of grandeur. She has the sort of face that you would be pleased to wake up next to every morning because you would feel confidant that whatever ill fortune stalked the day, she would probably overcome it with consummate ease.

Having said all this, and having seen the young woman in question many times, only this week did I notice her most impressive feature: She good ears. And by that I don’t mean that she listens well to the concerns of her staff, I mean they are a good shape.

Ears are the most dangerous and potentially damning part of the head area. It’s all those twists and cavities and floppy bits. It’s the irregular shape and the curled edges, the awkwardness of the offset angle, and the unfriendly gristly protuberances. Whoever designed the human ear must surely have been in the first throes of practicing for a future life to be spent designing ears for more superior beings. One hopes that he or she improved with experience. A bad ear is an utter disaster; an ear that is tolerable and relatively innocuous is a good ear.

When I was growing up I had issues with the shape of my head. I had issues with my nose, my mouth, my teeth and my chin. Even my eyes were slightly irregular in both size and placing. But I had good ears, and they gave me the confidence to face the fairer sex with a modicum of hope. Such little success that I enjoyed must surely have been due to my ears, since nothing else was worth looking at.

Interestingly, I grew close to a most attractive young woman who had all the attributes in abundance but one. Occasionally I felt moved to say to her: ‘You are very pretty, my lady. You are lithe, elegant, and graceful as a young feline. Your eyes carry sunshine, your smile is bewitching, and your personality draws me like a bee to a flower. But would you consider wearing your hair long so that your ears become invisible and I might feel no ripple of discontent in your presence?’ I never did, and it never mattered because she threw me over anyway. But the point persists.

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