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What Is A Hot Mess?

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A friend of mine said, "Put it out there," but I didn't necessarily know what that meant. I asked and he answered, "Write down exactly what you're looking for in a partner. Imagine you're living together, happily married. What do you see?" "I see a hot mess," I said. "I don't know what that means," he replies from another generation, "so in your writing tell me exactly what a hot mess is to you. As long as you have the capacity to be honest, she'll find you."

Before I started writing, I had to first investigate whether there was a formal term for hot mess. I've met women that self-identify with it, and I've met women who used it in derogatory means. If she self-proclaims it, it's sexy in the sense that she's admitting flaws while remaining confident in her physical appearance or attitude. And if she uses it in a negative tone towards another, most of her attractiveness is lost immediately - she's being a cold prickly.

I looked it up and found that the Oxford Dictionary defines hot mess as: a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered, especially one that is a source of peculiar fascination.

When I first read "spectacularly unsuccessful" I immediately thought my hot mess response was inaccurate with a gross misunderstanding. I'm not looking to move into Loserville. I don't want to watch anyone go 0-for-Infinity, strikeout after strikeout, with me repeatedly saying, "You tried your best, honey," but secretly hoping she'd give up so we could both avoid embarrassment and depression. But the more I envision car rides home, loss after loss, talking about how the winners cheated, driving with a trunk load of participation awards, it really meant she was willing to try. And the more I looked at the two words, it began to reveal something different.

It doesn't mean she always loses, it simply means that when she does lose, she does a fantastic job at it; wild and free entertainment. Lofty goals of a new and complex dinner recipes that result in things not for consumption; signing up for triathalons after learning how to swim the week prior; or taking up art after binge watching Bob Ross paint happy little trees; if she is passionate and believes she can, I would be right there encouraging her. A desire to try new things is extremely sexy, and it gives us laughable new memories we can share together. In this regard, a spectacularly unsuccessful woman is fearless, and it's dead on to who I see sharing a bed with every night that steals the covers.

The other adjective used is disordered and this is a no-brainer for me. Soda cups rolling around the floorboards of her used Saturn? Uses the dryer to get the wrinkles out the outfit she chose from a pile of unfolded clean clothes? A french fry and loose change in the cushions of the couch? Leaves hair, makeup, lotions and whatever else on the bathroom counter? Always running a bit late but pulls it off somehow? Checks Instagram for a minute and four hours later she's in a full-fledged investigation of a new dude that has been liking her friend's selfies? Slightly distracted, a little disorganized, and somewhat messy are qualities that I find attractive, especially when she's comfortable with it.

The last part of being a hot mess is her being a source of peculiar fascination. Being different is natural to her; she is not normal and she stands out in any crowd. Everyone notices her and she doesn't realize it. She smiles, a lot, and she laughs at my stupid jokes. She doesn't wear gobs of makeup or worries about her eyebrows being on fleek. There's a bit of hippy in her passed down from her parents' love for Simon and Garfunkel but her true style is having none at all. Spilling stuff is quite common and she's okay with wearing that shirt from Wal-mart because she thinks it's cute. She's a loving goofball, selfless with her time to help another, and gracefully clumsy. She likes getting dressed up once or twice a year but would rather be in a worn pair of Converse. She has one pair of yoga pants that she has to smell before wearing them again today. She tries gardening but it ends up a cemetery of rotten tomatoes and fruit flies. She's confusing, odd, complex and yet, the way I see her, she's very simple and easy to talk to. In a weird and conflicting way, she's got everything under control, someway somehow, and she fascinates me.

As far as imagining a home, I couldn't; not in the white picket fence mentality. It wouldn't matter where we lived because being together would be home; a place I could always remind her of how much of a hot mess she really is to me.

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