Huddled around the cafeteria table, we discussed our usual range of topics: basketball, movies, and women. In 1998, all three of those topics converged; Rosario Dawson was the standout beauty in He Got Game. Stuck in the middle of puberty, high school, and the social awkwardness it engenders, I spoke highly of Dawson’s beautiful eyes and luscious lips; tragic mulatto personified. I knew she was from Manhattan, so I guessed that her heritage included Latin roots (correct; Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican), never imagining the presence of her Native American and Irish ancestry. While my friends and I raved about her beauty, one friend, the new star basketball player, sat idly eating his sandwich.
“She’s not that dope,” he nonchalantly added to the conversation.
We all paused. Who is this kid, I thought to myself. He has amazing court vision, but he must be blind if he could not see the beautiful aura radiate from her flawless figure and gorgeous face. (Editor’s note: She dated Jay-Z semi-publicly from 2000-2002…yeah 2002 is when he started macking to a young Texan named Beyonce)
“She’s not,” he continued as we tried to convince him, listing numerous standout qualities. He simply shook his head, unconcerned with our arguments and ultimately undeterred. It was his unrelenting bullish quality and confidence in his opinions that would later make us best friends.
“Peep her nose,” he calmly stated. “Her nostrils are missed up. It’s like she has a crooked nose or something. I don’t know, but her nose ruins it for me.”
Silence. Was he serious? A crooked nose? No way.
Unlike today when we could have easily pulled out a smartphone and google image search Rosario Dawson’s nose, this conversation was placed on hold until the following day. We would all go home and connect to AOL or NetZero (it was free…and I used its services) via our family’s slow dial up connection and check Yahoo images to see if he was correct.
Many years later, my mother shared with me, after I placed a few girlfriends on a pedestal, that I should find something wrong with every girl because no one is perfect. Her logic, which I agree with today, was that once one gets over the illusion of perfection (and the definite disillusion that it causes) one can engage in a relationship more honestly. Preach!
The only problem is that I know notice elongated earlobes, different sized breasts (most women’s breasts are two different sizes so I don’t use this one anymore…word), odd shaped noses, etc. I not only notice them, I actively look for them.
Consequently, after my friend’s revelation, I no longer see Rosario Dawson and all her fine-ness as heavenly. She’s still amazingly pretty, but, now, I notice the nose first.