In 2010, when I was 24 years old, I endured six straight months of recurring strep-throat infections before I finally got the green light to get my tonsils out. Midway through a round of antibiotics, I hauled myself into my new specialist’s office unshowered and wearing gym clothes I had collected from my floor, sweaty and rapidly losing any remaining will to sit upright. So I was not prepared for when the doctor walked into the exam room and revealed himself to be tall, broad shouldered, square jawed, and absolutely beautiful.
Embarrassment shot through my body. Why was his unplanned handsomeness allowed to stress out sick people? Why was his face that symmetrical? Why hadn’t the receptionist warned me?
A couple of weeks later, the hot doctor cut out my rotting tonsils. When he paid me a surprise visit in the recovery room, I was consumed again by the irrational belief that people at the far end of the physical-beauty bell curve should at least give the rest of us some time to compose ourselves before we have to deal with them. Instead, we’re left to walk up to a store counter, interact with someone we find arrestingly gorgeous, and pretend like nothing has happened.