Noom, my bar boy friend and current love of my life, is a hottie. A vision to behold. Granted, my opinion is a bit biased. But even if you are not fond of muscles, ink, dark skin, or guys who look older than twenty, there is no denying that Noom is attractive. When we are out and about in Bangkok, too many people check him out, with obvious lust in their eyes, for my opinion of his looks to be wrong. That he has an exceptionally open and friendly face just adds to the package.
One of the things I hate about him is that the most god awfully hideous piece of clothing transforms into fashion worthy of a top runway model when he tries it on. So when we are out clothes shopping, while I diligently attempt to find a shirt that fits and looks good on me, he slips on shirt after shirt each fitting like a glove and each eliciting the same reaction in me: “Damn he looks good in that.” Quickly followed by, “Damn he’d look good taking that off.” Fortunately he’s happy just trying clothes on and looking in a mirror or I’d quickly go broke.
My payback comes when we shop for pants. I’ve worn the same waist size for over twenty years and my legs are long enough that even pants of a single (long) length work fine. So my only concern is style; whatever pants I try on always fit. Noom, on the other hand, always goes for size 29, the Thai national waist size. He’s bulked up over the last few years. Muscle, not fat. He really needs size 30 now. And hates being reminded of that fact. So after trying on a pair of size 29 that are too tight and then having to move to the 30s, I make sure to loudly announce he needs the larger size. And then start discussing how terrible it is that a diet of pizza and hamburgers is detrimental to your waistline. He tries to ignore me, finds a pair of size 30s he likes, we buy them and then wander off with me thinking about how hot he’ll look taking them off. Yes, I have a one-track mind.
As hot as he looks wearing whatever he’s decided on for an outfit that day, he surprised me while we were shopping at MBK by deciding he needed a pair of glasses. Not sunglasses. Regular spectacles. I was getting a new pair from the shop on the ground floor I normally buy glasses from. As usual he was trying on a series of frames as an excuse to check himself out in the mirror when he made his announcement. My right eyebrow shot up, drenched in skepticism. Sure the boy is vain. With good reason. But glasses? Corrective eyewear is not generally considered to be something that makes you look attractive. Even people who need glasses often wear contacts instead to avoid the ‘four-eye’ look. Glasses are not the fashion spectacle most people are after.
Of course the store clerk, smelling money in the air, immediately ushered him to the back of the store where the in-house optician tests your eyesight. I have a strong feeling that the amount of knowledge required to be called an optician in Thailand is much less than what is required in the U.S. But he had the right machines and an official eye chart and was wearing a white lab coat, so who’s to say. He looked pretty official. But then I do need glasses.
Back home, kids at a fairly early age get used to having their eyes tested. Noom had never had the experience, his confusion over the entire process marking him as a eye exam virgin. I kept telling him to quit squinting. The optician kept telling him something in Thai, which when I asked for the translation, I got in reply, “I tell him stop squinting.” Maybe the doc had more experience than I thought. Not surprisingly, since money was to be made, the conclusion was that yes, Noom’s eyesight was slightly off and he’d benefit from wearing a pair of specs. Noom was a happy camper. It reminded me of the disgust my grandmother showed over a new doctor once, saying, “He couldn’t find anything wrong with me. We need to find a different doctor.”
Back out to the sales floor to check out frames again, this time with purpose. And I finally found an item Noom did not make look better simply by trying it on. For some reason he was attracted to frames of a teardrop shape, the mirrored version of which are favored by police the world over. He tried a few of that style in different sizes and I had to keep from laughing because each made him look like a Ninja Turtle. The ladyboy sales clerk let him play for a while, then steered him toward a style that better fit his face. And damn if the little bastard didn’t look hot. I’d had to go through the whole ‘I’m so embarrassed and the world is coming to an end’ trauma of my first pair of glasses in high school, and Noom walks out of the store wearing his first pair, looking hotter than ever.
And he was thrilled with them. If for no better reason than he now had a good excuse to pause at every mirror within a half a block to see how he looked in his new eyewear. Of course just wearing them was not enough. He’d take them off and put them away in his eyeglass case frequently. So that five minutes later he could take them out and wear them once again. And find a mirror to see how he looked. That night in bed he pouted like a little kid when I told him he couldn’t sleep in them.
Three months later I was back in Bangkok and reunited with Noom once again. When he showed up at the hotel he was enthusiastic about my visit as usual, but also quite anxious and a bit worried. Didn’t take long for him to tell me the sad tale of how he’d lost his new glasses. He was devastated. Right. Like I didn’t see that coming. I don’t think age matters. Everyone always loses or breaks their first pair of corrective eyewear. Fairly quickly. He’d lost his sometime one day between going to work and returning home after a night with a customer. He had slipped them into their case before taking to the stage, having quickly learned that regardless of how good he thought he looked wearing glasses, they did not have the same effect on potential customers. When he got home, they were no longer in his pocket and nowhere to be found back at the bar.
We headed back to MBK, he spent another hour trying on a whole new range of frames, finally settling on a pair that once again made him a vision of hotness. And once again I considered how good he’d look taking them off that night as we slipped into bed. Leaving the store and not realizing his loss of the first pair was expected, he promised not to lose his new pair, fretfully observing that if he did, “You’d keel me!” Yup, whether it’s his body, the clothes he wears, his glasses, or his cute accented English, Noom’s a hottie.