Remember all those How Do I Dress For Europe books I read? Hooey! Every single one of them.

I’m back from overseas and I am here to tell you that people dress the same way there as we do here in SF. If you look clean and like you give half-a-shit about how you look, you’re fine.

The whole “French Women Never Wear Sneakers” thing is also a crock of lies. Converse were everywhere. The gold Converse I wore were particularly popular.

And the whole “European women are all thin” thing? Ha! They are no skinnier than people you’d see in SF. Sure, the average European is thinner than some people you’d find in the less-healthy areas of middle America, but so are most people.

The weirdest thing I saw were gorgeously dressed, well kempt people with brown, gnarled, rotting teeth. We’ve all been in that spot (if you haven’t, lucky you!) where we had to choose between paying the rent and dealing with a cracked incisor, and sometimes you have to choose “the rent.” So let me make this clear: what I saw on this trip were people who made it clear that they had money, and therefore the means to seek dental care. Just not the inclination.

It’s hard for me to understand how someone can take immaculate care of their obviously expensive wardrobe yet allow part of themselves to rot. Especially since that rotting part is directly connected to their brains.

But, I have to admit, it also made those people strangely and mysteriously attractive! Maybe because the look recalled the Medieval-era sexiness of things like BO? But I also knew, deep down, that I could never kiss even one of them.

Perhaps it’s the appeal of a sexual relationship where you don’t have to kiss the other person on the mouth (or perhaps even make eye contact) that made it so attractive to me? But it’s more likely that it’s the carelessly maverick nature of poor oral hygiene: the lack of concern toward things that I, and all typical Americans, find important makes up the very essence of its sexiness.

the author

Babe Scanlon is a writer living and working in San Francisco. She's worked as an archaeologist, computer game designer, agent at Agent Provocateur and hypnotherapist. She is controlling your mind at this very moment.

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