I have always admitted to being vain so I was anxious to take the “How Vain Are You?” test in the September issue of GQ. The fact that I subscribe to GQ is probably a sign of vanity since the magazine’s target audience is 18-25 year olds and 82% of readership is under the age of 35. Age 45+ (7%) is the oldest category even measured. So the questions themselves are hard to understand. Have I ever used an ab machine at the gym? If I did use one thirty years ago, do I answer “yes” now? And what the heck are snail-slime masks and vampire facials? The latter apparently is a process where your blood is drawn, spun, and injected back into your face. Vanity to me has always been wearing contacts instead of glasses, getting tan, and trying to get blonder in the sun (or with a spray can in the post skin cancer years). Even though it would be a negative to score high on a vanity test, I found my competitive instincts kicking in. I strained trying achieve the highest possible score (surely I admired my reflection in a TV screen sometime). I stretch reality the same way when desperately angling to get selected for a jury I do not want to serve on in the first place. GQ scored me as “conscientiously primping” as opposed to “preening.” This will come as a surprise to people that know me as a disheveled slob who nonetheless preens. But despite all its posturing, GQ is not sophisticated enough to even offer that category. So I am thinking of cancelling my subscription when I turn 80.

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