The Oversell

“Oh my GOD! That was the BEST movie of my life. I laughed until I peed my pants. Seriously, the whole theater was howling with laughter. Everyone loved it! Such a good movie.”

You’ve heard that before, right?

The oversell. Once you get a review like that, there is no way that it can possibly live up to your expectations. It holds true for movies, music, books, television, food, people, almost nothing can live up to the oversell. In my experience, only Christian Kane has ever actually matched the hype.

This happened to me recently with several books. “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins and “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. Now, “The Help” is exactly the kind of book I try to avoid like the plague. I just don’t enjoy that type of novel. But, still, with the supreme oversell–every single person I know who read that book, raved it was the best. book. ever. Well, I freaking doubt that. I started it and it was terrible. Exactly what I thought it would be, but even worse, because of the writing. I never even finished it. Even if I had liked it, it couldn’t have possibly been as good as it was described.

“The Hunger Games”, on the other hand, is exactly the type of book I would usually love. I was excited about reading it. Looking forward to it. When my copy finally came up at the library, I’d had no less than 20 people swear to me that they couldn’t put it down.  Well, I read it. It was fine. A good story. But, was it as good as advertised? Of course not. After the hype, it was such a letdown that I don’t even want to read the second and third installments. I’m over it.

How can anything live up to that kind of pressure?

Which brings us to this morning. I am swamped at work. I’m actually writing this while eating my lunch because it is the only down time I have. Our medical assisting Program Chair, Jenni, is a friend of mine. She has been telling me for MONTHS, about their medical supplier. They order from a single company, and the rep who brings their products is a man named Dave D. Jenni goes on and on about Dave D and how gorgeous he is and that he’s very manly, plus he is charming and funny and dear god you have to just see him.

Months of waxing poetic on the topic of Dave D.

We’ve actually had a plan in place that when he stops in, she will IM me and I will walk to her office and give the pre-planned excuse to explain my presence and then she will have no choice but to introduce me. And then I will get to meet Dave D.

I’ve been worried about this plan for some time. Not that it wouldn’t work, but just the whole thing. How good can this guy be? With the oversell, there is no way on earth that he’s in the same hemisphere of gorgeous that she is describing. Additionally, looks are so subjective. I think Christian Kane is the sexiest man alive. Many do not. Kelly swoons for Jordan Knight. For Elena, it’s Colin Firth (though Lord knows I have to agree with that one!). Women everywhere will give you different answers.

Then it happened. My library was teeming with students and faculty needing me for something. I was busy and overwhelmed and my computer dinged, signaling an incoming instant message. I glanced at the screen to see the words “Dave D–NOW”.


It took me seven minutes to be able to leave, and even then, it was dicey. I only did it because I wanted it over with. And I could use the “sorry, I’m swamped” to get myself out of there when I was not over-the-moon about Dave D.

I strolled to her office and they were standing in the hall. She made eye contact with me and I approached from behind. My first thought?  He’s short. As in, no taller than me.

Then, he turned to face me. Whoa.

His face is lean and tan, beautiful deep brown eyes, with crinkles around the edges, like he laughs a lot. Black hair. He’s got naturally olive skin, tanned from the sun and the straightest, whitest teeth I’ve ever seen. Dave D is flat out good looking. But, that’s not what it is.

Jenni introduced us and he smiled at me and reached out to shake my hand. As we were shaking, he was looking directly into my eyes and smiling. His handshake was firm and you could feel how strong he is, just from his hands.

The he spoke, “nice to meet you, Olivia” and he’s got the perfect voice to match that face. I think I was a little hypnotized. We stood there, the three of us, chatting, and he turned to me to include me in the conversation and turned the full-force of his charm on me. I was ready to go back to school to become anything at all in the medical field, if that’s what he wanted me to do. Honestly, I don’t know what we even talked about, but I walked away, smiling, happy, and sighing as I dreamily swayed in the direction of the library.

That man is ridiculous. No wonder he is in sales. I would have given him my firstborn, just for the price of his smile. Now that he’s gone and the haze of Dave D has evaporated, I think Jenni actually undersold this one. Thank God he’s married or I could turn this in to a full time obsession.

Dave D, impossible to oversell. That’s what it should say on his business cards.