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Jewish World Review Nov. 7, 2003 / 12 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764

Lenore Skenazy

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Consumer Reports

Let's hear it for those average guys and the beautiful women smart enough to snag 'em | So what can we learn from "Average Joe," the new Monday-night show that gives one hot babe her choice of 16 fellows sporting extra chins, thinning hair and more corrective eyewear than Austin Powers' nightstand?

That reality TV is finally dealing with reality. The reality is this: Perfectly fine-looking women pick geeky-looking guys all the time - and I wish my single friends would realize this! Anyone holding out for a hunk should understand that no matter whom you marry, the next 10 years will be a time of steady decline. So if you can just put up with a few years of subpar attractiveness, you can have everything - the kids, house, happy home life - that the cheerleader who snagged the football player has, without the disappointment of watching your guy go downhill. He's already downhill!

This attitude may explain why I have a very bad record as a matchmaker. The way I always see it is, "He's nice, you're nice. You both look okay - go get the rings."

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The way my friends, male and female, seem to see it is, "Uh, there's no chemistry."

Like life is some great big science experiment. It's not. It's a great big reality show: You get your choice of a handful of average-looking people and if you're like me, some of them start to look really cute after you joke around with them a while. Or even if you watch them joke around on TV. Average? I would enthusiastically try to set up half the guys on that show.

Which is maybe why my friends don't trust me as a matchmaker.

But the babe, Melana - a former NFL dancer with teeth brighter than one of the new WALK signs - gets it. At first, when the Joes started shuffling off the bus, she looked confused. All right, dismayed. But then - she rallies! This is what G-d - or at least a jaded producer or two - is sending her way. So be it! Life hands her average guys, she makes average guy-ade.

Those producers took her at her word, Melana realizes, when she said a good heart is more important than good looks. Now that she's forced to live and love by that philosophy - on national TV - she dives in and seems to really enjoy it.

Watch and learn!

Apparently, some folks did. About half the people I spoke to who'd tuned in - male and female - said that they ended up finding several of the contestants good-looking. Even handsome. Even date bait.

Moral of story? You can learn from reality TV the same thing you can learn from reality:

Sometimes a frog turns out to be a prince. Maybe not a handsome prince, but a good-enough-looking prince, who would still be nice to come home to.

Let's hear it for those average guys and the beautiful women smart enough to snag 'em.

And, of course, vice versa.

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JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.

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