I trust that this is a safe space for me to admit that I find handsome dudes terrifying to a socially obliterating degree. I cannot endure them. I cannot handle them. They are a menace, and they are everywhere, and they all own a thousand scarves, each one jauntier than the last, and I don’t know what to do about them.

To clarify, this does not refer to your Garden Variety Handsome, your Nice Smiler, your Hey That Guy’s Face Seems Good. Those fellows are hale and hearty contributors to society and I wish them well. It also isn’t a pop-sociology type of argument that Unreasonably Handsome Men are more likely to be selfish or unkind than their Reasonably Bodied counterparts. Many of them are perfectly nice, or would be if any mortal ever dared speak to them.

Nor is this a simple matter of sexual insecurity; personal desire has nothing to do with the universal problem of the Unreasonably Handsome Man. Other men, straight women, homosexuals of all stripes, unusually prescient birds – all fall stammering and silent in the blinding onslaught of the Unreasonably Handsome Man.

I don’t resent them, I am not angry, but I offer them a healthy mix of respect and fear as tribute, in the hope that they will neither harm nor approach me. Who are they? What do they want? Babes? Ice candies? Jewels? Wagons of fragrant hay and poetry? I would bring it to you, if I only knew what it was that you required of us.

The problem: You are walking down the street and see a particularly pleasant-eyed dog. You would like to say hello to the dog, but the man walking it is far too handsome for you to ever acknowledge his existence. You fall silent, like the Prophet Isaiah: “I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” What are you supposed to say to him? “Hello?” You’re supposed to use normal human words to this man who wraps his absurdly well-proportioned torso in an effortless day-blazer? Look at his teeth. They are innumerable; too many to ever be counted. Do you think a word as stinking and as meager as “hello” has ever dared to inhabit the mouth that holds those teeth?

The problem: You are trying to Gchat with your Unreasonably Handsome friend or coworker, but his Unreasonably Handsome Gchat icon is looking right at you, through the Internet even, looking at you with his thousands of beautiful eyes and his seventeen perfectly symmetrical jawbones and he knows that you’re covered in crumbs and he thinks you’re disgusting.

The problem: For whatever reasons, in some kind of professional or social setting, an Unreasonably Handsome Man is speaking to you. Perhaps he’s asking you a question or trying to otherwise engage you in conversation, when by rights he should be turning himself into a statue or commanding an army of willing and grateful space-slaves into building a crystal ziggurat of beauty. Perhaps he’s laboring under the delusion that the two of you are friends, even though you could no more be friends with this chisel-throated wastrel than you could pal around with a cold and sullen Meteor King. You sink into speechlessness and despair.

The solution: None, so far as I can tell. They might not be aware of the tongue-crushing and soul-siphoning effect they have on the potato-faced; might even feel sorry for us and our giant, clumsy hands if they did, but no matter. They cannot change who they are. We cannot all put out our eyes, or rush about hurriedly, staring at the ground, lest we come into accidental visual contact with these modern-day Medusas. There is no way out.