SAN DIEGO–Michelle Haltigan, a highly successful advertising executive known throughout the San Diego area for her striking physical attributes, will continue to get by on looks for six more years, it was reported Monday.
Sources report that the 23-year-old Huntington Beach native will be able to coast effortlessly until late 2004, when her appearance will no longer be sufficient to guarantee preferential treatment in her professional and personal life.
Haltigan, recently chosen for promotion at H. William Gordon Advertising over a number of more qualified, less luminous co-workers, enjoys a wide range of unspoken societal prettiness privileges. She receives free flowers from street-cart vendors, is allowed to skip ahead in line for the Stairmaster at her apartment complex's mini-gym, and gets priority scheduling from tanning-salon personnel throughout the San Diego area. At booked restaurants, she is always quickly seated and attended to, and when pulled over for speeding, her chances of being let off with just a warning are 17 times greater than the average person's.
As a result of her attractiveness, Haltigan also enjoys greatly enhanced discretionary powers in interpersonal relationships. Able to choose from a nearly endless list of suitors, she always operates from a position of strength in dating scenarios, rarely finding her desires challenged or denied by would-be sexual partners. When faced with resistance, Haltigan is able to persuade partners to relent by pouting her lower lip slightly and saying, "Pretty please?" in a childlike, flirtatiously wheedling tone.
Haltigan, whose looks have made it unnecessary for her to cultivate attractive personality traits, is reportedly unconcerned about the finite nature of her powers. When asked for comment on the rapidly closing six-year beauty-privilege window, she simply flashed what witnesses described as a "dazzling" smile, displaying her perfect, professionally whitened teeth.
"I think I'll go skiing in Taos this weekend with Andre or Michael, or maybe Ethan if he's back from Europe," Haltigan told reporters. "By the way, how do you like this new sweater I bought?"
Experts say the state of denial in which Haltigan lives is easy for her to preserve, primarily due to the nonverbal affirmations she receives daily, a form of tacit approval that fosters her illusory faith in the permanence of her esteemed status in the eyes of others.
"I'm sure in the back of her mind, on some subconscious level, she must know that time is ticking away," said noted psychotherapist Dr. Eli Wasserbaum. "But, for the most part, the many perks that come with being beautiful block out any real awareness she might have. One can understand how this process works when one considers how unbelievably good-looking she is at the present time."
"I even asked her out myself once," Wasserbaum said, "but she said that, unfortunately, she was too busy that weekend to attend the symposium."
As a busy advertising executive, Haltigan's duties include taking clients to lunch, attending departmental presentations, networking with other executives, and taking clients to dinner. Other professional obligations include twice-weekly hair appointments, mud-bath skin treatments and sessions with her personal trainer.
"In my job, I have to look good," Haltigan said. "Projecting the right professional image is crucial to winning the client's confidence and trust."
Haltigan's commitment to success has earned her the admiration of her coworkers. "We all love Michelle here at Gordon Advertising," said company president Donald Gehry, 59. "There's a certain quality about Michelle that enables her to just light up a meeting. She's got that certain 'presence' necessary to be a big success in the advertising game."
According to experts, shortly after turning 29, Haltigan will begin her descent into shrewish bitterness, suffering a string of humiliating failed relationships, unemployment and, ultimately, a free-fall into neurotic self-loathing and cocaine addiction sometime around 2007.
But despite the looming threat of her inevitable loss of beauty and influence, Haltigan remains nonchalant about the future.
"I don't really have time to worry about what might happen down the road, because I've got real-world goals I'm committed to making happen today," Haltigan said. "The fast-paced world of advertising is all about living in the now."
"I'm always on the go, making sure I get the most out of life, pushing myself to be everything I can be," Haltigan continued before pausing briefly to toss her hair over her shoulder, adding, "but if you call me next week, I might be free."