A few weeks ago, I was standing in line to buy my lunch when an elderly lady suggested, “You could be very pretty if you tried!”
Granted, I decided to wear a sweater that was a bit over-sized, I opted to wear my glasses over my contacts, and my choice to wear very little make-up this particular day wouldn’t win any Cover Girl contests.
As I stood processing her comment it seemed like time stood still. I wasn’t sure if this complete stranger was criticizing me or complimenting me. I think I expected her to hand me a brochure with the latest and greatest in makeup technology. In the end, I decided to just smile and say “thank you” and accept it as a compliment. But in all honesty, the comment just keeps bouncing around in my head and like a ping-pong ball.
Can I be pretty if I try?
I am 40 and I am seriously still asking myself this question. Didn’t I come to terms a long time ago that I was beautiful in my own way?
I am having trouble aging. I never thought I would dread the crow’s feet or the less-than-elastic skin. But here I sit looking longingly at pictures of the past wishing I would have enjoyed being in my younger skin more than I did.
I should have gone skinny dipping that time all my friends did but I felt too fat and pale. I should have kissed more boys and broke more hearts… any boys… any hearts. I should have worn more sleeveless tops, more short shorts. I should have secretly taken naked pictures and then been proud of them if they ever surfaced years later – except in my day pictures had to be taken to a third party to be developed.
I am not saying I should have been slutty but what I am saying is: I should have LOVED my clear complexion, my soft skin, my young figure when everything was perfectly aligned before gravity took its toll.
Sometimes I can win this particular ping-pong match going on in my head by asking myself a few questions. First, who are the most beautiful people I know personally? The list was very easy to establish and included both genders of varying ages. I then listed qualities about them that I felt made them beautiful to me.
I discovered what I am pretty sure I knew all along. The qualities were not skin deep; they were personality traits. Although I am surrounded by gorgeous, easy on the eyes people, what makes them beautiful is their genuine smile, their sincere laughter, their giving hearts, their caring hugs.
I feel, in the end, my beauty on this day was not found by what the eyes could see, but what the ears could hear, a graceful response of “Thank you!”
I am the most beautiful kind of ugly!