So, anyway, some folk obsess about how they look, you know, wanting every hair in place, face scrubbed and smelling like a spa dream come true. Not vanity, but a way to be well-groomed. I am that way; well-groomed, that is.
Whilst most people are careful about their appearance because, well, it is just a nice thing to do for work and generally being out in the world. I do it because I am ugly. I have never made anyone run screaming, nor have I scarred children or caused senior citizens to faint, but I am not attractive by any stretch of the imagination, anyone's imagination.
So, it is in my best interest, being out in the world quite often, to take care with my grooming. Clean and shiny hair that is tamed just enough to reduce my crazy old babe mostly-grey locks. I wear makeup whenever I leave the house. My clothing is not new, but it is clean and I take excellent care of what I have; my youngest garment is more than ten years old. I really could use some new big girl panties, but that is anther story. Most of my bras self-destructed a few weeks ago, like it was a simultaneous death wish or some sorority hazing. I have three new bras and I cannot express how deliriously happy they make me. Seriously.
But, I am not anywhere near cute or anything in that direction. There have been plenty of people in my life who made sure that I never forgot what I look like, but, you know, I get to see myself at least twice a day when I wash up and brush my teeth. Seriously, you are not telling me anything new, and whether you mean it or not (and you most likely do mean it), it hurts to be reminded. Only meanies would do that, so you must be one of them.
I know what I look like and the truth is that I have always, like absolutely always, wanted to look better. I wanted to be cute or lovely or adorable or something. I wanted to be beautiful. But, I am not.
I tell myself that all of my beauty is on the inside, where it counts. Still...
That changed today. I clicked on the avatar that an on-line friend has on FB. Truth is that we would be real, dyed-in-the-alpaca-wool friends if she did not live in another hemisphere. I feel that way and hope that she does as well.
This is what she wrote:
I was always too thin and very plain BUT my family loved me, my children
adore me, (insert name of choice) calls me beautiful, my grandies call me the best nana
ever...I finally count as something.
First of all, whist she is a skinny old thing (yes, she knows her age) she really is not plain. Her features are more than pleasant, heck, I agree with her spouse, she is beautiful, especially her eyes. The wisdom that you can see there just blows me away. As pretty as she is, she is even more beautiful inside, you know, where it counts.
I am writing about this because I do not actually dwell on my appearance, or the fact that I am fat. I just get all well-groomed and get on with my day as best I can. If I bought into the concept of self-esteem...which I do not..., I might say that I have low self-esteem, but I do not.
This goes back to the part about being unattractive. It is one thing to be that, it is an entirely different thing to be reminded of it. You know, the whole meanie thing.
I am taking so long to get to this, the part where I had a moment.
I am not ugly. I am plain. Like, really plain, and that is great. The thing is that whether or not you are truly ugly, it does not do you any good to be reminded of it. And, I can let go of all of that because of what my friend wrote. I am plain and it is a nice thing. I knew it as soon as I read her posting. And, more importantly, there are other people who have embraced their plainness. Although, not my friend because she is lovely.
More...if she thinks herself to be plain, and she clearly is not, then maybe this change in how I think of myself can bring another change and there may be a time when I can look in that mirror when I am brushing my teeth or scrubbing my face and think, gee, if you had eyebrows you would be really cute.
If I had self-esteem, it would be significantly higher than it was an hour ago.
I love you, S.