Saturday, January 2, 2010

In the eyes of the beholder....

I'm now officially 56 years old. I don't use makeup. My everyday wardrobe is made up of jeans and knit tops or t-shirts. My hair is usually dragged back into a ponytail or a little bun-thingy. Dear Hubby tells me I'm beautiful and that's all that matters to me.

So...when, as I walked in to Fred Meyer to do my grocery shopping yesterday, was I ever taken aback when a gentleman stopped in his tracks as he was walking out, looked me over, and whistled at me. It was one of those check-over-my-shoulder-to-see-if-he-means-ME moments. Well, I guess so because I was the only person standing there. As I walked in thru the doors I laughed and told the greeter who'd witnessed it all, "He must've had too much New Years's cheer last nite!" But then, halfway thru my wanderings up and down the aisles another gentleman pushing his cart said, "Mmmmmm-mmmmmm!" as he walked past me. This was getting freaky! Were both of them drunk or hungover or what?!?

I have never been blessed with a big ego. I have never considered myself even remotely pretty. So moments like those stop me in my tracks. You all know how camera-shy I am, how I hate having my picture taken. My family will be hard-pressed to find many of them when I die. No need to do a photo collage of my life at my funeral, that's for sure.

It's funny that, no matter how good our adult life turns out to be, the things that are said or done to us in our early childhood are forever etched in our mind. No matter how far down you dig, somehow a little bit of it remains and keeps us off balance. I was told all thru my younger years how ugly I was, how fat..."solid as the Rock of Gibraltar", my dad used to say as he'd horse-bite my knee with a hard pinch. I rarely look in mirrors even to this day...enough to comb my hair and look presentable and that's about it. Cameras freeze me...I can NOT act natural or smile for real. I've grown comfortable in my own skin as I've gotten older, but compliments such as the ones those two gentlemen gave me make me feel panicky and vulnerable. The first thing that comes to my mind is, "They're making fun of me!" How silly.

Oh well. I don't even know why I wrote about this. Maybe to make someone else out there who feels the way I do know there are plenty of us out there. The Ugly Ducklings who will never be able to accept that in someone else's eyes, maybe they really have turned into a Swan.

7 comments:

Dori said...

The summer I was pregnant with my daughter I was dressed in shorts and t-shirt (obviously pregnant!) and walked by a group of professional men getting in to their cars...as I walked by one of them said, rather loud, "mmm-mmm, I looove summertime!" It really threw me...I was the only other person around them so he had to be talking about me and my legs! 7 months pregnant, mom to a two-year-old...I just laughed!

Jeanie said...

I say take any ego booster that comes your way. I think we are sometimes our own worst critics. Maybe you should take a moment to look in the mirror and you will see what those men and your husband see.

Loretta said...

It could have been me writeing this. Yes, those words from childhood follow us forever!I thank God for my loving husband that sees me as beautiful(and is a little blind).

Donna said...

I have the same feelings, although I have no aversion to the camera. Adults don't realize the messages they send their kids sometimes. I once asked my mom if I was pretty, and she laughed and said, "Heavens no! You look too much like me to be pretty."
I know she didn't mean it the way I took it as a small child, but it sunk in and I believed it. You can bet your boots my children grew up hearing me tell them how handsome and pretty they were.

Anita said...

Sounds like you've had a birthday recently...Happy Belated Birthday. May the rest of your outings include at least one set of ogling eyes. :)

Danielle Says Hello said...

You are beautiful inside and out!!!!!

lc said...

I can relate. I was the sickly, skinny kid among oodles of robust cousins and church friends. What got me through vulnerable teen years was realization that i am a child of the King, Romans 12: 1-2 and some wonderful Christian adults. I was and am blessed. Thanks for sharing!