10 March 2008

Beholder's Eyes

I was about 18, and making pizzas at the local pizza joint alongside my best friend, Don. He recalled the events of the evening for my sole benefit while spreading cheese over sauced dough. Seems they went to a bar where the entertainment (and I use the term lightly) was a wet t-shirt contest. His accolades for the winner wouldn’t cease, so finally I said: “Yeah, well, I got boobs, too.”
His reply: “But, she had a face and the bod to go with it…”

Fast forward a bit to age 21. My soon-to-be-1st husband, Tom and his cronies came over to my apartment to watch the Superbowl. As I passed around the brews and chips, the guys swapped stories about this fox and that chick… animals, it seems, are all we are to them… In the middle of the laughter and stories, Tom looked at me and said to the manly crowd in a loud and determined voice: “Sandi’s not much to look at, but she’s got one hell of a personality.”
Not for the first time, nor the last, I wished I had perfected the vanishing skills I had practiced so often as a child…

Fast forward to many years later and soon-to-be-2nd ex-husband. We’re at a hail-and-farewell (Army thing) and husband can’t stop flirting/touching/ogling one very pretty Captain – one of many young ladies in his long line of ego-girlfriends. His wildly inappropriate actions are beginning to embarrass me, but I keep quiet until the ride home. I ask him if he thinks the young woman (girl) he doted over was pretty.
(I know, you shouldn’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer.)
“Yes,” was his answer, “very pretty.”
“Do you think I’m pretty?”
“Well… you’re not ugly… I wouldn’t be with anyone who wasn’t at least a little pretty…”

Hit that fast forward button to just a few months ago. I’m at a conference minding my own business, grabbing a cuppa coffee at break-time, when a portly, much older gentleman approaches me and says:
“You know, I just have to tell you. I find you are a very striking woman.”
“Why, thank you. That’s very sweet.” I’m dumbstruck, but my ego-balloon starts to inflate a bit. These are words I am unaccustomed to hearing.
“Yes, very striking. I don’t know when I’ve seen such a striking woman before.”
(Becoming a little uncomfortable now, but that damned balloon is hanging on every word and growing bigger than my head at this point.)
“Thank you.” I say again, and smile politely.
He continues to look at me - what is increasingly becoming more of a leer, and adds:
“...Not beautiful by any means… but striking.”

*POP!* There goes that balloon. I wonder if anyone else heard it.

“You are beautiful no matter what they say.
Words can't bring you down.
You are beautiful in every single way.
Yes, words can't bring you down.
So, don't let them bring you down today…”


Anonymous said...

Have you heard of "A New Earth" by Tolle??? Get it-- you need to get it and read it- now- before you are consumed beyond repair.....

Sandra Miller Linhart said...

Yes, I have... and I am reading it. Gosh - you're unrelenting!!! I'm already consumed beyond repair.
Seriously, tho, you don't believe I care what they think, do you? I found the entire thing to be quite amusing. I apologize if my wordage didn't come across that way. I'm failing as a writer! Woe is me! If I thought beauty was more than just skin deep, I might wear make-up... which I don't, so my actions speak louder than words. I was not put on this world to be 'beautiful' nor do I wish to be in that subjective catagory. Leave that particular heart-ache for someone else's quest.
As stated in the header - beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
One person's striking is another person's dog... and who really cares?
Like me mammy always used to say: It's what's inside... your bank... that counts! :o)
(oh, no, she's gonna write again and chastise me for being so material!)
I love you, Carol... ;o)

James A. Bowders said...

The funny thing about opinions is, for them to take merit the one sharing their opinion must first be respected. Otherwise their words are without merit.

I also wonder why people feel they have the right to share their opinions so openly. This is a subject that has baffled me for so very long. I am sure someone will be happy to give me their opinion on it.

But what do I know?

Anonymous said...

You'd be really pretty if you'd just (do your hair; paint your nails, smile more, lose weight,insert "compliment" here) - to which one can only reply - "You'd be absolutely gorgeous if you knew how to keep your mouth shut!" CREM, Della Crem

Sandra Miller Linhart said...

It never ceases to amaze me when humans think they have the right, nay, the responsibility to tell you what's wrong with you: "You're really losing your hair!" or "You're hair's almost white!" or "You've gained some weight, haven't you?" or "Those pants make your a$$ look big" - well maybe not that one, but you get my gist... and, (my personal fav) "I look like hell without make-up, but you seem to pull it off okay." but their facial expression belies their words. (your face speaks louder than your words, bimbo. How about applying another layer of that goop you call foundation...) Hey, I just noticed - the cement flooring of a building is also called a foundation... coincidence? I think not!

Anonymous said...

i love you momma... i will always think you are beautiful

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget - "Oh My God, _____, you look like you've got AIDS!" Something everyone wants to hear, hmmm...?

pass the popcorn, please!