I remember being called to the door to meet one of my mom’s suitors. It wasn’t long after the divorce and, therefore, none of the men who came to call on my mom would have been good enough. But this meeting, in particular, left me with bad feeling that stuck with me for many years. I was one of three girls — in the middle of the threesome, in the middle of those awkward years, and desperately in need of braces.
We were all called to the door at once to meet this man. He was introduced to Big Sis first. “Well Hello, Linda” he said, “My, you are a pretty young lady.” Lil Sis was introduced next. “Hi Carol” he said, bending down to shake her hand. “You are a real cutie.”
Then, he was introduced to me. He looked at me, smiled, and kindly said, “Hi Julie.”
That was it! No compliment. Nothing but, “hi.”
I remember running to my room murmuring to myself, “Linda is pretty. Carol is cute. Julie is…?” What was I? Was I ugly? Surely he wouldn’t say that if he wanted my mom to like him. I looked at myself in the mirror and examined the awkwardness of my overly miniature frame (late to develop and several inches shorter than my peers), my overbite, and wavy to the point of looking messy hair. I wasn’t ugly. But I wasn’t pretty either. Finally, I determined that I was “Blah.” I was glad that this stranger hadn’t found the words to describe me.
He’d been nice enough but still, I was glad we never saw him again.
That seed created an insecurity that stuck with me for more years than I care to admit. Like those bulbs which go dormant only to pop up randomly and flower, these feelings sometimes emerge unexpectantly. Thankfully, I have learned that being cute or pretty isn’t all that. Being full of beauty is where it’s at. And beauty is not on the outside; it is within.
A friend shared this blog post today. It served as is a nice reminder to embrace all that I have learned. The young girl is lucky to have such a wise mother to teach her this valuable lesson early on in her life.