From Beauty Queen to Barely Visible

Figuring out what beauty REALLY is.

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Yes, I was a beauty queen.  Ok, not the queen.  Just a finalist in the Miss Wyoming pageant, actually.  Did I win?  No!  I was too young, naïve, and didn’t have enough going for me in order for THAT to happen!  Meaning I didn’t have the money for the fancy dresses others did, or have the connections they did, and I certainly didn’t play the role they did!  Mostly, I wasn’t very smart.  When a judge asked me what I would like to do when I got out of high school.  I shrugged and said, “Get married, and have kids, I guess.”  The judge was a sweet lady, who then carefully and kindly informed me that this was a pageant for earning scholarship money for college.  Therefore, if I had no plans of going to college, a scholarship would be pointless.  I knew I had lost at that point, even though I then changed my answer to being a teacher.

When you’re a poor girl living in small town America, you learn real quick you aren’t going to have a lot of choices in life.  My parents knew they would never be able to afford to send me to college, and had no idea that things like grants were available, so they never talked to me about higher education.  They were too afraid I would want to go to college and they couldn’t afford to send me, and they didn’t want that kind of disappointment on their shoulders.  For them OR for me.  I felt pretty bad when my dad told me this a couple years later.  You don’t really understand how much your parents want for you when you are young, and how much they feel bad about not being able to give you everything they never had, and more.  So, as a preacher’s daughter, who was poor, I was raised to have a higher purpose than worldly goods or status.   That things like family, honesty and hard work were to be valued most.  Boy, was I confused!

I did win the award for writing the best thank you letter to my sponsors, though.  I suppose that now, over thirty years later, I realize that should have been a sign.  What I really love to do, is write.

But I didn’t even know back then how important writing would become to me.  At that time, being in that pageant, was only to prove one thing.  To prove what I did not know for myself.  That I was pretty.  And PROOF that I was pretty, meant I was somehow more loveable, desirable, and other good things I also knew nothing about.  If I was not pretty, or l0veable, then what was I?

They say so much is wasted on the youth.  In my case, that was definitely true.  It is only now, on my forty-ninth birthday, I can look at myself back then and write with confidence that I was pretty; without feeling bad about it, and even agree that it was a true statement.

Oh, there were plenty of people who told me that I was pretty.  But, I honestly did not believe them.  And if there was even a split second I thought maybe I could be?  It was quickly dismissed, as I truly believed that if I told myself I was pretty, that would mean I was conceited, shallow, and all kinds of other negative things I associated with it.  For other people to think I was pretty was ok.  For me for me to believe it, meant I was conceited and shallow.  I had met people like that before, and they were mean.  I did not want to be those things.  Mostly, I did not believe I was, despite what anyone said.  And as I got older, began to realize that maybe I was…but I did not welcome it at all.  I think in some ways, I even wished I were not pretty-if only to make sure that life would be less painful in somehow.

Did you know that being pretty did NOT mean that people would be nice to you?  Nope. I ran across  a lot of people who were not nice to me, AT ALL!  And I think a lot of them were mean to me BECUASE I was pretty!

I had a male friend once say to me, “Ah, you were cursed with beauty.”  And at that point in my life, I could not have agreed with him more.  I think I actually saw being beautiful as a bad thing…a curse.  Something I did not want to be.

I think that there have been, and are, plenty of people who would look at a beautiful person and think that they had these wonderful lives and everything was handed to them on a silver platter.  Well, for those of you who have ever thought that, let me assure you. It’s not true!  At least for me, it was not.  In fact, I worked my ass off for everything I had and do have now!  No one handed me a dad-gum thing!  Especially because I was “pretty.”  And that’s a fact!

I had friends (so-called) who were outright jealous of me simply because of how I looked.  Usually because of some dumb boy I didn’t even like!  But he liked me instead of them, and boy were they mad!  I had girls I didn’t even know calling me up wanting to “kick my ass” because some guy liked me, and sometimes, and didn’t even know who they were!  That’s how ridiculous it got!  I had boyfriends who hated that other guys even looked at me and blamed me for it, as though I had asked for it in some way, shape or form.

Granted, as a young teen there was a time that I was accused of stealing some guy out from under a friend.  I personally did not see it that way.  That whole scenario?  I still consider a grey area.

You see, it was like this. I had a very close friend who liked a boy that I liked too. We’ll call him Frank.  She had told me that she liked him, and I had told her that I like him too.  I made no secret of that.  But when he asked me out instead of her?  Oh no!  The world must come to an end!

Funny thing is, it didn’t matter, because my dad wouldn’t let me go out with him anyway!  I was allowed to have him over for dinner one night, where the poor thing underwent the third degree from my dad; and then was allowed to go “drag main” with him for about an hour.  When I got home, I was told I could not go out with him because he was Catholic and if he and I were to marry one day, that would mean I would have to convert.  And if we had kids, how would we raise them?  Because Catholics pretty much require you raise your children Catholic.  I don’t know if this is actually true.  This was just my father’s reasoning.  And with that reasoning, I was therefore not allowed to “go out” with this boy.

My friend, on the other hand, considered this a betrayal.  The utmost betrayal!  We were both on the swim team, and we always liked the same boys.  Sometimes, they liked her, and sometimes, they liked me.  I remember one time she had gone on a swim meet that I did not go to, and she had seen this one boy that we both liked, and he had initially shown some interest in me prior to that.  But she called me to inform me that she had spent some time with this boy and that they were now supposed to be “involved” in some way.  She asked me if I was mad.  To which, I of course, said I was not.  Yes, it was a bit disappointing to hear that he was so fickle, but when would I ever see this boy anyway?  He lived about two hours away!

It was like that a lot between her and I.  Like a competition. We had more than one fight over the course of our friendship, one in which she abruptly stood up and slapped my face!  I said something pretty mean.  I don’t remember what.  But yeah. I may have deserved that.  Some of our fights were not real nice to look at.  At all.  And she was my friend, so it was a hard thing to navigate for me.  There were times I loved her to death, and times I would get annoyed with her because I felt like she thought she was better than me.  (I wasn’t perfect either!)

I still remember the times  (Plural.  Definitely plural.) she would tell me how she was so glad she had blue eyes because she wanted to be a model when she was older, and most models have blue eyes.  Or the times she told me that she was glad she was tall, because models had to be tall.  Or that she was glad she had braces, because having straight teeth and a nice smile would be important if she was going to be a model.

I, of course, did not have blue eyes.  My eyes were green.  My parents could not afford to buy me braces, even though I so desperately wanted them.  And we were the same height.  So, what ev!  I can’t tell you the motives behind her statements, I can only tell you how I interpreted them.  And it came across to me as a slight attempt to get a dig in on me without being obvious about it.  She could make me feel bad, yet if I called her out on it, I would look like the ass.

Nevertheless, there were several times that it seemed we were competing with each other; even though we were supposed to be “best friends.”  There was very little encouraging or supporting each other, when it came to boys, especially.  I guess that’s something you only learn with age?  To love a friend, means you encourage and support them; you celebrate their successes!

But the fact that I agreed to “try” to go out with this particular boy was apparently something she very much took to heart.  I know this because later on, she in fact, DID steal my boyfriend, (whom I would also later marry) from me!

I still remember being at this party and he was ignoring me and acting weird.  My friend was with me, and of course knew that I was upset by the way he was treating me.  I had retreated to a bedroom upstairs to cry and the gal who lived in the apartment had come in to console me.  Not my friend.  No!  She was downstairs flirting with my boyfriend!  Of course, I had no idea that was what was happening at the time.

I pulled myself together and went back downstairs to the kitchen to get another beer.  My boyfriend and she (and some others) were sitting at the table playing quarters or something; and as I walked in, I saw her looking at him with this weird look, and the whole room went silent.  I didn’t understand it at the time, but definitely thought it was weird.

She came to me a short while later and asked me if I would go back upstairs.  I asked her why she wanted me to do that.  She said it was because she wanted to talk to him “for me.”  I told her I was perfectly capable of talking to him myself in my own good time, when I was ready.  I think something down inside of me knew she was not being truthful with me, but I could not put my finger on it.

I did talk to him later.  He gave me a song and dance about how he was not ignoring me, but we were at a party and he wanted to have a good time, and I should be trying to have a good time too.  Besides, it was not like we had gone to the party together.  Ok, again.  Whatever!

Flash forward about a week later, and I still had not heard from him.  He would usually ask me over to watch TV on this particular day of the week, so I had rushed home from school, and taken a shower in hopes that he would call.

I was downstairs in my room getting ready and drying my hair, and my mom came in my room and sat down on the bed.  “Hey, guess who I just saw Bob with?” She asks cautiously.  (I am changing the names here to protect the innocent…and the guilty.  Haha )

I didn’t have time to answer her, because just then the phone rang, and I was not about to miss the call I had been waiting days for!

It was my brother.

“Guess who I just saw Bob with?!” He asks me excitedly.  What is this? The Twilight Zone? 

“I don’t know.  Who?”

“One of your friends!”  He exclaimed.

“Well, who?” I asked again.

“You have to guess.”  He says.  Enjoying this far more than I think he should be.  But he’s a little brother; what should I expect?

I begin naming off names.  “I don’t know, Tammy?  Renee?  Tracy?  Amber?”

To each inquiry, he replied with his excited, “no.”

I am really annoyed with this guessing game he is making me play.   So, he gives me yet another clue.  Then it all came rushing in.

“Samantha?”  I asked hesitantly.

“Yep.” He answers, again far too happily.

I slam down the phone and start throwing on my clothes.

My mom tells me that she had just come to tell me the same thing.   She had driven by Bob’s  (He lived down the street.  Small town life.  Yay!)  on her way home, and had seen him with Samantha outside his house.

I threw on my coat and asked mom if I could borrow the truck.  She said yes, and I flew out the door towards Bob’s house.  I pull up in front, and everything looks quiet.  It had started to snow and it was in fact eerily quiet.  Nothing like the blizzard looming inside me.  I knock on the door and ring the bell.  No answer.  I can see footprints in the small amount of snow that had accumulated, a small set, and a larger set.  Both heading away from the house and down the walk.

I jump back in the truck and head in the direction of the footprints and lose sight of them.  I decide I will head for Samantha’s house.  I get in front of the bowling alley on Main street and then I see them.  I pull in front of them and up over the curb (thank God I was in a 4wd truck) and jump out and ask him, “What the hell are you doing?”

“I am walking Samantha home.” He replies with an impish grin on his face, and acting as if was the most innocent and natural thing in the world for him to do.

“Oh, really?  Then you won’t mind if I join you.”  I say, trying to keep in step with him.

He is refusing to stop and talk to me, and keeps on moving.

“Actually, yeah, I do.”  He finally says.

I about lose it.  I am screaming things…and I don’t even know what all I said.  He’s still trying to ignore me and keeps moving, and I am refusing to be ignored!  I start swinging at him.  How could you do this to me?!?!  You freaking ASSh#@le!

I am no match for him.  He strong arm’s me away from him and backs away, so I couldn’t make contact.  It wasn’t like I was aiming for anything in particular, anyway.  Then, I turn and run towards Samantha.

“Watch her! Watch her!”  He yells out to warn her.

Oh, you’re protecting her!  How freakin’ sweet.  You piece of pig swine trash!  (I always say things that make no sense when I’m upset…even when I’m not!)

I run up to her and stop right in front of her as she takes a step back and flinches as though I took a swing at her.  I had not, and I felt bad because she seemed afraid, but was trying hard not to show it.  I had no desire to hit her.  Instead, I ask her why she would do such a thing to me, trying desperately to hold back tears.

“Just like you stole Frank from me!” She said matter-of-factly, and with a look of great satisfaction upon her face.

My head was spinning!  She had never even gone out with this guy ONCE, and she thinks I stole him from her!  How can you take something someone NEVER HAD away from someone else?

It did not matter.  In her mind, that was exactly what I had done.

She looks at Bob, and says, “Why don’t you guys talk.  I can walk the rest of the way home by myself.”  Don’t do me any more favors, bitch. 

Bob doesn’t really want to.  But Sammy insists and so he gets into the truck with me and she continues walking towards her house.

I don’t know if Bob and I even talked on the ride back to his house.  I only know that he was resolved to continue seeing Sammy, and I was devastated.  The sh*t of it is, he had the nerve to get out of the truck and reach down, pick up, and give me two rocks.  He says, “This is me and you.  If we are meant to be together, we will be.  Remember the song by Willie Nelson, You Were Always On My Mind.”  He turns and walks away. Nothing like a guy playing with your head!  Right?!?!

I kept those stupid rocks for years.   And Sammy and I’s friendship would be on hiatus for years as well.  The last thing she would say to me until a few years later was, “Well, you won.  I hope you are happy.”  To which I replied, “I am.”  Making sure she knew I was.  (This is another story I will get into more depth with later.)

I had lost my best friend…over a guy.  I can’t honestly say it was worth it.  Yes, I later married him.  He continued being a jerk who played head games, cheated, and other great things until I just couldn’t take any more fun.  I divorced him 2 years, 4 months, and 24 days later.  It was basically hell being married to him, so I did the math.

Sammy and I would run into each other later, when we were both in college at CWC in Riverton, and have the talk we needed to have.  We even car pooled for a semester or two until she went off to University.  She would go on to marry the guy she was with when we were at CWC,  have kids, get her PhD, and be an all around successful, wonderful woman.  I would not reconnect with her again until 2006-2007.   We managed to get each other’s email addresses, and I was going on a cruise my parents were sending me on for finally getting my degree.  The cruise was for two.  I had a so-called boyfriend, but he wasn’t a very good one.  I decided I wasn’t going to take him with me.  I sent out an email to a bunch of people in my address book, letting anyone who was interested know, that if they wanted to go on a cruise, they were welcome to come with me!  It was already paid for, all they had to do was make it to the boat and bring their own spending money!  Samantha wrote back, and after a couple brief exchanges, it was decided that she would go.

It was like no time had passed at all.  You could see that it had on our bodies, but that was it.  We picked up right where we left off; told our stories to get each other caught up, and she is still  one of my better friends today.  I can honestly say that I am so happy for her and all her wonderful achievements and everything good thing that happens to her.  She really is an amazing lady.

She still carries a flame (of sorts) for this boy, now a man, that she had a crush on back in Junior High.  She won’t come right out and say it, but I think I can be relatively sure of this.  Had I known the true gravity of what he meant to her, even though they had never dated, I can honestly say, I don’t think I would have gone out with him.  (Or tried, that is.)  At least I HOPE that I would not have!  I just did not understand what he meant to her and did not understand how much it would actually hurt her.  It was honestly a struggle for me to know just what to do.  I was both happy he asked me out, and afraid of hurting her.  I made the wrong choice.  Even to this day, I don’t know what you do in that situation.

I had a friend in my late twenties who had a male friend.  She always called him a “friend” and she never expressed any romantic feelings for him to me, either. But still, when he asked me out, I had suspicions. So, I did what I thought was the right thing to do, and asked her first if it would bother her if I went out with him.  She told me no.  She didn’t mind at all.

Then, five minutes before he was supposed to pick me up for our lunch date, she calls me and says, “I’ve changed my mind.  It bothers me.”  Wth?  I politely told her that he was already outside in the parking lot and I was on my way out the door and there was no way I could just cancel on him like that. (Which was true.)

It’s just a sucky position to be put in.  I went out with him and there was no connection, but yet I had a friend who would never forget that some guy she liked asked me out instead of her.

My problem?  I have a heart.  I genuinely don’t want to hurt someone who is my friend.  At the same time, if I like a guy, and he’s by all rights single?   Should I really have to say no to him because a friend would be upset? The answer to that is apparently, yes.  That is the conclusion I have come to over the years.  The fact that he could be “the one” is irrelevant.  You still say, “no.”

I liken those situations with this movie I saw called Something Borrowed, with Kate Hudson in it.  In this movie, this gal named Rachel , is in law school and meets this handsome fellow there, named Dex.  They become great friends and study partners and all the while, she really likes him, but never gets the courage to tell him.  He asks her out to dinner once they complete their finals, but she is not sure if it’s a date or not. Then, in swoops Kate Hudson’s character, Darcy.   Darcy shows up at this dinner and plops herself down and says she wants to play Truth or Dare.  She tells Dex that he should ask Rachel out on a REAL date, thus putting them both on the spot.  Rachel, being embarrassed, immediately blurts out that they are just friends.  Who wants to be rejected like that, anyways, right?   So, Darcy turns to Dex, and says, “Well, ask ME out then.”

Dex does try to make sure that Rachel is OK with it, and she insists that it’s fine.  She’s too afraid to tell him otherwise.  Only the plot thickens when you find out that he had been crushing on her too! (Rachel, that is.)  So, now there’s this lover’s triangle and whoever will Dex choose?!?!  Oh my!  (This is sung to the tune, Lions, and Tigers, and Bears!  Oh My!)

There’s this line where one of Rachel’s friends tells her he thinks  Rachel needs to force Dex’s hand, because he’s being a wimp and playing with her head; but Rachel is resistant to doing that.  He then tells her, it doesn’t matter anyway, because Darcy, would never let her have him.  Rachel all but agrees, telling him that Darcy wins.  Darcy always wins.  Darcy always has and always will win, because that’s what Darcy does.

So, who was right here?  And who was wrong?  It really is a grey area.  And, I can honestly see each side to the story.  What do you all think???

While I can only assume that a couple of my friends would compare me to Darcy’s character, I have to wonder this.  If the roles were reversed, would they have done the same for me?  And perhaps that is what they were really upset about.  Because they would have taken my man without blinking and never thought twice about it.  So, they assumed that I operated just as they would have.  The thing is, while I am pretty good at hiding it.  I am more along the lines of Rachel’s character.  Well, that and Bridget Jones; from Bridget Jones’ Diary.  A combination of both of them.  That’s me to a T.   Except I never get the really great guys.  I have never believed I deserved him.  There have been too many people in my life around me to make sure of that.   I am one big mess, who’s extremely shy and even more awkward, especially around a guy I actually like.  I manage to say the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time, and it’s truly a wonder I have any friends at all or ever dated!  Really!  But I don’t think most people even realize that about me.  They make a lot of assumptions, once again, based merely on what they see.

Samantha went after Bob, and she got him.  What she doesn’t realize, perhaps, is that I let her have him after that.  I did not go chasing and crying after Bob.  How he and I ended up getting back together was basically a fluke, if you ask me.  Phone call; he tells me he just called her and told her that he realized he was really in love with me, we talk, get back together….who knows if he had really just called and told her that or not.  I never asked her.

But I did walk away when she had him…and taking Bob back?  Was not about “winning” to me, as she had put it.  I was genuinely head over heels in love; nay, obsessed with the guy.

And, I have never been able to figure out what I could have done differently to keep my friends from being upset with me.

It got to the point that I spent a LOT of time being SO afraid I would be accused of flirting with someone, I would barely even look at a guy who “belonged” to someone else for fear I would be accused of tryin’ to “steal” her man; and in hopes that if I was attached, I would not be accused of trying to flirt with some other guy by my own man.  (I got it from all sides.  Yay me.)

Guess what?  It doesn’t matter!  It happened anyway.  ALL the time!  Didn’t matter what I said or did.  People still accused me of crap I never did or had any intentions to do!  Ever.  And you know what else?  Nothing I said or did would have ever been good enough!  Someone once told me, not too long ago, in fact, that I have a way of flirting without even knowing it.  I would love to know how that works!   Cuz I have that “f*#k off” sign on my forehead according to many other people, and most of the time I wouldn’t know if a man was flirting with me if he hit me in the head with a brick!  Ok, that would not be flirting. That would be assault.   I would call the cops.  But yeah I am practically oblivious to it.

There was this instance where a friend of mine from Texas had come to visit.  I took her around showing her the town, and one of the places we went was to the new library.  I like books, and the library was really quite neat, in my opinion.   Well, as we went from floor to floor, she pointed out a guy that had apparently been “following” us and “watching” me, but that I was completely oblivious to any attempts a poor guy would ever make to be noticed by me.  She was right.  I had not really noticed.  I mean, I was vaguely aware of his presence a couple of times, but figured it was just coincidence.  I don’t know if she was right about him being interested in me or not.  Like I said, I am actually not good at that kind of thing.

It’s really quite confusing, actually.  Depending on who you ask, I am any one of a few people!  A bitch with “F you” on her forehead, a flirt without trying, and/or completely oblivious.  I wonder if what I think I am even matters?  Hmmm….

But not to worry haters!  I would be packing on the weight in no time, and you could breathe easy!

It didn’t happen overnight.  Not even in just a few short weeks, months, or years.  No, it took over forty years to happen.  And when it did happen…it did seem to happen more quickly that I would have expected.

I had spent most of my life being “skinny.”  So, this has been a really difficult thing for me to accept.  In my early twenties, I weighed around 120 lbs. (119 to be exact.  I was that obsessed with my weight I got on the scale every morning, and if I had gained a pound, I would barely eat that day.)   Way too skinny for a gal who is 5’8″ tall, looking back.  The crazy part is, I kept a few pairs of jeans thinking one day, maybe I’d get back into them.  Ha!  Jokes on you! Fool!!  In my early thirties, I was up around 130-140 and satisfied with that. It was about this time I looked at those pants I had been hanging onto all those years and saw that they literally wouldn’t even fit the telephone pole, and threw them out!   It was weird how I weighed more, but could still get into a size 7 pant.  Did they change the way they size clothes that much or…how did that happen?  It’s a mystery to me!

When I was thirty-five, I went back to school determined to finally get that degree I had always wanted.  At that time in my life, (those four-five years) I had gotten up to about 150-160 lbs.  Something I would be happy to weigh now, but at that time in my life, I was not happy with it.  And it was getting harder and harder for me to lose the weight!

The thing is, up until I hit my mid thirty to early forties, I could resolve to merely stop drinking pop and eating junk food, and the weight would fall off pretty easily.  Then all of the sudden, I was basically starving myself for days on end, and still could not take it off.  Or, I would work hard to lose 5 or 6 lbs, only to go out to eat with family or friends, and it would all be back the very next day!

Talk about frustrating!  I tried every diet known to man.  Nothing seemed to work!  I went to doctor after doctor insisting that something was wrong. They ran every test known to man, and I know because at one time, they drew about 15 vials of blood from me, and I am NOT exaggerating!   Every doctor insisted that I was fine.  (I finally found a doctor who would tell me that most likely, my estrogen levels were too low a few months ago.  I have been losing weight much more easily now.)

I hired a personal trainer once.  I explained to him how frustrating it had been for me.  How up until a few short years ago I never HAD to work out. Which was good, because I didn’t like it!  I would play softball on a team for work, I would go dancing, ride bikes, hike…but work out?!  Pft!  Quit cussin’ at me!  He explained to me that I was actually a “skinny, fat person.”  Meaning that while I was not overweight, I was not healthy.  Ok, I guess I can see that…but I still lost basically nothing.

Right about the time I hit thirty-five, I began to notice that women seemed to be a lot nicer to me, (Since I was non longer competition in their minds, I assumed.) and men, a lot meaner.  And I mean, MEAN!  That was if they even noticed I existed at all.  Oh yes, I noticed how the way they looked at me changed!

You want a lesson on what’s really going on in the minds of men?  I have learned a LOT!  And let me tell ya, for the most part, for most men?  It ain’t pretty!  Not even a little bit!  It’s like they actually BELIEVE they are entitled to a thin, gorgeous woman!  Like, some  of them?  They DEMAND IT!    She doesn’t even necessarily have to be smart, or even have a soul.  Just as long as she is thin and pretty.  And for a lot of men, she can be ugly as hell and the spawn of Satan and he will go out with her.   She can be ANYTHING but fat.  Or old…but even an older woman can still get her groove on if she’s not fat and good looking.  And that’s the outright truth.  I don’t care what any man tells you.  That’s what most of them really think!

What’s more, a lot of them will justify this bad behavior by telling you that they can’t help it!  “It’s biological.”  “We’re pigs.”  “We can’t help it.”

What a load of crap!  Women can be just as “biologically” piggish as men. However, it is engrained in us from birth that we can’t do those things, while boys are just being boys. And yes, we are animals, but we are NOT primates!  We have emotion and a BRAIN!  It’s called growing up and not being shallow!  Check into it!

Ok, sorry.  Rant over.  I know there’s a lot of you good guys out there.   And for those of you who are, obviously, that was not directed towards you.  If you are upset by what I said, you may need to take a closer look at yourself, buddy.  I can’t offend you if it doesn’t apply to you!

That’s my opinion and I would be hard pressed to change my mind about it after all these years and the experiences I have…endured?  Yes, I would say endured would be an appropriate word.  I have had men say and do the most Gawd awful ridiculous things to me, it isn’t even funny!  One guy asked me “Where is your make-up?” when I didn’t wear make-up to work one day.  NO, he was not concerned if I felt ok.  He sincerely thought I should be wearing it.  And I am not assuming anything!  I know this because I asked him!  The poor guy just wasn’t smart enough to know he should lie.  And on it goes….that’s just a more kind example.

I often think how nice it would be to perhaps have lived in the Renaissance Period, where women who were bigger were actually admired.  I mean look at all the women who were painted by famous artists in all their chubby cherub-esque glory!  Back then it was a sign of status to be heavier…

…And then it hits me!

Back then, it was actually about money.   Having money back then meant eating “well” and thus, being a larger person.  People recognized this, and since people with money were to be admired, they were still admired, even if they were portly, corpulent, stout, plump, or broad in the beam!  It simply did not matter.  It, and they, was/were considered beautiful, whether they were actually beautiful or not!

And this has always been my hang up.  I have spent my whole life merely wanting to be liked, loved, appreciated, and seen for who I ACTUALLY was.  Never really feeling like I could be!  When I was young and beautiful, I resented being arm candy, or anything of the like.  When I was older and plumper, I resented being seen as a number on a scale.  And in this world, I have little hope that being liked for who I was will ever happen much; except with a chosen few.

There ARE genuine people out there who will actually take the time to get to know you and understand who you really are.  Thank God for them!  They have made my life so much more bearable!

But the only person who really needed to figure out who I was…was me.  Only me.  It matters not what I weigh.  If I wear make-up or not.  If I have the nicest clothes in the latest trends.  (What’s up with that anway?!?!  Just another scam to take a woman’s hard earned money, if you ask me!)  It doesn’t matter if I drive a latest model vehicle or live in a house that’s 1,200 square feet or 12,000.  (It’s the former by the way.   1,280 to be exact.)

What matters is that even at 49, I can come to terms with what being beautiful really is.  And that yes, even overweight  I can proudly say, I am beautiful!  It doesn’t make me shallow, conceited, or anything else.  I can say it with no apologies, and with no remorse!

If you ask me, there are a BUNCH of beautiful women out there.  I’ve met some that by all appearances were far more beautiful that I, but they were mean and ugly.  I have also met some who were probably not as pretty as me to the eyes of some, but I saw as the most beautiful women I had ever met.  Simply because they were kind, giving, and had a heart full of love.  Women, who unlike me, already knew what real beauty was, while I continued to struggle with the concept.  Women, who, like a lot of people out there, would say were not attractive at all, including themselves, unfortunately.

And how sad it is, to live in a world where the measure of a man or women, is based merely on how they look, what they have, how they earn a living, or what they drive.  I take a lot of comfort in living in a new place where no one knows me now.  After spending my formative years as a preacher’s daughter in small towns, my life was always on display.  I don’t know that I can get away from that entirely.  You come to accept a lot of things when you are younger that you never really get over.  They say childhood is what you spend the rest of your life getting over!  (Or at least they say it in the movie Hope Floats!)  I think that’s true.  There are parts of me and my life that will always be on display that I have come to accept.  Look at how I write about it all now!  Still on display!

But there is still the best part of me that simply loves being able to throw on some cut off sweats, a T shirt with the arms and neck cut out, and putting my hair in a pony and putting on a ball cap.  I don’t have to shower, or worry about how I look.  I tell myself at times I am just being “pragmatic.”  It makes no sense to get all dolled up when I am just going to do this or that. Other times, I think maybe I am just rebelling from this superficial world.  But the truth is, regardless of my motives, I love those days I don’t have to worry about how I may look to someone, or if I will be thought of as pretty or not.  I walk out the door knowing in my heart I  know I am beautiful; even if to the rest of the world, I am still invisible.  I love this because, it is then, that I am truly free.

How lovely it would have been to be a beauty queen knowing what I know now!  I wish it had not taken me a lifetime to figure it out.  But better late than never, I guess!  That picture of me you see there?  I don’t look so bad when I’m all cleaned up!  It was taken about 7-9 years ago, near the time I was turning 40 and weighed around 160 pounds.  It was, in my opinion, the most beautiful I had ever been in my life.  (Both inside and out.) (Even though most people I met would have considered me kind of old, and kind of fat.)  I know I was.  I know it now.  I didn’t then.  And if I get made up now, I believe I still look almost as good, only with a few more wrinkles, and darker hair.  But take a ride out this way and pass me on the street?  You wouldn’t even recognize me.  You most likely would not find me remarkable, if you even noticed me at all.  Yet I can smile and know I am still beautiful and I still have worth.  And that’s just the way I like it!

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