Friday, February 1, 2008

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Not Beautiful

The other day in the parking lot of Target, a young man insulted me. Unfortunately, I didn't completely understand what he said, so I couldn't come back with one of my zingers. Okay, so maybe I don't have any zingers, but I could have at least given him a really mean look.

It sounded as though he said, "Hey, you dropped your spinal tap back there. And it went really great with your outfit, that's for sure!" Then he shot me a challenging smirk. In the silence of the next two seconds, I saw that I hadn't dropped anything and had to decide if the gibberish I heard had been a compliment or a jab. Judging by his superior attitude and the fact that I had just come from the gym, I knew it had been a slam. Well, I showed him. I smiled and giggled. Way to go, Caryl.

So why can't I just let it go? Well, shucks. I need the world to be nice to me right now. I have a fragile ego these days.

Last weekend my husband took me to a fancy-schmancy business dinner at Magic Island in Houston. I pulled out all the stops. I wiggled into my outfit, curled up my hair and loaded on the make up. I put on my best jewelry and stood back to assess my work. "Lookin' gooood!" I said to the babe in the mirror.

I felt confident as I strutted past my husband to the car, ready to dazzle his coworkers. Upon arrival, we were asked to pose for a picture, which would be given to us at the end of the evening.

Magic Island serves a wonderful dinner followed by a magic show. After eating, we were escorted into a small theater. Music pulsated, smoke swirled in a spotlight as the magician dazzled us with his tricks. Quite a show, really, but I couldn't get past the fact that his assistant had my old body. The confidence I felt at home was slowly waning and completely hit rock bottom when we were presented with our souvenir photo.

I had done some magic of my own, managing to give the illusion of a double chin as I stared at the camera with a frightened expression. My fabulous sleeveless shell accentuated my flabby little arms, and my sexy black skirt didn't cover enough of my stubby legs.

(Yes, Oprah, I hear you. Woman, love thyself. Blah, blah, blah....)

Actually, my self-image is usually fine. I've never been a knockout, and I've never cared. But lately when I celebrate another birthday, I get a little sad when it's thrown in my face that I'm not a sweet young thang anymore. For years I've been waiting to finally bloom when the truth is, I've already begun to wilt. When did I peak?

Please, I'm not fishing for compliments. I just had to get this off my flat chest. And to that young man at Target, the old adage is true: "If you can't say something nice, SHUT THE @#$%^&! UP!" So there.


Jennifer said...

Um, did you ever figure out what the kid did say, and/or what it meant? What a strange thing to happen. Little sh!t.

It's okay, girl. Vent! I vented at a co-worker yesterday. These two girls who are both 5 years younger than me had just come back to work with McDonalds. I couldn't stand it. I said that I can't stand the fact that the two of them go out and eat McDonald's whenever they want. They are both smaller than me and they have both had kids. Meanwhile, I haven't had fast food in years, I exercise 5 days a week, and the freaking scale won't budge. The only thing that I could soothe myself with was the knowledge that maybe in five years, their metabolisms will sh!t the bed too!

Ahhhh, venting. Feels good!

caryl said...

No, Jenny (there I go calling you Jenny again! I'm sorry, I like it!) I never figured out what he said. But it was mean.

Well, you're right, everyone's metabolism changes as they get older. Those youngin's better be prepared for it. I've given up everything that tastes good to have a marginally decent figure, but there's not much I can do about my face.

Heehee! Venting DOES feel good!

Chicken & Waffles said...

Caryl: You are absolutely gorgeous and you should know it. I envied your slim build and girlish good looks when I met you. Screw these foolish young men who make stupid statements; they are the ones who will be lusting for you in short order.

caryl said...

CW: Well, aren't you just full of...compliments! I know we women are too hard on ourselves, but it's a bummer getting old. don't worry, I'm over it! (kinda)

Julie said...

Caryl is fabulous, and needs to believe it herself.

Look, aging sucks, let's face it. I see girls with boobs like mine used to be in high school, and think "Why are mine so damn disgusting and saggy now???" and I see women who can wear sleeveless dresses, and think "My arms are fat and I hate them!". Then I see some woman with fabulous legs, and think "I never got to have that experience" having always had horrible stubs for legs.

But I also know that I have my own body, and it's faulted as hell, but it works fine. I've got a look that's only mine, and I honestly like it.

All that to say Caryl, this is not a compliment, but you are one of the most fabulous looking wimmins I've ever seen. You have a glint in your eye...kind of mischievous...and you're funny and sassy. You have your own boyish build, which is as hot as any curvy one. Girlfriend got to love herself, seriously!

But the kid at Target? Fuck him. He's probably a high school drop out living in his parent's house and scoring crack in the parking lot. Forget him. YOU rock, and that's all that matters.

caryl said...

Wow. I should print out these comments and carry them in my pocket! If nothing else, I can hand it to the next guy who's mean to me.

I seriously wasn't fishing for compliments, Julie, but I appreciate it and will TRY to believe you! You DID make me feel better.

And since I can't help but use humor when I feel uncomfortable...if what you all say is true, why didn't Taylor invite me to stay on the elevator up to his room?? Huh?? Oh, yeah, he was sick then and not thinking clearly. Or...he's shy (ha) and I wasn't wearing my good butt jeans. Or perhaps he saw my wedding ring? Yeah, that must be it.