This weekend was a crazy one.
It was filled with memorable experiences and times with family and friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world—but I wouldn’t exactly call it relaxing or easy. I’m one of those introverts that complains about everything I have to do in the throes of society until I actually get out there and do it, then I’m all smiles and thankful that I went. Christian, my husband, knows this all too well about me and will often use it as an argument-winner to get me out of the house.
Hormones are a crazy thing.
Being female can be a curse uneasily handled, especially when cortisol levels are at an all time high from the first 8 hours of the day. And let me tell you, limited calories can really draw out the metaphorical claws under all previous conditions.
I reached Sunday night exasperated and spent. I was “hangry,” as I often am after about 4 hours of long, hard fasting, and I was stuck in a situation where I couldn’t do anything I was hoping to do (ie. write and eat, of course). And when I say hangry, I mean hANGRY. Like, angry enough that I’m looking myself in the mirror and asking, “what the hell is wrong with you? Why are you THIS mad?”
Spoiler: the next day would mark the time of the month that highlighted why I was indeed “this mad.”
Anyway, my husband is amazing and stopped at Panera to satisfy my desperate need for carbs. While waiting outside the drive-thru window, we were talking about something that was in-depth enough that I didn’t quite catch what the lady in the window said to me. In fact, I thought I heard so wrong that I had one of those drawn out, visible pauses and asked, “What?”
She looks me in the eye and says, “I just… You’re really pretty.”
I now realize that I hadn’t heard her wrong. She first said, “You’re so beautiful.”
Stunned, I kind of laughed and stumbled over my compliment-handling skills. “Uh, wow um… thank you!”
She closed the window with a smile on her face and suddenly everything I was just talking about (more likely ranting about) disappeared. I couldn’t remember anything. I stared out the dash for quite some time before Christian says, “Well, that made your night, huh?”
I nodded and replied, “That’s so weird.”
What the woman said wasn’t weird, nor were her intentions. What was weird is how her saying that one sentence could turn over my entire world; it was weird that something so simple could produce such joy; it was weird acknowledging that its because there is such a lack of affirmation generosity and bravery in this world, that it causes forgetfulness, the welling of tears, and the subtle change in perspective that made the rest of the night a little bit brighter for me.
I made sure to return the gesture, but she wasn’t the one who returned to the window. As the other girl reached out to hand me my food, I said, “Hey, I just wanted you to know that you’re beautiful, and please tell Chloe she is, too.”
How often is it that you notice someone’s name tag in the drive-thru? For me, it’s rare. But I noticed Chloe’s immediately after she first spoke to me in a more than human way.
I hope Chloe knows she is far more beautiful than me.