I didn’t want to get up this morning. Not that that made this morning any different than every other morning where light and sound have the cojones to intrude upon my personal space before 10:00… but nevertheless… I didn’t want to get up. So I’m sure you can imagine my delight to remember, at 7:30 (the time I am technically supposed to be at work) while I was laying in bed bitching about the general condition of it being morning to my VERY unsympathetic husband, that I had a dentist appointment this morning at 9 thus allowing me ample time to roll around in bed, cuddle puppies and moan about having to get up in the very near future.
(The dentist is a non-issue. I love the feeling of recently polished teeth and I am 31 years old with never a single cavity so I do not dread the dentist. The sentiment would have been different had it been, perhaps, a morning date with the gynecologist.)
Regardless of the extra time allowed to me, I still lazed around in bed for too long and had to jump up in a hurry to get ready and out the door with no makeup (as usual). I scurried out the door feeling like about a 3 on a scale of 1-10. (Mascara and lipstick made it a solid 3.5.)
After the dentist I did a little running around, nothing of great importance, but on the way back to work I ducked into the grocery store because I also had nothing for lunch today. As I was standing at the check-out looking down at my black cotton swing dress and wondering if any of the menagerie of animals at my house could possibly have any fur left given the considerable amount stuck to my clothing, my entire morning changed.
A woman I’d never seen before in my life came up to me and told me I was beautiful and carried myself with sexy confidence.
“But wait!” I wanted to yell. “Do you not see the thousand things wrong with me? My hair is unwashed, my dress is slightly faded (despite my best efforts with Woolite Dark) and covered in animal fur. I haven’t reapplied my lipstick since being at the dentist (actually, I hadn’t even looked to make sure it wasn’t currently hanging out on my left cheek or my right eyelid), I haven’t shaved my legs since Sunday and my shoes are scuffed! Not to mention I could easily stand to lose a good 50 pounds and my nail polish is chipped! I’m tired, I’m waiting to see if I’m pregnant and I have a sneaking suspicion that my underwear is on inside out. How can you not see what a complete and utter train wreck I am?”
Instead, somehow I managed to blush and stammer “thank you” to this gorgeous woman who looked like she just stepped off the pages of a magazine. She was dressed in casual jewel tones that accented her flawless black skin, her accessories was magnificent and she was rocking a hat that I could only wear in my wildest dreams.
As she flashed me a killer smile and went about her shopping, I realized that this woman has got it all figured out. This woman knows what life is about. She has a mission and she is making this world a better place one person at a time, whether she knows it or not.
Far too often, be it a gossip magazine, a fashion magazine or whatever random entertainment show happens to be on, we focus on flaws and tear each other down. We find the little things wrongs with each person and compare ourselves saying “Well at least I don’t have her hips, or those thighs. At least I’m not blind enough to wear those shoes with that dress.” We think it makes us feel better by comparison. And I’m just as guilty, if not more, than the next girl. I love a good snarky comment and chances are, that’s not going to disappear any time soon.
But there is no amount of criticism and judgment that I could make to another person that could ever make me feel as good as the five seconds that a stranger took out of her day to tell me something nice. She didn’t see all the flaws that I can’t see around when I look in the mirror. She doesn’t have the memory of a pair of size 4 wardrobe floating around in the back of her mind.
And so in appreciation of her, I challenge everyone to pay a compliment to a stranger today. Or every day if you want. Speak up. It may not seem like much but I promise you that you will change someone’s day. Maybe even your own…