Sunday, May 30, 2010

Paper Tigress

It's a rainy summer Saturday.  Derby day 2010, in Louisville, Kentucky.  My friend Debbie and I stroll into  a very nice bar to catch the race on the big screen.  There's so much hustle and bustle and all the girls are dressed up for derby day.  I'm in one of my favorite summer florals despite the weather, which seemed a silly choice earlier in the day.  But inside a lot of other women had also chosen not to let the weather spoil their original derby day wardrobe decision.  It feels great being among people and being a part of things.  I'm super confident today and for once I actually feel pretty.

A few minutes before the race I got up to make my way to the ladies' room, then made about three steps without considering my shoes could still be wet from the sidewalk outside.   I slipped and had an awkward moment, rebalancing over my very narrow 3 inch heels. I giggled sheepishly and glanced around casually wondering who might have seen.

Almost straight ahead, two pairs of gorgeous brown eyes caught mine. Two nicely dressed clean cut men, around my own age, standing near eachother and each holding a drink.  They looked a lot alike and I was imediately certain they were brothers.  They had probably taken notice of me because of the sudden movement, but now they were still looking right at me.  Its a look I have not experienced many times in my life, but I know it when I see it.  They were admiring me.

Somehow I just knew, that all I had to do was smile and I could be over there with them.  I wanted too.  I almost did.

Then reality snapped into focus.  I grow hair in places I shouldn't.  I'm wearing more makeup than I should rightfully need.  My complexion is awful, with skin swollen from laser the day before.  I'm missing parts I should have. I have parts I shouldn't.  They admire me now, from 20 feet away.   But the distance, the low light, and a thin layer of cloth and mineral powder hides a multitude of sins.  For now rare distant admiration is all I can accept.  I can't date. I can't fall in love.  If they spent time with me, either would eventually be disappointed. The only question is how long we could talk before someone saw through the paper thin illusion that masks my many handicaps.

The smile forming on my lips froze incomplete and something primal and natural that was happening inside died .  There was no time to think.  I couldn't end up with a situation where they would feel comfortable approaching me.  I gave them the tiniest cold smile and then turned to the women's room with a dismissive toss of my hair.

A paper thin layer of cloth and makeup hides a multitude of sins.  I am a paper tigress.


Anonymous said... Some day you will have the confidence to return those looks. In fact, I think you should have taken advantage of the opportunity right then. You don't need to be totally distant. Flirting is not the same as going to bed with a guy (except perhaps in his mind). Always remember, YOU are the WOMAN...YOU have the POWERRRRR. :)Suzi

Aislin said...

"Everything's gonna be alright. Everything's gonna be alright. No woman, no cry."

Soon come. And this you know. A fast passing phase lyrically captured, nonetheless.

ms.shandy said...

@Suzi Most days I could have gotten away with a little flirting, but that weekend was the first time I had ever tried worrying makeup the day after laser. It didn't fit neatly into the narrative, but the reason I was going to the ladies' room in the first place was to make sure there wasn't fried hair showing through my makeup and that I wasn't breaking out from wearing makeup over my irritated skin. :P

ms.shandy said...

@Aislin Thanks! It really is a passing phase. Mostly its okay, but it can be frustrating sometimes. :)

Jerica Truax said...

Hey girl

I can sooooo relate to those feelings! Feeling like guys wont want anything to do with me. Feeling like I'm not feminine enough, etc. That was about 5-6 months ago for me and look at me now with a boyfriend that is very attracted to me in every way except that last little piece that needs to be taken care of , of course. There is hope *hugs*

<3 Jerica

Anonymous said...