Big Curls and High Heels

Last evening, as our college-aged manchild being home on break with no plans for the evening, we asked if he would mind sitting with his younger pajama-clad, movie-watching siblings while we excuse ourselves to go pretend we are-if even for only an hour--once again interesting adults. The manchild kindly agreed and we began to ready ourselves for an outing in which we would engage in meaningful {albeit wordless} conversation over hot food and cold beer at the local tavern.

In approximately five minutes, my date was ready. He told me to take my time, clearly perceiving that it would take a good measure of it to revive what the long day (and up-all-night-before-with-croupy-children) had drained from my person.

I stood in front of the mirror, tired arms heavy at my side, not even knowing where to begin. It's not easy for me any more to shift into "going out" mode on a spur of the moment notice. Let me rephrase that into the truth. It has never been easy for me to shift into any unplanned frivolity if I haven't spent some recent quality time with my makeup bag and an 1875 voltage hair appliance that blows life into my locks. From my youth on, I have dreamt of being that natural, Bohemian beauty who merely reaches for her chapstick and a pair of flats when she's beckoned to the world outside her home. I have tried many an occasion to pull off a casual, straight-haired look and have even been told it looks just fine. But last night as I stared at my frumpy reflection, I automatically went into my default mode: I reached for my hair dryer and curling iron, propping my tired hair into a style that has always made me feel the most pretty.
As I walked past my reflection in the square mirror hanging by the back door on the way out, it occurred to me that I should finally accept that I will always feel prettiest in big curls and high heels.


We walked into the cozy tavern, still draped in Christmas lights and each table adorned with a solitary candle with an empty wine bottle stuffed with silk poinsettia's as centerpiece. The portly hostess came towards us in her Christmas red sparkle shirt and with a quick nod said "Will that be two?". I nodded and took note of her hair. After she placed our menus in front of us (and confided with a playful little wink: "I gave you the best seat in the house!"), I remarked to my husband "I'll bet she's the owner's wife. And I also am very sure that the years during the 1970's held some of her personal best".

He agreed, as her coif looked almost identical to this lady's:

Instead of the normal "bless her little old heart" smirk that usually spreads across my face, I felt a kinship to our bouffant-bearing hostess. When our server came up to the table, far younger than I with a artsy tattoo peeking out of her sleeve, hair whipped up into a messy bun and clear gloss glazing her lips I was almost certain I heard her thinking "Now there's a woman who was lovin' life in 1996" as she asked me if I would like to look at the wine list.

I nodded, in both answer to the perceived observation and the spoken question. There are moments in which you can actually feel yourself growing up and into your own skin. This was one such moment for me.

I wonder...

What makes you feel prettiest? 
(Whatever you it is, I say go with it and wear it proudly!)



Laura said…
Sometimes it does grieve me to read your posts, full well knowing I exceed you in years. In regards to your blog. .. after losing 40 pounds and successfully keeping it off for the past year I actually caught my reflection in a mirror and thought to myself, that girls hair looks cute. Wait, that is my hair!!! Hehe.
Sarah Gingrich said…
I feel prettiest when I'm out in the elements; wind-whipped, hair wildly curling, cheeks flushed, and eyes alive. In Chile I was a rower and after I'd come in from the water with my hands bleeding and my body soaked to the bone, I'd catch a glimpse of myself in the locker room mirror and be shocked...I looked pretty in a raw, natural, wild way. I probably look prettiest to others when I wear flattering clothing (that hides my mommy curves, ahem), curl my hair, and actually spend some time artfully applying make-up, but that is such a tame beauty, that I can hardly pursue it.
Melissa Taylor said…
This is why you're my BFF. Big Texas hair will always be my favorite, bonus points for Guess model blonde.

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