Today I had a customer that made me feel a little uncomfortable, but also a little flattered. First, he asked if Melanie and I were related because we both had pretty red hair and gorgeous freckles. And then a little later he says, leaning towards me, that a pretty girl like me makes him wish he was young again. He was probably in his forties but he was handsome and articulate in a way that kept him out of the creepy-old-man category in my head. The way he leaned forward and looked into my eyes kind of made me feel like he was used to talking to women that way and having it work. Like he wasn’t just looking at me, but looking into my eyes and seeing things there. I wasn’t sure what reaction he was hoping for but all I could do was smile politely while my face turned red and inform him that he could take a seat, it would be a minute or so before his license was ready. Then I gave it to him when it came out and told him to check it for errors and I walked away. Before he left he walked over to the counter where I was and said, “You really are gorgeous.” with that penetrating look and then left.
And yesterday a cute young man told me he would buy me a drink and teach me how to play pool if I went to the pub that night.
I’m not used to this. I’m not used to being noticed. I mean, people notice me all the time, sure, but as the happy girl or the nice girl or the smiling girl. Not really with interest.
I like it.
To be fair, Jeremy tells me nice things all the time. He tells me I’m pretty or beautiful or attractive. He compliments my eyes or the way a shirt contrasts nicely with my hair or any number of positive observations about my appearance. But I suppose it feels different.
I was going to say it was different because I don’t believe him, but that’s not it exactly. Part of me does think that he would just say these things because he is a wonderful friend that knows I’m terribly insecure about my appearance and therefore says nice things to help me, but I know that’s not true. He wouldn’t lie to me. It would be better to not say anything at all than to lie. The frequency of his compliments helps me believe there is at least some truth to it.
But still, it is different. It is like when my girl friends tell me that I’m pretty or I look nice or something. I certainly believe that they believe it is true. And maybe I DO feel pretty or beautiful or whatever. But they, my girl friends and Jeremy, they say these things out of kindness. They don’t want anything from me. There is no goal in mind.
I want someone to want something from me. I want someone to be attracted to me. To want to get closer. To want to touch and share and be touched. And they way that man spoke to me and looked at me today, it was the first time I felt like someone did want something from me. Like I could have said something like, “You aren’t that old” and kept him there longer. Like he wanted me to say something like that. Now I absolutely didn’t want to spend any more time with that man and I certainly didn’t want him touching me, but he gave me something no one else yet has: He made me feel attractive. He made me feel desirable.
And I realized that all those times I thought I wanted to feel pretty, I thought I wanted to feel beautiful, this is what I actually wanted.
Because I’ve known what it feels like to look in the mirror and be pleased with what I’m seeing. To think that yes, I am pretty. Yes, I can be beautiful. But not until today did I ever think that maybe a man might be attracted to me one day.
I want to feel that way again. I want to see that look in the eyes of a man I’m attracted to.
(While keeping in mind Mr. Jeremy’s sixth month rule, of course.)