My dear friend, rock star and juicy Goddess Kim Garin made a Facebook post this last month (on my birthday of all days, and boy, oh boy, was it a gift). It opened my heart then, and it continues to delight me now. I couldn’t resist calling Kim up and asking her permission to share it with all of you. Graciously, she agreed.
True story time. Fresh off a completely impromptu mid-day hike, considerably sweaty and entirely sans makeup (per the usual for a homebody writing day), I stopped off at a lovely looking coffee shop to fuel-up before heading home. I know, I know caffeine after 3 in the afternoon is not exactly the wisest thing to do, but when it comes to proactively coaxing my inner, and often resistant social butterfly into embracing a night out when “peopling” isn’t coming all that easily, a little brew really can be an effective motivational tool!
As I was waiting on my order of go-go juice, I could literally feel the intensity of the eyeballing coming my way from a group of older ladies sitting just inside the door. I proceeded to flash a big and toothy, yet genuinely honest grin in their general direction (aka my favorite tactic to diffuse that kind of judgy energy), thanked the barista for hooking me up and made my way to the exit.
The diverted glances and uncomfortable silence that came about as I walked past was practically palpable. Then, somewhat accidentally, I happened to make eye contact with the only one of them who wasn’t making any attempt to pretend that she was unaware of my presence. Her gaze shifted from my eyes to my half-sleeve and back again before she said, “I can’t imagine why anyone would ever do something so permanent like that.” The faint gasps of disbelief from her friends, although barely audible, were loud enough to cause a woman sitting in a nearby booth to put a hand to her mouth.
Now, it’s exceedingly rare for me to encounter vocalized criticism, especially from a complete stranger, so one could anticipate that such a closed-minded remark might take me by enough surprise to leave me at a loss for words. I know I would have assumed as much, especially given the kind of day it was.
However, and much to my surprise in fact, the very opposite occurred. I felt myself give her a warm smile, and as I reached down to touch her hand, I heard myself say, “Oh, you sweet woman. I’m afraid you’re mistaken. These are really only temporary, just like the skin you’re in.” The knowing nods that came by way of a few of her submissive comrades, as they sheepishly raised their eyes to meet mine, let me know that my work there was done.
As I left, still reeling from the fact that I had actually managed to manifest the cojones necessary to verbalize a perspective that may have challenged what I could only assume their table talk was typically like, I became aware that something else was percolating within me. Then, quite suddenly, I was overcome with a sense of overwhelming love for those beautiful expressions of God – all dressed up in blue hair, costume jewelry and Dr. Scholl’s orthotics. Namaste ladies…you totally made my day.