I volunteer at a food bank. There are a lot of folks who come through every week like clockwork. A couple of the older men like to grab a quick hug, same for a couple of the women. They're single. They have no children or are estranged from their children, and yes, they are very lonely and depressed now that they are staring at the end of their lives with no one there to stand at their side. Coming to the food bank, for many of them is the only social contact they have.
I get a lot of compliments. There are days I look like something the cat played with but didn't quite kill and they think I'm Miss America.
Says a lot for their eyesight doesn't it?
This past Monday, one of my favorites hugged me and noticed my hair had been 'did' and he said Ï love your hair like this, all the curls show up and it looks so soft and pretty."
I smiled and said 'thank you.' and he finished with his usual Ï love you, you're so pretty.'then went on his way.
The 11 year old young lady sitting beside me, allegedly helping me, more like hindering, frowned and said "You're too old and fat to be pretty."
Her grandmother smacked her behind before I could process what she had just said.
After I regained my thought processes I turned to her and said "You do realize that there will come a day when you are my age and quite possibly my size if you have a couple of children, and especially if you continue eating the way you do now after you have said children."
It was now her turn to be speechless for a minute, mostly because she was swallowing the cookies she'd been eating on the whole time. Her grandmother chimed in "Änd if you live to be my age. You will find Miss Melissa to be the prettiest thing ever."
Little Miss frowned again because grandma just sided with me.
All this got me to thinking
What do I find attractive? You know, I never noticed one of the gentlemen, and he is a gentleman, didn't have teeth until someone else pointed it out to me. He stutters a bit, I really hadn't noticed it either, because I don't pay attention to physical things. I laugh and joke and hug and pay attention to the other things like heart and soul and character.
I notice eyes, not the 500 lbs of weight they're carrying around. eyes tell me a lot more about the person than the weight does. Eyes tell me the story of how that weight got there, or the scars, or if they're sad or happy.
I see the cast on their arm or leg or wheelchair before I notice the condition their clothes.
I see the huge pregnant belly and no one to help her carry her groceries in the food bank.
I go out of my way to make sure I know their names, the names they want to be called by not the one on the appointment slip.
Are they pretty or handsome? Heck if I know. I think they all are. Even the grumpy ones who smell like alcohol, pot, and or sewer. Not my place to judge.
I'm a Christian.
I am called to love them all.
I am told to not judge. Hard to do at times, and I regret the times I did judge, because I was wrong.
This young lady who told me I'm too old and fat to be pretty, is just young, I know that, which is why I shrugged her off.
People need to chill, enjoy other folks for who they are, their differences, and stop worrying about politics, and whose religion is right, because, in the end we all end up dead. Within a year or so of our deaths no one remembers anything about us, except our family, and even that fades in time.
That's the ultimate revenge here. Time. It's a thief and it takes its toll on everything. Memories of loved ones and not so loved ones fades. Beauty fades. Everything goes away and starts anew at the same time.
Enjoy the life you have now.