Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Excuse Me, But You Are So...

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~Roald Dahl

It was the mid-1980’s. A young woman—no Marilyn Monroe, by any stretch of the imagination, but reasonably attractive—sat with her date in a club. Dressed in a pretty pink blouse and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (I DID say this was the 80’s!), she looked and felt pretty sexy.

But her companion was a bit inattentive, his Rico Suave gaze roaming the place. His attitude shouted loud and clear that he was sure he could do much better than the pretty-ish woman beside him. And he probably could have.

Then something happened. Something so unexpected, so odd, so startling, it changed the woman’s life.

A stranger, a very good-looking man, stood at his table and said goodnight to the waitress as he laid his money on her tray.

Then he walked straight to the lady in the pink blouse and stopped at her table. He addressed the woman’s date first, Excuse me, he said. I’m sorry, man, if I’m out of line, but I’ve just got to say this. Then the handsome stranger turned to the woman and murmured, You are so goddamn beautiful. Before the lady could react, the man smiled at her date, saying, You’re a lucky man.

And, just like that, the mysterious man was gone.

One flash in time, a little basketful of verbal flowers, and the lady in the pink blouse’s inner beauty—which had surely been dormant, as she never knew she even HAD inner beauty—lit up inside her. She glowed that night, smiled, flirted, felt—beautiful.

Her date suddenly saw her through this total stranger’s eyes and, from that point on, became quite the attentive escort.

The lady in the pink blouse? That was me. And the odd thing? I was not, still am not, outstanding in the looks department. Who knows what that stranger saw? Who knows exactly what attracts one person to another? Chemistry? A soul connection? Maybe he just liked pink blouses on brunettes? I’ll never know.

But since that night, and through the years, I’ve been fascinated by human attraction and its uncanny mystery.

For myself, sure, there are the obvious draws that I find attractive in men. It’s no secret I love my dark-haired men. I have exquisite, exotic fantasies of my Italian lovers with their black eyes and full lips, their perfect bodies. Gods in men’s physiques. A charming accent is, without a doubt, irresistible.

But that’s just my fantasy. That is what I like to look at in pictures, to admire in public, to drool over. But it’s not real to me, it doesn’t appeal to me beyond the external, the obvious allure.

There’s a reason this has all hit me today. Earlier this week, I blogged my thoughts about finding soul mates. The thought had been so strong in my mind.

Then, this morning, I accidentally stumbled on a picture of someone who I found, much to my surprise, to be incredibly sexy. So sexy I couldn’t take my eyes from him. And, in truth, he’s sort of lingered in my mind all day.

He was a very young man—what?—no older than his twenties, probably. Skinny as a beanpole, he wore glasses and had bleached blond hair, wild and curly. Not ripped with six pack abs—actually, he didn’t even have a three-pack set of abs. At first glance, very ordinary.

In fact, he would fit perfectly in one of those vintage ads for body building. You know the ones. The buff guy mocking the 98-pound weakling, taunting, Hey, Skinny! Kicking sand in his face. He could be the poster boy for the old Charles Atlas ads…Do you want to look like THIS? He’d BE the 98-pound weakling.

Then his most outstanding feature—his smile—caught my attention. A huge, brilliant, need-sunglasses-to-look-at-it blinding smile. Very toothy. A skinny little scarecrow with huge teeth and glasses.

Somehow, inexplicably, I found myself so attracted to this young man, actually finding him incredibly sexy. No, not lothario sexy—let me bed you, my darling, and wrap you in roses and kisses sexy—just…sexy.

The beauty, the intense beauty, that radiated from this man drew me to him, then caused me to stop, to tarry. From the brilliant, effervescent smile, my gaze moved to see that he had very nice hands…expressive hands. Nice, strong, handsome feet. Light, smooth skin. Details which, when observed as a whole picture, blended to make a very handsome person.

But the personality. This shit-eating, lively, I-love-me-I-love-you-I love-life burst of sunshine from this skinny little person. Made him ten feet tall, transformed him into an Adonis, made him bright as the sun, made him so damn sexy and irresistible this girl can't stop thinking about him.

I knew, deep down, if that smile—that glorious, infectious smile—walked into my life, no matter how skinny, how heavy, how tall, how short, how much hair, how rich, how poor…I’d beg to dance in the light of him.

I noticed that my young, broad-smiled, bespectacled dream man is married, and I—like my own stranger/admirer long ago—thought of his wife, You’re a lucky lady.

To be lucky enough to bask in a smile I loved, to see that sunshine everyday, to be the one to cheer him up when his sun wasn’t shining, to be the one that exceptional smile shined on—what a romantic idea. What a sexy idea. Not the stuff romance novels are made of, but real-life, you-are-my-sunshine, you-are-so-goddamn-beautiful-inside-I-can-hardly-stand-it reality.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross said, People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.

And I’m pretty sure this was the caliber of beauty I saw this morning in my skinny little dream man. Something so bright, so full of life, so obviously dredged in sweet love—not only surely for his wife but for the world around him—exudes when one has this kind of inner light.

I hope, hope, hope that while being surrounded in the romantic world of fiction by streams of well-built gods in Speedos with their tight abs and powerful chests, I keep my mind open to his alter ego—the man who might not hit the mark of movie-star looks and body-builder physique but who has THE SMILE.

And hold me back. Because, if I do see such blinding sun in person, I’m going to march right up to him and say, Excuse me. But you are so goddamn beautiful.


Shopgirl said...

Lovely story and portrait of love, inner beauty and romance. Oh, the inner beauty so radiant it attracted strangers sounds amazing, especially how you turned it into real life. :)

by Sarah Lee said...

Beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder. :) I love this blog!

Stephy Smith said...

Wonderful blog Carol. I think sometimes we tend to forget there is more beauty on the inside that burns brighter than the outside. Thank you for the reminder! I needed this today.

Unknown said...

There's a reason I keep coming back to read your blog, even when I don't always leave a comment. When you aren't saying what I'm thinking, you're saying what I realize I should have been thinking all along. Thank you.

Kimberly Gardner said...

"To be lucky enough to bask in a smile I loved, to see that sunshine everyday, to be the one to cheer him up when his sun wasn’t shining, to be the one that exceptional smile shined on—what a romantic idea. What a sexy idea. Not the stuff romance novels are made of ..."

Oh, but this is exactly what romance novels are made of. Which is why you're such a terrific romance writer, Carol.

Great post!

C. Zampa said...

Hey, Shopgirl! Good to see you again!
I'll never know what the man in the club saw, don't suppose I want to know. But it has fixed in my mind, always made me aware of the need to

C. Zampa said...

Hugs and hello, Sarah L!

Thank you!

It IS in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? In open eyes, anybody can be a beaty, not just the models.

C. Zampa said...

Thank you, Steph!
We sure do need to be remidned. I sure do! Surrounded by the ideal of beauty all the time, we need to remember it is not in bodies and looks.
Thank for visiting!

C. Zampa said...

Oh...thank you Jaime! Hugs to you!

C. Zampa said...

Oh, hugs, Kimberly!
And thank you!
I do so want to find that smile, too. And most importantly, to recognize it in whatever package it arrives in.

Thanks for visiting!

LaviniaLewis said...

Wonderful blog post Carol and you are absolutely spot on, it is the beauty on the inside that makes a person shine. My friends always joke about the types of men I find attractive, unlike them, I've never favoured men who are considered clasically good looking. To me, physical features are just window dressing, a good, caring, happy and fun loving person is far more attractive and those attributes are often highlighted by a larger than life smile.

C. Zampa said...

Hi, Lavinia!
I know what you mean about the types we're attracted to...and how they don't fit the standard.

I've never gravitated to classic good look, either. But, like you, give me that smile and that inner spirit.


Cassie Exline said...

Absolutely a beautiful blog. Loved it. And loved basketful of verbal flowers. Hope you don't mind if I use that. Sometimes all we need is nice words and we feel like a million bucks. There are times that our online friends seem to glow on the page, seem to spread sunshine and you are one of them. Thanks for sharing.

L.C. Chase said...

What a truly beautiful post. I loved every word of it - and it is all so true. Its the little things that shine brightest.

Mz_MEW said...

As always, you say the loveliest things and I never have to see your face to know you are very beautiful.

Sarah Ballance said...

What a great story! I've never seen you (just that one blurry pic you once stubbornly shoved my way which showed NOTHING) but I already know you're beautiful. This proves it. ;c)

S.Lira said...

what a great blog Carol. It is true about beauty. Yu dont have to be ripped and incredibly gorgeous to be considered that!


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've lived that moment with you. I can imagine how utterly radiantly you felt. And I think it happened for more reasons than even you realize. The truth often hits us in these ways, but it's not a momentary thing, but something we're to carry with us always.

So, the next time that inner voice says something nasty to you, go back to that moment when he leaned forward and said, "But you are so goddamn beautiful."


Julie Lynn Hayes said...

What an awesome story, Carol, and what a lovely blog! You are so right! When you stop thinking about and worrying about how you appear to others, and concentrate on feeling the love and warmth that is inside of you, then others will see the beauty in you, whether you think it's reflected in your mirror or not.

C. Zampa said...

Hi, Cassie!
Sure, you can use the basket of verbal flowers! LOL...It's what that is, isn't it?

Thanks so much for visiting...and, yeah, we DO need that from time to time. Makes me more conscious, too, of the need to compliment others more often when I feel it.

C. Zampa said...

Oh, thank you for visiting, LC!
It is good to see you!

C. Zampa said...

Hello, Mz Mew!
And thank you for the compliment. Many who know me would not agree...LOL..I can be very 'not' pretty at times.

I just hope I learn to look more closely for the beauty in everyone else.

Thank you so much for visiting!

C. Zampa said...

LOL, Sarah Ballance! That's right! You have seen my old blurry picture...LOL...uh-oh! Can't fool you! But thank you for your beautiful words.

You, too, are beautiful!


C. Zampa said...

Hello, my friend, Rawiya!
You are right! It is not about being ripped and lovely.

Hugs to you!

C. Zampa said...

Hello, Joylene!
Thank you!

Funny, because I lived that moment so vividly today. And I do forget about it all the time, you said...try to remind myself at times when I need it most how it DID make me feel. The INSIDE feeling from it was a true glow. Sigh.

Thank you.

C. Zampa said...

Hello, Julie, and thank you!
Mirrors. Ugh. You're right. It is NOT in the mirror. But still others CAN see it, if we let it shine.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog sporadically, but so enjoy it every time I do I keep thinking I should add it to my feed. This post clinches it, I'm adding you as soon as I'm done with this comment. Like Jaime said, you seem to either say what I was thinking or should have been; or maybe wish I were.

I've never met you and have no idea what you look like, but I say with complete certainty: Carol, you are so goddamn beautiful!

NPT said...

Lovely story, Carol. Well said.

In a way, it's the essence of "slash", isn't it? We are moved by two straight guys who love each other so much -- the inner being, the character, the light inside -- so they set aside generations of upbringing to love, really love.

Omnia vincit amor.

I'm going to suggest visitors to my blog come and this this great post.

C. Zampa said...

Morgon, thank you so very much!
That made my day.
Thank you and it's wonderful to see you!

C. Zampa said...

Hello, Nikolaos! I guess that inner light is the essence of any romance, whether it's same sex or het couples.

Now that you mention it, if everyone would concentrate on just that..that inner beauty and light...then love would just be love in everyone's eyes, with no prejudice.


Thank you for visiting!

Marie Rose Dufour said...

Great blog! What a thrill to have a total stranger realize how beautify your truly are! I might have jumped up and gone after him. My date be damned!

Janice Seagraves said...

My hubby is kind of like that with me. Since our first date, he's always told me I was beautiful. We've been married for thirty-one years and have a daughter together. I've doubled in size since we've first meet, but he still says I'm beautiful and gets mad when I don't agree with him.

So for him, I am.