A while back, I was volunteering at the front desk of a local health care center. One morning, as I was greeting people who were arriving to visit a loved one, I had a fun experience with one of the visitors.
That morning, I saw a very well dressed older woman walk through the front door to visit her husband. She was short and plump with very thin hair. I had seen her before on other visits and had come to see, as the weeks passed, how much she seems to enjoy wearing makeup and perfume. It was also apparent that she put a lot of time and effort in getting herself ready for the day. She was always immaculately dressed in a flashy, colorful ensemble of one style or another. The style always varied, but the bright colors were ever present.
She must have some form of arthritis because as she pushes through the front door, she walks in an awkward staccato fashion, her heels creating a loud clacking sound with each short, jerky step. Heads turn as she approaches the guest register where she signs in.
One day, she arrived wearing a large hot pink brimmed straw hat which boasted a prominent silk peony tucked into the wide pink polkadot band above the brim. She also wore a long flowing multicolored blouse with Capri pants, all in a matching shade of Peppermint Patty pink. She was wearing large earrings, a matching necklace, and an infinite amount of thin bracelets stacked high up her arm starting at her wrist. On her feet were cute little pink shoes with a large pink flower sitting on top of each one.
I was blinded by the light….a bright pink light, I might add. She and I had a very sweet conversation where I eventually complimented her on her ensemble, to which she responded,
“Well, thank you Sweetie! You make me happy that I went to all this trouble this morning!” I chuckled and said “Me too!”
One of the most fun parts of life, for me, is seeing the variety of humans God has created. No wonder we call Him “The Great Creator” because CREATIVE He was when it came to the human race.
Out of dust He created all kinds of people….tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, chubby ones, curly hair, straight hair, no hair, blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, hazel eyes, light skin, dark skin, smooth skin, wrinkled skin, big butts, little butts, long legs, short legs, (you get the picture!)
As “Patty” (the name I nicknamed her in my mind that day in honor of her pink outfit) went down the hall, she left me with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. Why? Well, I just saw a person who was wholly and uniquely herself. She wasn’t following another persons idea of how she “could be”, nor another person’s opinion for how they think she “should” LOOK or be.
In a world where so many people seem to buy into the idea that we should all look the same, weigh the same, live the same and think the same….I was blessed to see someone who walked in as the “real deal”. She was proud to be the person that God created in the first place, albeit “gussied up”. No plastic surgery for this woman. Of course she was trying to “improve on creation” a little bit with her clothing and makeup, but over all, she seemed content with the package she was born with.
When I told her how much I looked forward to seeing how she was dressed each time she visited, she beamed at the compliment (which, no doubt, reinforced her determination to bless the world with her personally chosen custom packaging), she leaned into me and said…
“Well, honey…The way I see things is this way….the effort I put into my appearance is MY little gift to the world”.
I let out an uproarious and appreciative laugh on that one and she laughed with me. Honestly, she made my day with that statement because she was being completely sincere when she said it. This was, indeed, exactly her motivation in how she saw herself….as a gift! In the south, isn’t this where one says “Bless her heart!” Maybe we would ALL do better to take on the philosophy of presenting our best version of ourselves out in the world.
Anyway, it was more pleasure to rest my eyes on her than on someone who has bought what the industry has decided is the “perfect” package. Moral of the story?
BE YOURSELF because NO ONE is better at being YOU than YOU!
Besides, I just love Peppermint Patty, don’t you?