As you age certain truths become apparent. You can lose weight, you can spend time outside, skillfully applied makeup hides a multitude of skin imperfections but either beauty is something you have or you are forced to admire in others. When she was younger she was tan, she was thin but she was never beautiful. People told her she was cute but that was a facet of her personality not a quality of the face she wears. At twenty-two she moved into the home she has now. It was always a nice house but she has taken a man-made structure and turned it into a home. One of her gifts is bringing out the warmth in inanimate objects. She's a very warm person. Not only is she warm, she's caring and empathetic. She stands up for people who don’t stand up for themselves. She's not afraid to speak her mind and the opinions of others seldom bother her once her mind is made up.
She wants life to be fair even as she realizes it never has been and never will be. That day her family was going to a party. Her husband told her about it as they were sitting at the breakfast table. Despite the short notice she agreed to go. Since the day was warm she took an eggplant colored t-shirt from her drawer, pairing that with white Capri pants. A sick feeling crept into the pit of her stomach when she looked at the clock and realized that her family should have left already. One of her children came into the bathroom and told her that he was hungry. No one else was ready to go, she told her son he could help himself to a snack while she dried her hair. In the kitchen her son pulled a granola bar out of the pantry. When her hair was dry she went to see why her husband was yelling at her son.
He was upset that she had let their son have a snack when they were going someplace else for dinner. She countered with the argument that their son was hungry and supper was going to be late. The conversation degenerated into a name calling shouting match. Her husband told their children exactly what he thought of their mother. The children started crying, their mother was upset, she dabbed at her eyes with tissues from her purse and left without stopping to grab her set of car keys. She didn’t want to see anyone that day. Selfishly she wanted to be by herself. The people they were supposed to go out with were snobbish, egotistical, judgmental and disinterested in the lives of others but she was going to attend their party because she thought she could change the way others viewed the world.
It wasn't until her husband pulled into the driveway that she knew she wasn’t going to be able to go inside. She stepped out of the car and asked for the keys. The man she was with turned towards her but he didn’t look at her he looked out at the mirror-like surface of the lake. It was a gorgeous day. Bright, sunny, warm but not hot. The lake was strangely flat, it was the perfect day to spend on the lake. She looked down at her sandaled feet. The sandals were new, she was glad she had splurged on them because they were a nice compliment to the rest of her outfit. Her husband tucked his keys in his pocket, took the hands of both of her children and told her she could walk home. The last time she had walked around the lake was before she had had children. Today she wasn’t dressed for walking. She was dressed to impress.
She watched the keys disappear into her husband's pocket. Her walk started with the driveway, she turned the corner and walked past some of the prettiest views the lake has to offer. The road by the lake is old and tree-lined. The breeze off the lake countered the heat of the sun. Her new sandals were comfortable, the walk gave her time to think about the fight and how she had handled things. When she arrived at home she was in a better frame of mind. She went into the bathroom to bandage her blisters, the mirror was directly in front of her. Mirrors rarely lie so she discovered something new about herself that day. She had picked up a gauntlet thrown down by another. Walking had tanned her skin, if she kept walking she’d be thinner and when she studied her reflection she found that it doesn’t really matter what you look like, it’s the ability to rise above the way others treat you that makes you truly beautiful.