"Do not be too moral. You might cheat yourself out of much life. Aim high above morality: be not simply good, be good for something." -Thoreau
The bridal shower was pretty fun. Lindsay, Kerry's girlfriend, makes me sad. He gave her this ring, and they'll pretend to be married or engaged even though they're not. So tonight I hear her say how her "husband" wants to raise their kids in South Dakota where she used to live if they have any children, etc etc. Kerry is never going to marry her. He's jerking her around like a puppet on a string, and she's letting him! I just wish she had a friend in her life who knew better and would say, "Honey, you're massively deluded. This guy is NEVER going to give it up."
Part of the shower involved writing letters of advice to Michel. What I didn't know was that it would get read aloud...and most of you KNOW how I am! I write a lot, and I'm a sentimental person when the time calls for it (and sometimes when it doesn't). So I basically told her that I was so glad to meet the fantastic woman Adam has been bragging about, and that even though I didn't have any actual advice for marriage since I'd never been married, I always have an opinion...I said how you should never go to bed angry, always make time for each other as a couple and as a family (she's got 2 kids), communicate, and enjoy it. I said how real love was incredibly beautiful and altogether hard to find (those were my exact words), and it appeared that that's what the two of them had. She loved it...everyone did, actually, but I wanted to DIE! When we were leaving, her sister said how nice it was to meet me and then she said that I'd given great advice, and I hadn't even been married yet, so imagine what I'd be like as a wife! That was a nice thing to say. :)
Which leads me to the point I'd been planning on writing about. If you're still with me, snaps to you. :) I sat in front of a little girl on the plane who couldn't have been more than a year old. Then today I saw this little boy about nine months or so old at Ann Taylor. His mom was paying for something and she had him on the counter, and when she was writing he kept trying to steal her pen! It was so cute. Both of those experiences made me realize that we are never as beautiful as we are when we are children. What I mean by that is, beauty becomes a different thing as you get older. It means something else, and it takes a lot more to be considered beautiful by the majority of people.
Most babies and young children, no matter what they look like, are considered cute in some way, shape, or form. Their delicate fingers and impossibly small feet are signs of a miracle, and it makes one realize what a gift life really is. Their lives are marked by "firsts", and their growth is kept track of in permanent marker on the wall. All of it is beautiful. As a child, you are beautiful because you just are, not because you work out at the gym seven days a week or because you can afford the "right" clothes. You're beautiful because of the things you do and the way you affect others. You are beautiful because you represent something bigger than all of us: creation and love itself.
It all changes as you get older. For girls, we suddenly need makeup and clothes and purses to be considered attractive. Femininity is hugely important. A lot of us are told that guys like feminine girls, so we'd better start using makeup and wearing this and doing that. There is immense pressure in the area of physical appearance, and also of development. There's always the girl who developed too slowly or too quickly (hi, I'm Ash, nice to meet you). There's always the girl who didn't care about makeup and didn't want to, or the girl who was too bony or too chunky. I'm not sure what it's like for guys, but I'm sure getting older as a guy carries a lot more pressures as well. Some of them are the same as for girls: being attractive, body image, etc.
As a child, you just don't care about all of that. How old were you before you started thinking about what you looked like as compared to others? Before you started worrying about your weight (mostly girls)? As the generations progress, the age of awareness gets earlier and earlier.
We are never as beautiful as we are in childhood.
P.S. If you actually read all of this, thank you. It's really sweet of you.