To the woman I passed in the produce department at Walmart–I was instantly mesmerized by you. You looked to be about my age and the only difference between you and I was that you had a child in your shopping cart and I only had fresh vegetables. Your hair style was short, but not enough to be spiky. It was a white blonde with a blue tint swept up in a swirl on one side. I immediately noticed the tattoos all down your arms. I have tattoos. But they are not as expressive and confined to places on my body that can be easily hidden by clothing. Teaching in a private, religious school makes me timid about revealing too many of my tattoos at one time. The small sun on my ankle is about all I feel comfortable putting on display during warm weather. I was envious of your style. While I don’t think of myself as anything but beautiful the way I am, there is a part of me that wants to have a style that is uniquely my own.
I wish so badly that I had said something to you. After all, aren’t women supposed to build each other up? It made my day when the young girl at the McDonald’s drive thru said that the color I was wearing looked good on me, or when the pizza delivery lady said my hair was pretty. But you were on the phone and clearly in a hurry. And while I was fortunate to be able to take my time doing my shopping, I was not brave enough to even realistically consider complimenting you if you had not been on the phone. The same timidness that I feel about my appearance runs deeper into my heart, not allowing me to say what I truly want in the moment. Despite this, I want you to know, that had I been brave enough, I would have told you: “I love your style! I wish I had your look!” And I would have sincerely meant each and every word.
To the woman I passed in the produce department at Walmart–you inspired me.