So I’m not the youngest or smartest or prettiest chicken in the coop, but I do okay for myself in the romance department. At least, I thought I did, until a friend told me recently that I have an expiration date. Like milk, I will begin to curdle, and he estimates that this will happen in about 18 months to 2 years from now. That’s when the scales will tip, and no men my age or younger will be interested in me any more; in fact, very few men will even look twice, and those that do will resemble one of my grandpa’s bowling buddies. Well, DANG. Pretty harsh, right? And there probably is some truth to it, except that the entire premise is wrong, because it all implies a terrible shallowness that I refuse to accept.
Here’s what I know: beauty is in the heart, and I don’t mean that in that tired pithy “skin deep” way. I mean that beauty is actually an enormous word, and captures the essence of who someone is. Their intelligence, humor, wisdom, empathy – and when you love someone, it’s those parts that you see. When I was with the wrong man, who was physically incredibly handsome, I would always notice that his nose was a little small for his face, or that there was something weird going on with his hair. And I have been with other men who were less physically fortunate, and yet who were breathtakingly beautiful to me. I loved that crooked tooth, or the jagged scar, or even the little tummy pooch…because it was theirs. And that’s love, real, un-shallow love, the kind we all want.
Last night, I was talking to a man I used to be intimate with but who has transitioned into the most wonderful friend. He’s gorgeous, and makes the waitresses fluttery every time he looks their way, but that’s not the point – this is the point: we were talking about love, and what we want from it. And for both of us, it boils down to loving someone so much that we really don’t know what they look like. Because if you get there, you’ve really reached the highest state of acceptance; you’re so focused on their humanity, that all else falls aside. Love isn’t blind at all….it simply helps you see the parts of a person that matter most.