Queen of Queens

I was on the E train coming home yesterday, and standing a few feet away from me was a young woman of perhaps East Indian descent. I noticed her hair first, because my bad hair days seem to have turned into bad hair years, and her hair was long, dark, perfectly straight, really enviable hair. Then I noticed her face. It was perfect. Not just, “oh what a pretty girl” perfect. Disney Princess perfect. Seriously. I could not stop looking at this perfect face. She probably thought I was a stalker. I just couldn’t imagine what it would be like to live behind that perfect face. Now, let me just say, This was my first day back at work after a weeklong bout of vertigo, and although I’m feeling better, I still can’t blow dry my hair properly and my balance is a little goofy, so I do not look my best. But even my best is not as perfect as that face. The real question here is, why does that matter? Do the people who love me, love me less because I don’t look like a Disney princess? Do I have less fun? Less to say? Less to offer? Do I laugh less? Love less? Create less? Why does my self-esteem hinge on what the world sees on the outside? Why is it so hard to look at my face and smile, because I look like my dad? To laugh with my mom because we share the same hair, the same spare tire, the slope of our back that she calls her dowager hump? The fact is, I am not going to wake up tomorrow with that young woman’s perfect face, no matter how much I wish for it. How nice would it be to live my life behind my dad’s nose and goofy eyebrows, underneath my mom’s hair and dowager’s hump, and not waste another minute wishing I was someone else.

Scarred Willow

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