You’re not beautiful. You’re not sexy.
But you're different.
Sometimes I write blog posts for no other reason than to remember a simple quote from a simple night.
Johnny came into the bar one night. He was older, Thai, with thick black dreadlocks. He sat next to me and took out his guitar, playing with a cigarette perched between the strings.
It was, maybe, 1 or so in the morning. I hadn’t been drinking too much, but everyone else around me was heavily intoxicated. An Irishman begged Johnny to let him play and then kept arguing with no one that the way he was, poorly, playing the Bob Marley song wasn’t the album version but the way it was played live. He told us to look it up on YouTube. Several times. He kept insisting over and over even though no one was disagreeing. Even though I had no idea what the song was to begin with.
While others were passing around the guitar, Johnny was, quite obviously, hitting on me. His advances were a little aggressive, but innocent enough that I could just laugh along.
At one point he turned to me, “I like you,” he said. “You’re not beautiful. You’re not sexy. But you’re different.”
Part of me felt like I should be offended. After all, telling someone that they are neither beautiful nor sexy isn’t exactly the ideal way to begin a compliment. But I wasn’t. I’m not beautiful. I’m not sexy. At least not in any typical way. It’s something I’ve learned to be OK with.
Growing up I always felt so ugly. I remember a heated argument I had as a child with my mother because she wouldn’t let me wear makeup to school that somehow led to me getting a perm. I remember a time in grade school when the whole class sat in a circle and was supposed to say things nice about the others physically. The only thing anyone had to say about me was that I was a good dancer. In high school my face was always broken out and I was scrawny, less than 100 pounds, with no figure.
I was never someone who ever felt beautiful. Or sexy.
But I don’t need to be.
Johnny gave up on me and my un-beautiful un-sexy self only after the bartender leaned across to bar to kiss me.* He walked to the other side of the room and put down his guitar. Gave up trying.
*more on that later…