I felt the thin, crisp touch of paper between my index finger and thumb as I turned the page. It was a warm, nearly cloudless summer day; perfect for getting lost in a book. My attention suddenly strayed from the text to a figure outside the coffee shop window. A woman older than myself, most likely in her late forties, offering to take a picture for a small group of friends. Without realizing it I caught myself really examining her. I became lost in an entirely different story.
She was very pretty. Soft, shoulder length chestnut hair and inviting brown eyes to match. Slender but not skinny – fit. Her clothes fell over her figure very well which told me she was aware of her own body. Her smile was soft but engaging, as if her lips protected not just her mouth but the words and thoughts that left from it; a sign of intelligence. I stared blankly as I indulged my imagination. I projected myself into the near future, growing older with this woman; an embodiment of someone I loved.
I envisioned the day to day activities: saying goodbye to each other as we left for work, discussing plans for the weekend, a soft kiss goodnight before reaching across the bedside table to turn off the lamp. I imagined the details of the vacations we would take: the scent of a small rustic cabin in the mountains, the warm but gritty feel of sand between our toes as we walk along the beach at sunset, the smug smirks across the table expressing “I told you…” as mom and dad pointlessly argue at Thanksgiving. Then a different thought entered my mind.
I wondered if I would fall under the spell that many older men do and eventually find myself battling infidelity because of an overwhelming attraction to a youthful exterior.
I won’t say I’m not attracted to younger women. Youth has a way of catching your eye. Yet regardless of age, the moment a woman speaks and we develop a dialogue my brain can register differences. Not necessarily in our likes or dislikes, but our experiences and perspective.
As the woman began walking toward her car she came closer to where I was sitting. Now I could notice wrinkles and other signs of aging. Details that fashion magazines would classify as imperfections. Ah yes, imperfections are flaws and flaws have no room in our society. I beg to differ.
They are signs of a life that has been lived. I see adventures, stories of hardships, struggles, excitement, happiness, sadness, and love. I see experiences unique to this individual. I see a woman who is comfortable and confident in her own skin.
Physical attractiveness is the shiny object that captures my attention, but holding a conversation and being able to connect on various levels are what keep me intrigued. The qualities and complexities that lie beneath the surface of a woman only deepen the attraction. These flaws, these imperfections, these differences from the mean that we’ve been lead to believe are unappealing are anything but. They are the marks of her unique story – still being written. That, is true beauty.
Enjoy The Journey