I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
Yesterday I wanted to look pretty.
I have this vague memory of when I was a little girl. My mother would dress my sister and me in froufrou-y dresses and white gloves for Easter. I have pictures as proof. But frilly dresses and white gloves do not pretty make.
Despite the fact that I know better, I still wanted to look pretty on Easter.
God whispered in my heart, “Easter isn’t about you.”
I felt a little like Tevye, who asked God, “So what would be so terrible… if I had a small fortune?” Except I asked, “So what would be so terrible… if I were a little bit pretty?”
I took my girls shopping for new clothes to wear on Easter, and felt even more depressed about the whole pretty thing. Apparently clothing manufacturers think that every girl today, from the age of 5 on up, has pencil thin legs. I found myself thinking, Whoever invented skinny jeans — I hope you develop a thyroid problem and put on a bunch of weight — in your thighs. Not a very Easter-y, redeeming thought. But the dresses were all too short and the pants were all too tight.
Grace, Hannah, and Deirdre each found tops they like and assured me that they had nice pants to wear with them. I found a sweater, plain and simple, but it was new, and I hoped it would make me feel pretty.
It did not.
I felt fat. And my hair, which never has wanted to cooperate with me, was particularly argumentative as I got ready for church.
Oh, and shoes. I had forgotten about shoes. I had no shoes that looked dressy at all. In a purge earlier this year, I had gotten rid of any shoes that hurt my feet, which, as it turned out was anything that wasn’t sneakers or slippers. So it was a pair of white high-tops that were fairly new and clean that I wore. Not pretty, but at least they didn’t hurt my feet.
As I whined to God about all these things, He kept up His whisper. “This isn’t about you,” He said, and I knew it, but I ignored Him. On Easter.
Does anyone else see the irony here?
Today, I’m back to not caring about pretty. Really.
I even watched the “Pretty” poetry slam to remind myself. Pretty sucks. I want the message in that video for my daughters.
The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters. You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing, but you will never be merely pretty.
Here’s the truth, too — I am a pretty good mom. I have pretty wonderful children. I have a pretty wonderful life, actually.
If you’ve never seen it, watch this video —