Beauty and the Beast (within). Pick up your sword and fight to the death.

Do you remember when you were in high school and you fell in love with someone from afar without even speaking a WORD to that person?  How you would see someone at a wrestling match, or a basketball game and convince yourself that this person was the one you LOVED?

Oh boy, do I remember that.  It hurt.

It was a crazy time in your life when hormones and a crazy attraction to someone messed with your head.  Because I was short and looked incredibly young for my age, it wasn’t often that anyone I was secretly in love with would realize that they were in love with ME.  It was quite unfortunate - and it gave me a bit of a self-esteem issue.  

I was never tall enough, smart enough, beautiful enough or curvy enough; at least not in my mind.  It wasn’t until decades later that I realized that I was wrong.

I attended a retirement party for my (wonderful) brother-in-law several years ago, and ran into some dear friends that I used to hang with in middle school.  We laughed and laughed, and reminisced about so many wonderful things. We were quite good friends for those years, and it wasn’t until high school that we went our separate ways.  At one point, two of the guys looked at me and smiled.

“You know, vodka, you were the hottest girl in high school.”

“What?????” I said, incredulously.  “What are you talking about? You are CRAZY!”

“No, “ said Jack, “You were nice to all of us- everyone who wasn’t cool or athletic.  But the best part was, being a gymnast for so long, you had the best body in the entire school.”

Sweet JESUS In HEAVEN I almost died.  DIED.  I mean, holy CRAP, when do you ever hear THAT?

Why couldn’t I have known that then?  Why was it so hard, as a young woman, to realize that I was perhaps beautiful? Why did I think I was not good enough?

But now that I am where I am, and Mr. Darcy looks at me and tells me how beautiful I am, I still reply, "What? You're crazy."   And he tells me again

Then, I remember, and I thank him.

I thank him because I remember what I thought back then, and what I’ve reminded myself these last two years.

Beauty is about so many more things than what you see in the mirror.

Beauty is how you treat others.  Beauty is how you walk the walk and talk the talk.  Beauty is generosity, forgiveness and thankfulness.  Beauty grows, evolves and matures through the years.  Beauty comes from within and shines through like a beacon drawing in those who appreciate all aspects of a person, flaws and all.   And now that I’m of an age where I can accept the fact that I might, in fact, be beautiful- I realize that I want to make sure my daughters know how very, very beautiful they are.

I don’t want THEM to wait 30 years to realize that. 

Cheezus, a mother’s job is never done, is it? 

Never, never, never.


Michelle L said...

Vodka, I look forward to reading your blog. I think this is my first comment, although I always find something that I relate to. Thank you, I needed to read this tonight.

S said...


Vodka Mom said...

Michelle- I want SO MUCH to hear from anyone who visits.

And I thank you.


Brian Miller said...

nice....your daughters really need to hear that from you...for reelz...

A Speckled Trout said...

I have an ex sister-in-law who, by far, was the most naturally beautiful woman I'd ever known. She used her beauty to manipulate every single person in her life, including my 90 year old grandmother. My brother and her divorced and he remarried many years later. This wife..........this wife is beautiful in every way and we adore her.

Ellie Mae said...

Awesome, awesome post. Yes, make sure your girls know this! It is good to be reminded to just accept a compliment when it comes :)

TerraD said...

You truly are beautiful! And your effervescent personality is a big part of that!

Mellodee said...

We see things so differently as adults than we do as teenagers.....but gee, would it have killed the h.s. boys to at least once have said something to girls like us back THEN???? lol!


I enjoy and follow your blog! I admire your honesty and candor!

Anonymous said...

I love your writing. This was just beautiful.Thank you for reminding me of my beauty.

Maggie May said...

You ARE beautiful. I loved this story.

noexcuses said...

Simply, the most perfect thing I needed to hear today! Thank you! I also have two daughters who I plan to remind, over and over, of how beautiful they are beginning with the inside. (I plan to do the same with my two sons!)

I am always touched by your writing. Thank you for sharing your gift. You are truly beautiful!

Krystal said...

I love this post!! And it is so very true. I always try and let my girls know that they are beautiful inside and out as much as I can. There is nothing worse than feeling negative about oneself and it is very true, beauty comes in many forms...and no, a mother's work is never done, sorry about that ;-)

Chrisor said...

Hindsight's 20/20! If we only knew then what we know now. I think what you went through is relatable to most teen girls. Most people don't realize everything they have going for them. I know you've raised your 2 girls well and remind them of how beautiful they are. It's interesting to remember back on all the "crushes" we had on boys back in school! :-)

Gigi said...

I remember those days ALL to clearly. That was a gift you were given, you know, to finally hear what they really thought all those years ago.

You know, if boxtops came on wine, I'd have MORE than enough to send by now.

Suzie said...

I look back on pictures that were taken 10 years ago and remember being so self conscious that day and now looking back I realize how hot I was compared to how I feel now. Its a revolving door of doubt. Your right its nothing I want my kids to feel but its hard to let go of.

Dawn said...

Ahhh Vodka... I, too, was let in on that little secret about younger self not too long ago. God bless those boys for opening our eyes... to the beauty inside and out.

Punky Coletta said...

I love the 'be-you-tiful'!!!

Marissa said...

Another thing I've been reminding myself of this week after reading this post and giving birth is this...as females, we are given the gift of creating/sustaining life. If that's not a beautiful thing, then I don't know what is. Our bodies take a beating for it, but it's so worth it when we look at their faces.

I think Mr Darcy also sees how you are willing to do whatever you can for your children--and a parent's devotion to, or neglect of, their children is a key component of their inner beauty. My father in law has dropped the ball repeatedly with most of his kids. My husband so far has doted non-stop on our daughter. Guess which one has me swooning over his behavior and which one makes me bite my tongue til it bleeds?

Anonymous said...

Do we have to be beautiful? Can't I just be normal or average or good enough?

Joanie said...

Beautiful post, Kaknockers!

All too true. Sometimes it takes someone else to point out our beauty (inner or outer), our kindness, our "worth" before we can truly see it ourselves.

Super big hugs to you and your wonderful girls (and your boy!)

SkylersDad said...

Love this message, almost as much as I love you!

Captain Dumbass said...

Out of retirement to give you a wink and a second glance.

You're a beautiful person, Vodka.

As Cape Cod Turns said...

Love this and shared it with all my girl friends on FB :)

Mrs4444 said...

Love the spirit of this post, as well as the awesome button!

As a fellow teacher, you would appreciate my post this week called Heard in the Classroom (and wished I hadn't); it's one for the scrapbook, for SURE.

Have a great weekend.

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This of course makes more sense visually on the iPad, because of its larger screen, but the iPhones are getting so big now that it's not an impossibility in the smartphone format.

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