When You Grow Up

When You Grow Up

I grew up in church. Old school, you-know-what-time-it-starts-but-when-it-ends?-nobody-knows-the-day-or-the-hour church. I’m talking one-hour-of-praise-and-worship-thirty-minute-offering-message church. And in this instance the-prophetess-is-coming-through-and-you-will-be-missing-all-your-TV-shows-tonight church.  Rev. Carol Cartwright. She’d come to our church once, maybe twice a year and everyone would line up and wait their turn to get a word. I was about 14 this particular time and when my turn came, she started with the usual “You have a voice and you will sing.” (yeah yeah yeah) but then she went off-script. “You don’t think you’re pretty.” She said “But the LORD wants me to tell you that when you grow up you will be a very pretty woman.”

I remember walking away and feeling two types of ways – one: embarrassed because now everyone knew that I knew that I wasn’t pretty. And two: a little bit closer to God because I remember thinking “He said I’ll be pretty when I grow up… even He doesn’t think I’m pretty right now.” And I respected that. At least He was honest.

So fast forward ten, fifteen, twenty years and I often find myself wondering “Have I grown up yet?” Because if I had, wouldn’t someone other than homeless dudes and skeevy old men (shout out to the office mailman) notice?

Am I still not pretty? And I know – we’re all fearfully and wonderfully made – yes. True.  However, it would be nice to have that recognized by someone who is not a female friend or a boxcar hobo. So I find myself trying to figure out my range on the scale. From toothless vagrant to Henry Cavill – what can I realistically shoot for?

And after all this time… is it wrong that I feel like I should get something better than what’s realistic? Or have I really been waiting all this time for something average? I know it’s superficial, but I want something a little superficial. I want someone I would be happy to be seen in public with. Not just for me, but the women behind me. I am already the nightmare of every single 24-year-old, including long gone 24-year-old me, so I just want a Hollywood happy ending to soften the blow, for her. So she can know it was worth it in the end.

So I have these intense crises’ of confidence every time a subway tramp asks me for my number after asking me for change. Or the office mailman invites me to join him for a nap. I want to know what it is about me that make them think that “us” is in their realm of possibility. What kind of vibe am I giving off that says “Ancients, crazies and creeps, right this way”? Is it something that can be fixed or have I really peaked and is this as good as it gets? I don’t know.  So I tell myself that having no viable options is better than wasting time with dead-end possibilities. But secretly… I fear I still haven’t grown up.



[Tweet “i always knew i’d be pretty when i grew up. but when will i grow up?”]



 

5 thoughts on “When You Grow Up

  • July 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm
    Permalink

    Omgeeee! It’s as if you’ve read my mind! I wonder this constantly. Seriously, it’s a little bit comforting to know I’m not alone but dang rmm!

    Reply
  • July 9, 2014 at 2:54 am
    Permalink

    Mine is security guards and doormen. Some variety would be nice! x

    Reply
  • July 9, 2014 at 6:39 pm
    Permalink

    These are my exact ponderings and experiences!!! I am so with you. Thanks for writing so honestly. There is some comfort in not being the only one. And for the record you are absolutely gorgeous— not just personality or something like that — but in the most superficial way I could convey— you are gorgeous!! Xoxo

    Reply
    • July 16, 2014 at 11:40 am
      Permalink

      Thank you Nikki!! And thank you for reading, it’s good to know I’m not alone out here!

      Reply
  • October 2, 2014 at 4:44 pm
    Permalink

    THANK YOUUUU! I am stumbling across this article after being hit on by the maintenance guy on the ship who fixes broken drawers….he is creepy…old…and invited himself into my room “so I won’t be alone”. I feel the exact same as u. After waiting this long, isn’t there supposed to be some silver lining or testimonial where I get this amazing, and attractive guy and get to tell all the girls younger than me…”hold out..it’s worth the wait.” Or am I waiting and going to have to settle for what’s left after everyone else got married in their twenties and someone I just think is “ok”. I feel like a cautionary tale…….And then look at myself….I think I’m pretty…usually ;)…….but it would be nice for someone who is not drunk, cracked out, homeless, creepy or older than my father to notice and respond in the form of “hey, can I get coffee with you?” *end rant*
    *diva exits stage left*

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Protected with IP Blacklist CloudIP Blacklist Cloud