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I’m not a girly girl.
I never really have been. Even when I was a teenager, I didn’t play with makeup or my hair to the extent my friends did. While they drooled over dresses and shoes, I was looking at saddles and boots. I had a perpetual pony tail, and my favorite perfume was Eau de Quarter Horse.
And I almost never wore nail polish.
In college, I morphed into looking a little more put together. I was as girly as I was ever going to get – makeup, a little jewelry, and clothes that were one step above jeans and sweats. I think I owned 3 colors of nail polish then, but I still only wore it on special occasions.
Enter bad marriage. Suddenly, even that little bit of girliness became a dangerous thing. It meant that my sexually abusive husband might force me to have even more sex. It meant that another man might be interested in me – something that terrified me, because I knew that I could have an affair in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself. So I went back to jeans and sweats that were too big. Work clothes were easy – shapeless scrubs that hid everything. I almost never wore makeup. The nail polish went in the trash.
Now that I’m divorced, some of my friends are determined to help me find my girly side again. They are working hard at convincing me that – shudder – PINK isn’t toxic. They take me to stores and point out shiny things that they think I should buy. On a recent trip to Florida, 3 of them badgered me into allowing them to put red sparkly polish on my toes. It seemed to be really important to them, so I reluctantly went along with it. I was assured by my best friend that once I had it on, it would feel amazing.
I hate it.
But my red sparkly toes have made me think again about how easy it is to lose ourselves in what other people want for us.
Nail polish isn’t important. It can be removed. I was willing to give up my preferences to make my friends happy, and sometimes it’s OK to do that. Relationships are about give and take. We have to give enough to let the people in our life know that they are loved. We just can’t give up who God has created us to be.
And there’s the struggle. Because even though I decided to allow my friends to paint my nails, there was a part of me that wondered why it wasn’t OK to not like nail polish. I felt that subtle pressure to be something I’m not, to live up to some standard set by someone else, and to do something that other people think I “should” do. I felt like on some level, it wasn’t OK to just be who I am.
I know that my friends love me and have my best interest at heart. I know that they feel amazing in a great pair of heels, wearing something pink and ruffly and sparkly, and they want me to feel that too. But those things don’t make me feel amazing. They make me feel artificial and uncomfortable. And although it’s good to stretch – to try new things and see if they fit – it’s also a good thing to recognize it when they don’t.
Reality is that I will never be as girly as my friends are. Although I’m becoming more conscious of my wardrobe, I will never be attracted to sparkles and ruffles. I wear earrings sometimes, but not always. I will probably never spend more than 10 minutes on my hair and makeup. I will NEVER like pink. And I doubt that I will ever purchase a bottle of nail polish.
Granted, if I meet some guy who thinks red sparkly toes are hot, I might rethink the polish thing. If he buys me a shiny something and wants me to wear it, I will probably compromise. That’s part of that give-and-take thing. But if I can’t get his attention without pink ruffles and high heels, then he’s not the one. If he can’t love me in jeans and boots, with dirt under my nails and hay in my hair, then he doesn’t love ME. If that guy never comes along and it’s just me and God for the rest of my life, I’m good with that.
God made me laid back and down to earth, with a love of all things outdoors and four legged. He didn’t give me a love of clothes and makeup and nail polish. My square peg is just not going into that round hole, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Because I’m just not a girly girl.
Blessings . . . Cindy
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