He could finally relax, almost.
(more) Since she arrived he had been fighting the feeling of recognition but with no clear explanation as to why he found her so familiar. He didn't even know who she reminded him of, until she smiled. It was a beautiful smile. Not like Helen's at all, but no less attractive. But it was her eyes. They lit up with laughter when she smiled. Just like Helen's did.
This was so typical. His friends had been telling him it was time to move on, telling him he was too young and good looking to be staying at home all night. He said he was happy staying at home. He was happy being a father to his little girl. His female friends would usually give him a sort of head tilting pity look at this, he hated pity, but it shut them up and put them off for another while.
They set up the date a week ago but never told him about it until this evening. Mary and Paula arrived with pizza, ice cream, DVDs and a warning that if he didn't go on the date they would force him to watch all the Bridget Jones films with them.
They were lucky. He was in a good mood that day and when he saw and appreciated how much effort they had made to set this up so he could go out guilt free, he decided to go.
They would kill him if they knew he was thinking about Helen. He laughed, garnering a raised eyebrow from his date. He apologised and asked her about herself.
Brushing her hair off her face, she started to talk to him.
You have pretty eyes.
Don't ask me who has the prettiest.
Yours are fine.
Please, I'm frustrated, I'm confused.
Please tell me why you don't see it too
Do you own a mirror?
(more) Of course you do!
That's the problem!
You have really pretty eyes.
They are mossy maple trunk,
and ebony corn husk,
and blue as a winter mist.
They remind me of hayrides
and county fairs.
They remind me of standing
at the top of a snow covered hill
and letting the wind whip me.
They have an interesting story,
as if behind them,
in some distant realm,
there was a person.
You have pretty eyes.
I really love them.
"You have such pretty eyes", I hated when people said things like that to me. Or, you have gorgeous hair or a beautiful face. Hated it! In my mind it was all crap and they might as well come out and say it. You're fat! Fat and the only thing they can scrape together(more) to say is some inocuous comment about my eyes or skin or hair. No girl wants to be told stuff like that. They want to be told the're sexy or that they have a great body. I had a great body alright a great big body. So here I was sitting across the table from yet another blind date and this was the stuff that was spewing out of his mouth.
As I picked through my tuna salad he was making great headway through his steak, twice cooked chips, onion rings and mushrooms. I didn't even know why I bothered with the charade of the salad. It was pretty obvious that I didn't get to the size I am by eating tuna salads. It had been going alright until the eyes comment, now my mind had moved on to the tub of Ben and Jerry's in the freezer at home. I took a sip of my sparkling water as he took a deep slug of his beer. It was so unfair.
He was okay looking in a sort of a nerdy way but he had that underfed look of a man who didn't know his way around the kitchen very well. I imagined his cupboards to be pretty sparse. He probably ate his dinner in the work canteen and subsisted on toast at home. I wouldn't want a man like that anyway. Ben and Jerry were waiting for me at home. That was enough for now.(less)
If there's one thing I appreciated about living in South Asia, it's that the women don't cover up what's on their faces to feign that perfection is normal. The heat, the poverty, the crises -- they're out there persistently and belligerently, everyday. The fact that you spent the night(more) awake because you had to finish up a report, because your baby needed nursing, because you were so engrossed in a book or a movie or otherwise living out your life... you shouldn't need to apologise for that. So why pretend? No, all make-up is at least a little bit of a lie.(less)