Thursday, July 11, 2013

Who's That Pretty Girl in the Mirror There?

I don't really have six fingers on my right hand; that's just the way the mirror tiles divided. But don't I look pretty?
I don't consider myself a particularly prideful person (except when it comes to being all high-and-mighty about grammar usage) but normally I have certain appearance standards I try to uphold. I've never been the Prettiest Girl in the Room so it's not as if those standards are particularly high--I'm not shaped right for looking chic in pants, for example, so I never wear jeans or slacks unless I'm at home. If I'm going anywhere, even to WalMart, it's a skirt for me.


When our first-day devotions on the way to Children's Haven International had not one but two references to humility, I had a feeling some taking-down-a-peg was coming my way, and I was right. During the week we worked at CHI I had to continually remind myself that no one except me was concerned about my prettiness or lack thereof. Playing the grande dame seƱora would benefit nothing except my skewed sense of propriety.

So I put on my old T-shirts and denim capris and started painting. Then I started sweating so I wrapped a bandana around my head and kept painting. Then I splashed orange and green paint all over my hands, giving myself the oddest-looking manicure ever, but I kept painting.

And you know what? It turns out that despite your preconceptions, people probably are not being all judgy-judgy about how you look. And if they are being judgy-judgy about the way you look, it doesn't kill you. And not only does it not kill you, it may turn out that a handsome young man might come into the corner where you are painting and keep you from killing a spider ("No! That one eats flies!") then catch-and-release the spider, and give you a bonus hug because he appreciates the fact you are painting his classroom more than he is horrified by your flushed, sweaty, unsuitable for WalMart appearance

And then you will let someone take your picture, and you will post it on the internet.

Dan, who looked spiffy, and me, who did not.
Humility wins.

To Be Continued

This is not an official statement from Children's Haven International. If I've made mistakes in information, they're my own, and not those of CHI. However, I asked permission before writing any posts or publishing any pictures of their residents and activities. 


  1. Recently I've been deliberately looking at the people around me and I think, "Do I think she looks bad? Do I care if she does?," and answering "No" and "No" to both---AGAIN AND AGAIN. It's been very useful for my self-conscious moments.

    Also, I think you look cute in your capris and bandana!

  2. I don't know... I think you look very spiffy in that photo. Very spiffy indeed.