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What I Learned of Love That Day

By Heather Holland Duncan

Unless you love someone, nothing else makes sense. —e.e. cummings

I’m still making sense of what happened to me that weekend in 1993. I know love—its many leaves blazing, changing, filtering sunlight like the autumn trees—was involved.

Naples, Utah, felt like an alien planet. Alfalfa cloyed the senses; water flowed uphill over red earth. I’d come here for a fall holiday to see the boy I loved, who’d kissed me goodbye as he left to help his grandparents with their farm. The tight-knuckled, dirt-caked, hard-worked man I met on my arrival was a new creature, as alien as his new home. When Tom was near I stammered, blushed as if we’d only just met.

On Friday afternoon, when we first arrived, I walked over hard dirt roads to the fields where Tom was working. The combine harvester he drove moved like a leviathan through the deep green corn. I feared for him.

Tom’s best friend, Jordan, was entertaining me while Tom spent Saturday working his Grandpa Nelson’s farm. We played cards, talked, watched a movie. We had a lot of fun, but my mind kept straying to Tom and that big machine. That afternoon, when sirens shrieked past Jordan’s living room window and faded south, I knew whom they were wailing toward. Jordan and I looked at each other.

“It’s Tom,” I said.

We raced to Jordan’s rusty green F150 and scrambled in. My fear thickened when we skidded to a stop in the gravel in front of Grandpa Nelson’s house. The drive and street were full—a fire truck, flashing police cars, an ambulance with the back doors just closing, concerned neighbors—and I couldn’t see him. I leaped from the passenger door, pushed my way through the crowd, saw Grandpa Nelson crying, looked for Tom. Tiptoed. Searched. The ambulance shot out onto the street, lights and sirens alive. A rough hand caught my elbow and I turned to see tear-lines cutting furrows down the dirt on Tom’s face. I exhaled for what felt like the first time since we’d left Jordan’s house.

“It’s okay. You’re okay,” I breathed as he pulled me close.

Jordan found us.

“Braden. He got pulled under,” Tom managed to say, his face pained.

Tom and Jordan’s eyes locked. Braden was the towheaded, blue-eyed eight-year-old who lived across the street. He liked to visit neighbors. He was everyone’s little brother, everyone’s friend.

Police cars rolled away. Neighbors stumbled home. We crammed into Jordan’s truck to follow the line of cars to the hospital. Tom managed to tell the story as we drove. His Grandpa Nelson had been driving the John Deere 9230, the one with two separate rows of giant tires, when Braden came to visit him. Grandpa didn’t see Braden as he ran toward the tractor. Braden’s tiny body had been pulled under, crushed.

Jordan turned into the hospital parking lot and stopped at the emergency room doors.

“I’ll let you know,” Tom said as he forced himself out of the truck.

Jordan and I waited in the truck. I watched cars fill the small-town hospital’s parking lot. Neighbors walked in with their arms around each other. As I watched this community pull together, I felt like I was intruding on their private grief. The relief I felt at Tom’s safety doubled the sense of myself as a stranger.

The western sky burned in sunset hues of orange and red when Tom reappeared. His brown boots beat heavy on the concrete, his shoulders drooped, his head stayed down as the emergency room doors slid closed behind him.

“There was nothing they could do,” he whispered as he slid in beside me. “He’s gone.”

I held his hand. He laid his head on my shoulder and we cried. I had seen him cry twice in the ten months we’d known each other, both times that day.

In the bright light of morning, I watched in awe as Tom’s grandpa sat on a faded yellow couch and held hands with Braden’s mother. She gave him love and free forgiveness, reassured him, expressed faith in eternity. The heartbroken circle told stories about a spunky, outgoing Braden, a boy filled with laughter. Braden had loved Grandpa Nelson. They had been buddies since Braden was old enough to walk across the street. This time he was bringing cookies because he thought his friend would be hungry after the harvest day.

I watched his mother. Less than twenty-four hours earlier, heaven and earth had rent open, left her to deal with the senseless loss of her child. I could not grasp her stillness. She, who had every reason for hurt and anger, offered comfort, smiled, sat straight and sure. She gave Grandpa Nelson a framed picture of him and Braden eating watermelon. Pink juice spilled all the way down Braden’s skinny neck.

I held Tom’s hand, traced the lines of his Sabbath-clean fingers. This was my first taste of love, this Thomas. Earlier that morning we had talked about our first son, assumed him inevitable. We agreed to name him Braden Frank.

What did I know then, at age fifteen, of love, of life, in the shadow of this mother and grandfather’s love and grief? My eyes flashed a snapshot, bored the image deep into my flesh—flickering yellow autumn light, hands held tight in grief, forgiveness. There was no way for me to make sense of the loss, begin to fathom the ache I saw before me that day. I was just at the beginning of the stretching of my heart, could not know the way it would become putty, knot and unknot, tear and break, expand to hold love upon love upon love.

On that day, though, my eyes were tuned to see all of the burning colors of love. It was then I learned that in the face of all that is senseless, love is the only sense.

About Heather Holland Duncan

Heather Holland Duncan is studying literature, anthropology, and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She is currently serving as Editor in Chief of Touchstones. Her chapbook, Mastering the Art of Joy, was published in 2011 by NFSPS. Her work has appeared in The Found Poetry Review, Encore, Touchstones, and Weeds. Heather lives in Provo, Utah with her husband and five children. In moments between mothering, school, and writing, Heather enjoys yoga, running, family hikes, and music.

40 thoughts on “What I Learned of Love That Day”

  1. I'm not in costume but I still feel like my drabbest self today (Haven't showered yet and still wearing my exercise clothes at 5 p.m.). Anyway, I've never had an experience quite this distinct, but I have noticed days that I decide to run into the store on my way home from dropping my kids off at school when I haven't showered yet, put any make-up on, fixed my hair, people are less helpful in the store, other shoppers are less friendly. Then I wonder if it's because I'm being less friendly because I don't feel confident. I'm not smiling and looking people in the eye because I'm concerned with my own lack of grooming . . .

    Is there really any escape from how much we base on appearances, as a society? Maybe extra hard work at keeping the spirit with us . . .

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  2. I remember hearing somewhere that Gwynneth Paltrow donned a fat suit to prepare for her role in a movie, and the experience was pretty revelatory for her.

    I got extra dolled up one day for something and noticed the same phenomenon in reverse. I think taking care of yourself and having a positive attitude make you more noticeable in a very positive way, (almost) regardless of weight. I don't remember all the details, but Paltrow's experience was very negative in the way people treat very heavy people. I think that is just awful.

    I also think people generally see what they want to see. There are those few who really Look at everyone they see, and those many who see only the surface.

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  3. I probably sound like a broken record, but since you asked, yes. Part of the problem I see in being focused so much on the outward appearance is that it makes it easy to be dismissive of those deemed (by whatever standard) less than or below us.

    The truth is on any given day our least attractive clothes may be the best someone else can afford. Some people–like me–wear sensible shoes on purpose. I can't see without my glasses. And well, we've been around the chubby block several times here by now.

    I generally don't feel invisible because I'm outgoing and will be friendly with people unless they are being complete snobs. I have a big mouth and, despite my genuine middle-aged frumpiness, I still (don't ask me why or how) have confidence. But I know some of the kindest, most wonderful people who are often dismissed by others because of their outward appearances. And that's a crying shame. But most definitely the loss is on the part of those who refuse to see them.

    The only exception? Those Dead Sea salt people. They will try to sell to just about anyone.

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  4. Yes. Being invisible is definitely a very valid concern for many people. Isn't it amazing how much importance people place on the physical appearance? And yet, what else should be expected? Our hearts are not visible the same way.

    I'm just glad that there is at least one person in the universe that knows our hearts no matter what. He just knows. Without that, I know I would feel pretty sad a lot of times. For me it brings up the extreme importance of missionary work because I am certain there are many, many other people out there who need to know that there really is someone out there who sees them and cares and knows.

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  5. I once read an article about make-up, written by a guy. I don't remember most of it, but I remember it was funny, and I remember that he said most guys don't care how much make-up a woman wears, because most guys are clueless and wouldn't know eyeshadow from blush if it bit them on the butt. But I remember this: He said guys notice the confidence make-up gives women. He specifically told a story about how his girlfriend was all upset because they had to get in the car to go somewhere before she could put on her make-up, so she put on her eyeliner in the car, using the visor mirror. He said that after she had on her eyeliner, she was transformed, NOT because her eyes looked all that different to him, but because she was suddenly more confident, more relaxed, more comfortable in her skin, and, frankly, felt sexier, which made her sexier to him.

    So the gist was, he was a fan of make-up, not because it made women prettier, but because it made women FEEL prettier. And women who feel pretty, he said, are hot.

    So I would say that it's true that pretty people get more attention, it also has to do with the kind of energy you exude. Frumpy Jennie was TRYING to be invisible–mission accomplished. One of the few things I think Dr. Phil got right is that you teach people how to treat you.

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  6. We just did this activity for Mutual a couple of weeks ago, and I was one of the leaders who dressed up. I remember feeling that same exhilaration as I walked into the mall (wearing a long, dark wig, baseball cap, horn-rimmed glasses, and a fake pregnant belly)—the thrill of knowing I was invisible—sort of like Harry Potter under his invisibility cloak. But I wasn't ignored—I got my share of curious stares (perhaps the pregnant belly was a little much at my age), and I started feeling a little self-conscious. By the end of the evening I was glad to go back to being me.

    Heather H, there was no spiritual tie-in. Not sure what lesson, if any, the kids were supposed to learn—that it's fun to run around the mall and identify your leaders in disguise?

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  7. When I started teaching at Utah State Prison, I was 50 and overweight. My teaching colleague was 35 and hot. When we met the male officers who would facilitate our teaching,I was totally invisible. If I asked a question, they answered my colleague.
    It was a wake-up call to realize that for many men, women no longer young and sexy are non-entities.

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  8. We did this for mutual once too and the mall cops also shut us down. But the spiritual tie in that we discussed with the kids after was pretty much the gist of this post – take time to look at people, to notice them – each is a child of God and therefore important and worthy of your attention.
    Weight is a big invisibility issue. I was really overweight and often felt invisible. I remember waiting for help at a costmetic counter in the mall with two salesgirls standing next to me talking, acting as if I wasn't even there. I felt too hurt to ask for their help so I just left.

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  9. I remember once my sister and I traveled to a rural Hospital in Maine to visit another sister who was sick. I was fat and my sister was thin. I was confident, I knew where we were going and what our mission was, I had been there before and knew what to expect. My sister on the other hand was annoyed that she had to travel so far,complained the whole ride and couldn't stop talking about how terrible she looked. When we got to the hospital people fell over themselves to speak to my sister. It was like I wasn't there.
    I hate it when people say if you're happier with your appearance you will exude it. The truth is people are afraid of fat people and they fall over themselves for skinny shallow people whos only concern is their physical appearance. I know not all skinny people are superficial but not all fat people are insecure and unhappy. There are certainly a lot of skinny people who are insecure and unhappy with how they look.
    I think it is funny that you choose to make yourself fatter with towels to seem more drab. It is a proven fact that men are more attracted to women who are pregnant when they put on a few pounds. The idea of being skinny making you happier and more confident is a myth propagated by the media. True happiness comes from knowing your eternal self and Heavenly fathers plan. God never says I find the skinny ones more confident and interesting. In fact I don't think Heavenly father judges us on outward appearence at all. It's satans plan to make us hate our bodies that were gifts based on our keeping our first estate.

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  10. It is sad that outward appearances count so much more than what is inside.
    I like Heather O's comment about the article she read about makeup. I would have to agree with the author. I don't wear makeup much, but when I do, I have noticed a difference in the responses I get from others. There is also a noticeable difference when I wear more makeup than normal. My co-volunteers, who are guys, tell me they have found me to more business like the more makeup I have on. They also said they are more willing to go along with me the more makeup I wear.

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  11. April–wow. Thank you for those thoughts. I read in a Newsweek article a month or so ago about how teachers treat pretty children differently than they do unattractive ones. I took a long look at myself and realized that, for one family in our ward, I was judging them too harshly by how they looked, that and their father is one of the most annoying people alive. But still, beauty shouldn't cause us to treat a person differently. If you have read "Undaunted" by Gerald Lund, you remember that the main character, David, falls in love quickly with the pretty sister, Molly. It takes him most of the book to see that her plainer sister, Abby, is really the one who is most compatible with and best for him.

    Seriousness aside, I love the idea of looking drab, wearing a wig, with towels, or not. . . I'd just LOVE to be ignored at the mall!

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  12. April: Ouch! So if you saw me, you would automatically think I'm shallow because I work hard to maintain a healthy weight, shower each day, and love to own fun clothes? I don't dress inappropriately (for the occasion) but I do work hard to look my best. And, yet, I'm not shallow at all. I am highly educated, well informed on social/political issues, a good employee, the best mother I know how to be, a dedicated and faithful wife, a church-going/God-respecting woman, a full contributor to my home, and sometimes even nice to people at the mall… If you don't want someone to judge your appearance, perhaps you shouldn't do the same?

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  13. Jennie, I'd pay good money to see you in that get-up.

    The older I get, the more I feel myself fading into the background. People my age still notice me but people much younger do not. It's the weirdest thing. I'm like wallpaper. Not that I need the attention of teenagers, but it's just a strange reminder that I'm aging and that someday I'll be dead.

    And that's my cheerful thought for the day.

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  14. This post made me stop and think – about something I've thought of before – but it's good to be reminded.

    How do I treat other people? How do I greet, pause, and interact?

    Christ did not pick and choose or pass people by because they offended Him by their smell, color, or because they talked to loudly on the subway.

    He loved everyone. He touched people. And He heals us all.

    This post reminds me that I should pay attention and notice and lift people up where I see a need.

    No one should feel invisible, but I fear many people do.

    Suzette

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  15. My mother once told me that the phenomenon of the invisible middle-aged woman is so widespread that the very best thing to do if you're going to rob a bank is to get a middle aged woman to drive the getaway car. Nobody will EVER think to stop her.

    So, being middle aged and invisible COULD be an advantage rather than a problem, if you play your cards right. :/

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  16. Once I went on a business trip with a co-worker who had been a model. I joked with her about how interesting it would be to see what free perks we would get because of her looks. She laughed it off. Two hours later we were walking out of the airport with free t-shirts.

    I feel invisible when I walk into a higher end shop. It is probably because I feel uncomfortable and because I'm pushing my daughter in our $12.99 umbrella stroller from Walmart. We send out hidden signals about our values even when we aren't conscious of it. Walking in the mall where appearance is king (most things sold there are about improving your appearance), you'll be judged for your appearance. I'd like to think you'd never be ignored like that in the temple.

    Yesterday I had a bad experience that made me feel as if civility is dead. After bumming about it for a while I decided to go out and change someone else's perspective. I smiled, looked people in the eye, said thank you sincerely, and tried to have uplifting conversations no matter how brief. By the end of my grocery shopping experience I was in a better mood and more optimistic. A better world starts with me.

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  17. @ LuluBelle wow! That was not what I said at all. I said,"I know not all skinny people are superficial, but not all fat people are insecure and unhappy." I don't know where you got the idea I would judge you for your looks? I was challenging the notion that fat or skinny has anything to do with what God thinks of us! I'd like to know where showering everyday and having fun clothes come in. I shower everyday too and people always tell me how cute my clothes are. Ouch yourself!

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  18. When you asked about what people feel ignored by society, I thought first thing about the outcasts" at high school, especially the ones who dressed in dark, shocking styles. From the ones i knew, I know a lot of the motivation there was that they felt invisible — either at school or at home — and they wanted to be noticed. They wanted to be seen, even if it pushed them farther away from being included.

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  19. It is comforting to know that Christ loves us and judges us for what's inside, but it's nice to get validation from the people around us too. Doesn't everyone want to be thought attractive and interesting on some level?

    I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that when a repairman comes to fix something around my house that I try to look extra cute so I can wrangle a better deal out of him. It's true that if I look nicer the repairman will do extra stuff for free.

    I think that looking invisible is different than looking slobby or unattractive. Confidence definitely plays a part, though.

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  20. Some people are ignored because they want to be. In the silence of being alone, they find it easier to meditate and get lost in their own thoughts; conversations with themselves that are always based on what they want to talk about, for how long they want to discuss it, and always changing subjects in ways which are comfortable. If a woman knows how to have that kind of conversation with herself, she will never be bored. She is truly happy in her own company.

    Not all people who are alone are lonely.

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  21. All this is depressingly true (middle-aged women, especially drab ones, are invisible), which is why getting older is so hard for us, and why we see so many middle-aged women making themselves ridiculous (IMO) trying to dress like 15-year-olds. I'm looking forward to the day when women are truly emancipated in our society–free from the expectations to prove their worth by looking and being young and skinny.

    I get so darn frustrated that in our culture there is no way to be a beautiful, elegant 55-year-old; there are no clothes for the natural 55-year-old woman's body. But look at other cultures: Indian women have beautiful saris; African women have those beautiful African robes and headdresses. When are we going to get a clue and start making some beautiful womanly clothes instead of skinny jeans?

    When I was a newlywed I got a young women's calling, which I totally flubbed because of my lack of confidence. The source of this doubt? I felt ugly and nerdy, and figured the girls wouldn't listen to me or care what I said. (Therefore, I was self-absorbed, which is what they actually responded to. They couldn't feel my love for them because I was too focused on myself to show it, or even feel it.) When I moved into my current ward, the YW president, an obese woman who dresses quite plainly, was obviously the most beloved woman in the ward by the young women. And why? Because she radiated love for them, interest in them, and good cheer. You could never see her without a smile or her arm around someone. She taught me so much. (And also, she became very beautiful to me.) Love and confidence contribute to beauty for sure.

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  22. Though I am more plain than pretty I always knew if I were going to meet with a new group that if I dressed up and put on make up, rather than going as my regular (but clean) mother-of-six housewife, I would be given responsibilities, leadership. I complained about this to a counselor friend of mine. He told me to consider that it was my responsibility to look as good as possible in order to influence as many people as possible with my gifts, one of which is the ability to accept everyone with love. That still bothers me though I know people like the obese YW Pres. Darlene describes. Now that I am becoming one of the invisible by nature of my age I miss not being as able to interact as easily with those that need me. But, I wonder if that can be attributed more to a lack of energy to do so than to physical attractiveness (maybe less spiritual energy on my part). Being less attractive and still wanting to show others that I care is giving me an incentive to be more like Darlene's example. I think it is ultimately only by sharing the gospel and the true love of Christ that society will be changed to realize it isn't appearance that matters most but what is in our hearts.

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  23. Wow this is fascinating! One of my favorite movies is an edited copy of "Shallow Hal", the one with Gwyneth Paltrow as an obese woman. The main character, Jack Black, is suddenly only able to see others' inner beauty, regardless of their physical appearance. If you are able to get your hands on an edited copy, it's a beautiful story.
    I just turned 30 this year and the reality of aging is starting to finally hit – that middle age is coming, and I do fear that invisibility. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  24. My YW begged to do this activity and I didn't see the point of it even though I knew it would be a blast. What we did was have each "disguised" person carry with them strips of paper with part of a scripture on it that they would hand out to each youth who discovered them. It was a way to keep track of who had found who. But the scripture we picked was cleverly about lost sheep. Once the youth had found all the disguised people, they put the scripture strips in order and figured out what it said. One of our leaders had come dressed as a bit of a punk and she commented about how differently she was treated. She felt so judged! It started a great discussion about not looking on outward appearances or being so quick to judge, while at the same time reminding the youth to think about their dress and grooming standards because it is often the first impression we give about who we truly are.
    I have learned as I have grown older and wiser that it truly does not matter what package someone comes in. Everyone has so much to contribute and is lovable in their own unique way. Thank goodness that as we age we are almost forced to give up our focus on vain things and hopefully enjoy focusing on life's more valuable pursuits. I'm not middle-aged yet, but I look up to women who wear it happily. Whether we're 18 or 80, I think beauty comes from a cheerful outlook and true self-confidence (liking ourselves for who we are, not necessarily how we look). Still, it would be nice if our society cared more about detecting inner beauty from a life well-lived, than the fleeting beauty of youth.

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  25. The truth is people are afraid of fat people and they fall over themselves for skinny shallow people whos only concern is their physical appearance.

    Seriously, afraid of fat people? You really think that's true? I can say honestly that never have I once feared for my life in the presence of an overweight individual. Afraid of fat people? What kind of messed up thinking is that?

    Pretty people get more attention, especially from men. I'll concede that. But being outwardly pretty isn't the only way you can get attention, and it isn't the way you make (or keep) friends. And to say that people are afraid of fat people is actually downright insulting, presumptious, and just a teensy bit offensive.

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  26. And seriously, why are we spending so much time thinking about how other people view us? Maybe I'm just feeling crabby, but woman complaining about how they look gets so old. Get over it, ladies! The truth is that most of us aren't gorgeous, and most of us aren't ugly. Most of us are perfectly normal, nice looking woman who sometimes look our best, and sometimes look like we got hit by a train. Most of us probably aren't satisfied with something about our looks, and most of us could use another hour or two in the gym but we don't get there because we (rightly so) have better priorities than being gym rats.

    And if somebody isn't looking at you, why should you care? Is there something that says we need to be the center of the universe? As long as my husband still likes to see me naked, I figure I'm doing just fine.

    So REJOICE in yourselves, women. And stop giving a rat's ass.

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  27. Yeah, but I don't get why you care what strangers think about you. YOU know you're hot–I've heard you say so. Presumably your husband knows your hot, too, and to the extent that strangers are looking at you or even notice you, it means that in the end, they thought about you about 4 tenths of a second longer than if they ignored you completely, and remembered you even less. So why all the fuss? I'm not saying that people shouldn't look nice, or that you shouldn't care about your appearance, I just think a lot of these comments show that we are caring for the wrong reasons.

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  28. Oh come on Heather, you can be affraid of something with out fearing for your life and if you think people aren't affraid go back and read LulluBelle's comment one more time. If people weren't affraid then there wouldn't be an aisle in most stores dedicated to diet drink shakes, pills, and food. Every women's magazine wouldn't have an article on how to diet, lose weight, have smaller thighs, or lose the stubborn belly fat.

    I think you are missing the point.

    I used fat and skinny to bring out the absurdity of peoples feelings about outward appearance. I personally do not think Heavenly Father judges us based on our physical shape. I think it is a tool satan uses to make us feel bad about one of the most important gifts given to us by our Heavenly Father.

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  29. April, my point (which I think YOU are missing) is that I spend zero minutes a day thinking about another person's weight, skinny or heavy, unless another person brings it up. I have a friend who is morbidly obese and obsesses about her weight, and everybody else's, too, and is constantly surprised that her weight is not something that I think about, and that it has nothing to do with our friendship or my love for her. I don't care what she looks like, I just wish she would spend more time enjoying life and less time hiding in her house because she is embarrassed to go out. Her weight is HER problem, not mine.

    And Lullubelle's comment, as far as I can tell, was directed at your presumption that skinny people are shallow,

    <blockquote:The truth is people are afraid of fat people and they fall over themselves for SKINNY SHALLOW PEOPLE (emphasis added) whos only concern is their physical appearance

    which is as offensive as the idea that fat people are scary.

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  30. The truth is people are afraid of fat people and they fall over themselves for skinny shallow people whos only concern is their physical appearance. I know not all skinny people are superficial but not all fat people are insecure and unhappy.

    1. By people I do not mean all people
    2. I do not believe all skinny people are shallow. I believe there are people who fall over themselves to please skinny shallow people.
    3. I don't think people should assume because a person is fat they are insecure and unhappy.

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  31. I think we're getting a little off track, here. This isn't about skinny vs. fat. This is about being invisible. I'm not upset that people at the mall found me unattractive. It's that suddenly I wasn't even worthy enough to buy a product. Suddenly nobody cared enough about me to even bother to pitch me on the stuff they sold.

    We don't all have the same biases. Some people may overlook those who are overweight. Some may overlook those who are old or hwho have a different skin color. I have gone into trendy boutiques and been ignored before because obviously I don't have the "right" look. Why should I care that some 20-something girl who makes minimum wage is blowing me off? I shouldn't. It's pretty silly to even care. But nobody likes to be dismissed based on physical reasons.

    The point is that even though we are daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are wrapped up in this mortality thing. All our lives are a daily struggle to remember who we really are. It's heartbreaking that so many women are obsessed and depressed about their appearances. It would be lovely to stand up and say, "who cares what people think of how I look!" But it's not going to happen. I'm not that strong.

    Heather, I'm glad that you are that strong, but just remember that you are in the minority. Most of us women have a hard time accepting ourselves.

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  32. Jennie, I buy everything you are saying except the part about the strength. It's not about strength, it's about focus. It's not about standing up and saying, 'I don't care what people think about how I look!', it's about being engaged on a level where what you look like doesn't matter.

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  33. I think you were "invisible" because you weren't their target demographic at that point. Kiosk people are trained to pick their customers. I never get stopped by the ones selling stop smoking products or cheesy prints or weird stuffed animals. And it depends on how I look as to whether or not I get stopped by the make up and nail and lotion people hocking their wares. Because if I have make up on, people know I BUY make up. It's obvious. If there had been a "sensible shoe" kiosk, I bet you would have been stopped in a heartbeat.

    So – did it make you think to look for invisible people and notice them? Did it make you more empathetic to "invisible people" in our society?

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  34. Oh,and I think people's problem with your comments, April, is that you have to quantify "not all skinny people are shallow" which tends to mean "most of them are." You further follow this up with:

    2. I do not believe all skinny people are shallow. I believe there are people who fall over themselves to please skinny SHALLOW people.

    This would hold more weight (heh heh) if you had simply said people fall all over themselves to please skinny people. This is completely true and a valid point – people will do that, but they will do that whether the skinny person is shallow or not.

    Done talking now.

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  35. I loved this post…I have been pondering this very concern for the past little while. As a woman who has always had very low self-esteem I worry as I grow older that I will slowly become invisible to the word. I'm not a woman well known in the church with talents and gifts that help me stand out. So what will happen to me in a few years as I am old and wrinkled and have nothing about me that stands out. I'm afraid to be invisible.

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