It’s funny how all of us look at other unsuspecting women with admiration & awe, but cannot imagine other women who might be looking at us the same way. What do you think?
You know who she is. Effortless. Poised. Pretty. Cool.
When I was about six years old, there was a girl in my school who could sing, dance and was cute as a button. She was a cheerleader, a brownie, and had a starring role in every school play and holiday show from what I can recall. Everything she did, I thought was just right. Her bowl cut was always shiny and perfectly curled under at the ends. Her satin green bomber jacket gleamed in the sun. I loved her classic black and white leather saddle shoes, and I asked my mom to get me a pair from Buster Brown to wear with woven navy knee socks, but I didn’t admit it was because I was trying to emulate a third grader. Instead, my mother bought me a two toned brown suede pair from Bass and three new pairs of green cable knit knee socks. Back then, I already realized this was a kid I could take some lessons from, even if I couldn’t get the lessons exactly right.
Fast forward thirty years, and I still see someone like her now and then: Rocking a super hero tee at a cocktail party in perfect ironic fashion; impossibly toned limbs wrapped around captured small children in a candid family beach photo; standing completely straight while socializing even when her kitten heels are sinking into the grass. She sits next to me eating a steaming bowl of ramen with timing and precision, never burning her mouth on a hot bite of karaage nor making a sloppy mess of the noodles. All this on a cold rainy day wearing a perfectly draped white blouse under her cashmere sweater. Oh the lessons I have learned from her.
At the SFMOMA today, I saw her. She even had a mother and auntie version of herself too, from what I could see. Can I please be that elegant during my child’s christening, or any frantic family gathering for that matter? I even laughed when I saw her and had to take a moment. Even the everygirl next to me looked at the photo and smiled. Maybe she knows her too.
As I admire the many incarnations of her I encounter in my life, there is one she always is: unaware. She’s just her without even thinking of it. I don’t even think she knows it. Did you know that you could be her? That’s my favorite part. How can you be envious. I can’t. I just love her for it.
“You know, there’s a thing about the woman across the room. You see the woman across the room, you think, She’s so poised; she’s so together. But she looks at you and you are the woman across the room for her.”