When Delia was about age 14, her mother and aunt decided she needed to wear makeup, if she were going to attract a young fellow. They powdered her face, applied rouge, and the reddest lipstick ever produced.
Looking in the mirror afterwards, Delia hated the face staring back at her, for it was not someone she was comfortable becoming for someone else’s pleasure. So, she washed their handiwork off, and her face exhaled. But, when her aunt saw her, she was irate.
As she went on and on about boys and men wanting beautiful women, Delia imagined she could hear beautiful piano music playing in her mind, not really paying attention to one word spoken. She had heard it all before. “Boys don’t like smart girls!” “Men want to feel in control!” “Girls should be seen, but not heard!”
But then, her aunt said something new, words that cut deep into Delia’s sense of self. She said, “Delia, it’s good thing you are smart, because you will have to take care of yourself. You are no Sleeping Beauty, so you will never find a husband!” Delia recoiled in horror, tears streaming down her face at the cruelty and lack of compassion of the statement.
For years, that statement caused Delia to build a chrysalis around herself, a hard outer shell to protect her from the hurtful words of others and the constant teasing and taunting of other people. But, without her knowledge, her God, maker of Heaven and earth, was developing her into a beautiful butterfly that would one day emerge from the chrysalis into her destiny.
As she danced the first dance with her new husband, Rich, she smiled to know that her aunt was wrong. The very elements that her aunt thought would hinder her search for true love were the very aspects of her that Rich loved: smart, confident in her looks, and a go-getter, always searching for the best in herself and others.
As she and Rich were leaving for their honeymoon, her aunt took her aside and said, “I’m sorry for what I said that night about you never finding a husband. I was upset and said too much. I am happy for you!”
Delia thanked her, hugged her, and said, “Thank you, Auntie! It means a lot to hear you say that, but God assured me long ago that you were wrong. But, please remember that life and death are in the power of the tongue, and that you can make or break someone with only a few words. I was one of the lucky ones!” Then, she and Rich began the mad but wonderful adventure that is called marriage.
Those exact words were spoken to me, and I took a lot longer to feel self-assured, marrying more than I wanted, believing I was not worthy of happiness. I hope someone will read them and know you are a butterfly in the making, and God loves you as you are. Written for The Three Things eChallenge from Paula Light of Light Motifs II: lipstick, piano, and butterfly. Word of the Day prompt is Lucky.
Ugh, terrible. My mother always pestered me to wear makeup too, but it wasn’t about finding a man, just a thing she had about appearing properly “done up” in public. I hate makeup now.