People used to tell me, “Lower your standards.”
“Get out more.”
I’d tell them, “I’d rather be single than compromise.” But that was in my twenties–when I was more confident.
As a young girl, like any other girl, I wanted more attention from boys. Actually, I wanted ANY attention from boys. There were certain limits to what I would do; like wear pink, bat my eyelashes, etc. But I was extremely awkward and very uncomfortable with myself and romance and boys.
One Halloween, while I was in high school, I was late choosing a costume as usual, but I HAD to have a costume because I live for the stage (though I am never on one–ah, life is a stage, and I dress appropriately.) Browsing the over-priced selection at Party City (this was before the Spirit days,) I figured I had to get something from the adult section because I was tall for my age. It didn’t occur to me that there is one goal to contemporary main-stream Halloween costumes: Sex appeal.
So I got a really neat-looking “mummy” outfit because I didn’t want something hella cliché like a witch or a pirate wench. It had leggings and arm-warmers, which I was really excited about. Not until I was dressed and at school did I realize how short the skirt was. I’m surprised I didn’t get kicked out.
But something happened to me that never happened before.
I got hit on.
Buy a guy.
Actually two different guys in the 15 minutes since I’d arrived.
“Oh,” I said, “I get it now.”
I ended up going home and changing, because I felt uncomfortable, but after that I played around with dressing more saucy: Shorter skirts, tighter jeans, etc. And I attracted some guys, but they were the WRONG guys. So I realized I was putting off the wrong messages, that these messages were not true to my desires, and I went back to dressing like good old normal dorky me.
Over time, I became more and more comfortable with myself. I learned the difference between being attractive and being “sexy.” I learned to be true to myself and wait for someone who would love me for me.
Ten years after the Halloween debacle I found the love of my life.
It was worth the wait.
Inspired by Daily Prompt.