Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More on My Perfect Day

Something else happened on my Perfect Day that made it even better. I finally managed to have a proper catch up with my friend Judy.

Although we both make a big effort, it is quite hard for us to get together. Between our jobs, her three kids, the Little Dude, the Big Dude and everything else we need to do, our tiny number of spare hours hardly ever seem to coincide. We have a lot of quick emails and snatched conversations in corridors at work, heavily coded so that our colleagues don't understand what we are talking about.

But as part of my Perfect Day, we had a long and lazy afternoon sitting in the sun in her backyard. And we had a great conversation. She is going well. For the first time since her husband's death six years ago, she is thinking about having a man in her life. She is realizing that she has probably only ten years or so left, maybe five, to do the things that she would like to do for herself before she may need to help care for her daughter, who has been diagnosed with Huntington's Disease. Oh, I hope, hope, hope that a really lovely man turns up for Judy. Surely no one deserves a good man more than she does.

Now, I am not a fan of most stereotypes about men and women. But one thing I do find: Men, on the whole, don’t often have these gentle, rambling conversations about their lives, their thoughts, their feelings, with other men. They seem to save those conversations, if they have them at all, for their women friends. With their male friends, they seem to like to do something together.

For me, part of what I like about these kinds of conversations are that they are such a womanly thing. Between women, they are a warm, sustaining ritual, like eating a really satisfyingly delicious hot soup on a cold evening.

And on my Perfect Day, Judy said something to me that was so unexpected, so delightful, that I want to remember it always. She was talking about how shy she is, and how she finds it difficult to let a man know she is interested. How she just hopes that a man will notice her and realize that he needs to pursue her. And she suddenly said this wonderful thing:

When you and I go out together, you don't seem to have that problem. When you walk in, you just light up the room. You are so pretty, so warm, that you are just like a magnet. The men come to you!

It was one of those moments when you realize how radical the difference can be between the way you see yourself and the way another person sees you. For a moment, I was so shocked by what she said that I forgot to breathe.

Did I exactly believe her? Not really, no. Although I have never really lacked for male attention when I have wanted it, except for attention from the Big Dude.

But Judy is the least flattering, least insincere person you could ever meet. Also, she didn't sound like she was trying to be reassuring. She sounded a bit jealous, to tell you the truth.

So I believed that she believed it. And just knowing that she did, I felt a rush of pleasure, of complete and utter happiness, about the possibility that it might be even slightly true. Just true enough for at least one person in the world to believe it, even if that person was not me.

And I am still quietly hugging this thought to myself. Perhaps I am not a sad and sexless little drudge, labouring away unappreciated. Maybe I am actually an attractive, charismatic man-magnet!


You can see why it was such a Perfect Day.


Blogger trueself said...

Oh yes, I can definitely see how that would significantly contribute to a perfect day.

How utterly wonderful to be given such a genuine compliment, and for it to come from someone who means so much to you.

And of course you are a charismatic man-magnet! I knew that all along! ;-)

7:20 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Uh, let's see. . . um, how shall I say this?
. . .

You're at least an interesting blog-conversationalist.

And (ahem) as a married man, it would be unseemly for me to comment on your, um, 'man-magnetism'. . . but, of its veracity I have no doubt.


8:25 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

"Did I exactly believe her? Not really, no."

Which just goes to prove the old adage that we are our own worst critic, and often are wrong about ourselves at that! So believe your friend. She wouldn't say it if it wasn't true.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

"And I am still quietly hugging this thought to myself."

It's true, we are our own worst critics. I don't believe half the things I'm told.

From what I see here Emily, you are everything your friend said, and probably more.

Keep hugging yourself....I think we all should do that at least once a day :)

6:09 PM  
Blogger freebird said...

Oh Emily, you're such a tart! Now, get back to your ironing, woman! ;-)

12:21 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

LMAO at FB....hahahahahahahaha damn girlfriend you really have such wonderful comic timing!!!

I read this today and it reminded me of this post Emily:

The beauty we cultivate within is the foundation of the exquisiteness others see when they look at us because inner loveliness is a powerful force. Regardless of the appearance we project outwardly, it is our inner selves that attract people and inspire tender emotions to manifest themselves in their hearts. When we focus on what lies within rather than what is on the outside, we demonstrate our understanding of the subtle forces that draw individuals toward one another.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Finished Last said...

I have had a small number of women tell me that I was sexy. I decided right then and there that I was spending time with delusional, severly sight impaired women. I know for myself I tend to beat compliments off with a stick instead of believing what people actually say. So here's some advice I need to take. relax and enjoy it.

7:15 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Sounds like a good mantra to repeat every morning: I am an attractive, charismatic man-magnet!

I say the same thing myself.

8:56 AM  
Blogger hasarder said...

"Perhaps I am not a sad and sexless little drudge, labouring away unappreciated."

I know how difficult it is to believe this when you are in this kind of relationship. But as I'm sure you keep telling yourself, Big Dude's libido is not a reflection of you. It's good to get a reminder sometimes that people see who you are, not how you feel.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Summer Rose said...

I'm not sure what to say...You have written a really good post. And you got enjoy one another's friendship.

9:34 PM  
Blogger flutterby said...

*guru voice*

"Welcome to the universe, little man-magnet. You will learn quickly the ways of the force.

Now go forth and live as a magnet among regular women."

Glad you had a good day, Emily.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Mr. Husbland said...

LOL you sound like a typical woman!

My wife looked at old pictures the other day and commented on how skinny she was and I said,

But all you did then was complain how fat you felt.

Why do woman think so poorly of themselves all the freakin time?!

6:25 PM  

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