Maybe Starbucks is the best dating app

One day last week, I had some time to kill before my hair appointment, so I went to a Starbucks nearby so that I could use the Wi-Fi and work on a few things I needed to complete. I don’t actually like coffee, so I usually just buy an Ethos bottled water so that I feel like I’m giving at least a little financial contribution while I’m using the free internet there. Plus, it helps children have access to clean water, so I’m a fan.

I opted for one of the cozier chairs and noticed a good-looking man sitting in one of the four of them. The other three were open, so I sat at one somewhat across from him after double-checking with him that it wasn’t occupied. He had his headphones in and appeared to be on a call. I tried listening in every once in a while to figure out what type of businessman he is—people fascinate me, so I’m always curious to learn more about them.

Thanks to a small bladder and kidney stones that won’t quit, it wasn’t long before I needed to use the restroom. I didn’t want to pack up all of my stuff and risk losing my chair (there weren’t that many people there, so it honestly wasn’t a great possibility), so when it sounded like Cute Guy wasn’t on the phone anymore, I got his attention.

Me: Hey, do you mind watching my stuff for a few minutes while I run to the restroom?
CG: How do you know I’m not going to steal it?
Me: We both know you’re not.
CG (noticing my Avengers Band-Aid on my knee): How’d you get your owie?
Me (immediately falling for someone who uses the word “owie”): I cut myself shaving.
CG: That’s not a very good story.
Me: You didn’t let me finish. I reopened a wound that I got while hiking the Incan Mountains in Peru. I noticed a llama off in the distance and became distracted, so I went after it, and I wasn’t paying attention, so I tripped on a rock and gashed open my knee. When I was shaving, I forgot about it and ripped the scab off. Hence the Band-Aid.
CG (with a swoon-worthy smirk on his face): Yeah, that’s definitely a better story.

Just wondering if I should go back to Starbucks soon

I walked to the restroom with a sense of pride at being able to create a fib so quickly. I’m not sure if it’s actually a quality I want to have, but I felt like it benefitted me in this particular instance. Also, I do realize that they’re actually called the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains, so maybe I’m not that great of a liar after all.

When I came back, I thanked him but also let him know that I told him I knew he wasn’t a criminal. He blamed it on the fact that there were security cameras in place. Touché, guy.

Not too long after that, I looked at my watch and decided it was time to leave for my appointment. As I stood up again, CG took out his ear phones and said “You can’t leave me.” I explained that I had an appointment, and he said something else I don’t really remember because I was staring into his eyes trying not to fall for some guy I may never see again but also secretly hoping that he’d ask for my number.

Dear Hollywood, why isn’t reality always like a romcom? Sincerely, a hopeful romantic.

We tied for first but then got third because we didn’t know the Rotten Tomatoes score for 10 Things I Hate About You (eye roll).

In hindsight, perhaps I should have asked for his. I need to stop assuming that every good-looking man in this world has a girlfriend. As one of my friends pointed out, it would have been a good moment to have a business card on hand. How stalkerish would it be to show up at the same Starbucks on the same day around the same time? And how much do I actually care? I mean, I know I’m not a psycho.

Maybe he didn’t see when I tried to suavely move my sunglasses from on top of my head to my face and got them stuck in my hair. But maybe it’s better if he did. It’s good for people to know others’ quirks.

And I happen to have a lot of those.

In other news, it’s Wednesday, so I’m going to share the things for which I’m thankful this week:

  • 10 Things I Hate About You trivia night on Monday—such a blast with some of my gals.
  • The changes that just keep happening in my life, even though some of them are more challenging than others.
  • Running with my brother and sister lately. I cherish those times.
  • My new community group, which is full of women who pour out the love of Jesus like flour in cake batter (I think that’s an accurate comparison) and make every single human feel valued and adored.

What are you Wednesday pieces of gratitude this week?

When you feel unpretty

Sometimes I wish there weren’t mirrors constantly around us to let us assess our looks so easily.

Because they sure can make a person feel unpretty.

It’s fairly easy to feel unattractive in this world, and this has been true for a long time—even before the many Instagram filters available to achieve that perfect pic. The feeling of being unpretty can become even more magnified when that whole dating thing is involved.

I’ll never forget one of the first times I truly felt ugly. It was at a middle school dance when I was in the sixth grade. I was standing with one of my best friends (who is gorgeous, by the way), and a guy came up to ask her to dance. She told him she’d only dance with him if his friend danced with me (definitely not my idea), so he went back to get his buddy, who happened to be one of the cutest guys in our entire class. The image that ensued can never be erased from my memory: The boy who wanted to dance with my friend was literally dragging his friend across the floor to dance with me. Homeboy clearly wanted to be anywhere other than swaying back and forth to some great 90s song with me, and it was seriously such an uncomfortable few minutes of my life. He barely spoke to me and kept looking around so that we hardly made any eye contact.

When the song ended, I went into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. Suddenly my hair was too frizzy, my face was too pale, and there were so many other imperfections that I hadn’t noticed as much before as I did in that moment. And then a thought bombarded my mind and wouldn’t leave: I wasn’t pretty enough for boys to like me.

And I believed it.

To be completely honest, ever since that middle school dance, I’ve struggled with believing that guys will ever be interested in me. There have been guys I’ve liked whom I’ve spent a lot of time with, and I know they like my personality and hanging out with me, but they never feel the same way. For me, there’s always only been one explanation for it, and it goes back to that dance. When my friends started dating, having boyfriends and then eventually getting married, I stayed single, and I really believed part of the reason was because they all have that beauty that I seem to lack. If I ever wanted to find a man, it was going to have to be someone who just really likes my personality.

unpretty
Band-Aids can’t fix everything.

My most recent heartache resurfaced some of these destructive feelings, and it turns out you can feel just as jilted as an adult as you can as a middle schooler when you’re in some of your most awkward and emotional years of your life. It’s frustrating because I’m pretty confident in most areas of my life, but this is certainly not one of them.

There’s a Bethany Dillon song called “Beautiful” that I think pretty accurately describes how many of us can feel at times.

I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart
And be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful

But reading those lyrics and listening to the song carefully makes me realize that the beauty I’m seeking someone to see in me really isn’t just what I see in the mirror. It’s that “look inside my heart and be amazed” part that really hits home. That’s what I want. And as far as “worthy of love” goes, well, don’t we all need love? Aren’t we all enough as we are? If someone makes you feel like you aren’t enough, then perhaps that person isn’t right for you at all.

I understand that we aren’t always meant to be with the people for whom we fall. Not everyone is going to be attracted to us—and that’s OK. Different people are drawn to different people. It’s important to remember, though, that you’re beautiful to the Someone who loves you more than anyone else ever can.

unpretty2
At least they don’t care what I look like. They still loved me back when I had bangs. Bangs were NOT a good look for me.

There’s a sign I have hanging in my place that says “Be.you.tiful,” and it’s a great reminder that it’s best to be yourself and not try to change who you are to live up to what others think is pretty. I wish I could go back and tell my middle school self this so that I didn’t spend so many years thinking I would never be pretty enough for anyone. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to let others make her believe that she isn’t good enough as she is. I want all people to know that about themselves.

Because you are the most beautiful you there is.