You’re beautiful just the way you are

you-are-beautiful-just-the-way-you-areI was in the car stopped at light. A black Honda Fit pulled up alongside me. The passenger, a middle-aged white man, rolled down his window and flashed me a big grin. He extended his hands toward me, palms up, and shouted, “You’re beautiful just the way you are!”

He caught my by suprise. I was a bit confused and mildly flattered. The light turned green. I flashed him a shaka and drove on.

As I turned the next corner I thought about why this guy went to the trouble to make me feel good at a stoplight. It’s not something that happens to me very often. So why now?

I daubed my nose with surgical gauze. A droplet of blood dripped out; my surgical wound still fresh. That must be it: he saw the bandages on my nose, and this being Southern California, the capital of plastic surgery, he assumed I hated myself enough to get a nose job. What he didn’t realize is that my problems were not with self-esteem, but breathing. I chuckled about it all the way to pharmacy, where I picked up more saline rinse and pain medicine.

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