And She Meant It
One of my young ladies came in today all giddy and grinning. She'd just discovered she was one of a dozen or so nominees for Homecoming Queen.
Now, before you start thinking in stereotypes, this isn't the girl you just pictured - she's not blond, she's not bubbly, she's not shallow, and she's not dating a football player. She's pretty and talented and good at school, yes - but in her own most interesting way.
A good friend of hers said something I didn't expect: "That's awesome! I'm sorry I didn't vote for you - I'm good friends with such and so, and we were trying to get her on the list..."
My young lady didn't even flinch. "Oh, that's fine - I just couldn't believe when I looked at all the other names that I was even included! I'm so flattered to be on the same list as those girls - they're like, all so great. I never expected it, and I'm probably not going to win, but I'm just so happy!"
Here's the thing - she totally meant it. They both did.
Her friend wasn't being provocative or catty or playing girl games - she was just joining the conversation and sharing who she'd voted for. My young lady wasn't playing it off - that sort of transparency is apparently just how they roll. (If, um... if people still say things like "that's how I roll," I mean.)
She wasn't bitter, or self-deprecating, or jealous, or insecure, or cocky, or anything. What I was seeing was joy, and appreciation - basking in the unexpected graces of an unpredictable world. She's not a hardship story, and I'm not aware of any particular challenges she's had to recently overcome (not that I'd necessarily know, of course). It's not that kind of post, and she's not that kind of young lady. As I said, she's a good kid from an involved family and all that - no Lifetime Movie in the works for this one, I'm afraid.
I just couldn't get over the uncomplicated celebration of someone so young able to simply accept the good as it comes. I suspect she handles the bad better than most as well - maybe not with such a glow, of course, but minus the "why me?" or the bitter blame. It reminded me not to make things darker than they are, or unnecessarily nefarious, and to bask in those moments of warm fuzzy mojo when they happen - knowing that doing so is largely how we weather ickier times.
Until then... just enjoy it. You're in the running.