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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mirror, mirror, on the wall - Beauty from within

One’s outward physical appearance has the first impact. Whilst it’s important to be well presented, that is to say clean and tidy, otherwise, it is not important at all. [translation = not one jot!]

Most of us are aware of the pressures upon young women about their appearance. Since I have two girls, I have always been at great pains to concentrate upon their inner characters.

Since my eldest daughter is on the cusp of her 26th birthday, I have had a great deal of practice. [translation = self esteem for all children is essential] As a result of all this practice, I am indeed a past master about sweeping aside the frippery and trappings of fashion. [translation = second to none] Do not come to me in your pink frilly skirt with your face made up and your hair just curled. [translation = show me your soul instead]

My youngest son presents himself before me standing at attention like a soldier. [translation = although he is leaning like the Tower of Pisa] Our eyes meet. I wait. I wait because I think he is about to tell me something. We spend a few moments in frozen silence whilst I debate whether or not to prompt him. [translation = risk breaking the spell, invoking a meltdown] He raises his eyebrows several times in what I assume to be a meaningful way. Indeed, rather a suggestive manner! [translation = but what is he suggesting?]

“Am I hansom?” Ah! His eyebrows were prompting me! Such sophistication, such subtlety! [translation = I qualify for the 'thick as a brick' award of the day]
“Oh yes, your hair looks fabulous. What a great job you did brushing it all on your own.” Hallelujah!

“I am hansom?”
“Well, hansom is as hansom does.”
“Er, hansom is all well and good, but it’s your inside that is far more important.”
“I cannot be brushing my insides. Oh how stupid you are being today! How am I be brushing my insides? I do not like dem anyways.”
“Forget about your insides for the moment, who told you that you were stupid?”
“No-one is telling me I am stupid today. I am telling you dat you are dah stupid person.”

I pause, that phrase was so pat. [translation = perfect intonation of someone in authority, the perfect sentence that tells me that it is really someone else’s = echolalia] Who was it? [translation = be assured that I will track that person down, I will store that speech pattern forever, an lo, be afraid, be seriously afraid] He breaks my distraction with, “you are being stupid now, er ……I mean, you are still stupid?”
“Lets concentrate on the outside again, your lovely brushed hair. My! but you look suave!”
“I am suave?”
“What it is dah suave?”

Perfect. [translation = and definitely not stupid]

suave (swäv)
adj. suav·er, suav·est
Smoothly agreeable and courteous.
[French, agreeable, from Old French, from Latin suvis, delightful, sweet; see swd- in Indo-European roots.]
suavely adv.
suaveness, suavi·ty (swäv-t) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

ThesaurusLegend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Adj. 1. suave - having a sophisticated charm; "a debonair gentleman"
debonair, debonaire, debonnaire
refined - used of persons and their behavior; cultivated and genteel; "she was delicate and refined and unused to hardship"; "refined people with refined taste"
2. suave - smoothly agreeable and courteous with a degree of sophistication; "he was too politic to quarrel with so important a personage"; "the hostess averted a confrontation between two guests with a diplomatic change of subject"; "the manager pacified the customer with a smooth apology for the error"; "affable, suave, moderate men...smugly convinced of their respectability" - Ezra Pound
politic, smooth
diplomatical, diplomatic - skilled in dealing with sensitive matters or people


Stomper Girl said...

I get & approve of the whole inner-you beauty thing, but I am always telling my kids how gorgeous they are because I figure if your own mother can't tell you you're beautiful / handsome etc, then who can?

Jerry Grasso said...

We find that our 'inside' is a hard subject to grasp - the soul. We understand our inside is full of parts that work to make us work....but the inner beauty is beyond our ability at this point.

You are a handsome and sweet boy are good enough for Demetrius....without causing enough confusion to have both of us banging our heads on the wall

Usethebrains Godgiveyou said...

I've always told Ben he is beautiful. I think he believes it!!!

I'll never forget the day Ben came home and asked me, "Mom, what is a 'retard' ?"

Talk about wanting to kick butt! Calling people names shows more about the insecurity of the caller than it does about the called. To hell with them...life's too short to bother with those kind of arseholes!

I know exactly what you mean about the echolalia, too. Those words have to come from somewhere, as our kids are great mimics!

Haddayr said...

"Oh how stupid you are being today!"

Not his natural speech pattern. You are right; someone said that to him. Someone needs to be hunted down.

This morning, I got to hear Arie repeatedly tell Éiden to shut up.

Guess who taught him that particular phrase? That's right. Me.

Suzanne said...

show me your soul instead
I might err on the side of motherly gushing to my boys about their outer beauty and their cleverness. I think I wanted to be told that more often growing up. (my poor Dad, has long forgotten this, I'm sure, but when I was 11, he told me I'd be pretty...like WonderWoman Lynda Carter, if I just lost 15 pounds. thanks Dad) People can be so cruel, and I want to build them up in case others would tell them otherwise. Not that i exaggerate. I just talk it up if I see it.

Jeni said...

Inner beauty vs external appearance; "so smart" vs "stupid" -oh boy! Cans and cans of worms that those things can open in anyone! I've been extremely self-conscious for most of my life because of my teeth -the upper front ones appeared to protrude. Would you believe, it wasn't till I got my lower denture plate and new uppers, that I realized (and so did the dentist, I think -LOL -lightbulb moments)that the maloclusion was actually the lower, not the upper jaw! But growing up, when the upper teeth began to protrude and I chipped on of them too, I frequently heard family members comparing my appearance to my Dad's one sister, whose upper teeth were crooked and protruding and how they would say "She would have been so pretty if her teeth were straight" and seeing mine were moving in the same direction it seemed as my aunts, I associated that with making me unattractive. No one ever said diddly about inner beauty back then. My older daughter has a lot of the same attributes except she is (unlike her mother) quite stunning in her appearance but the image she's always seen in the mirror is not the same thing apparently as you would see or I see there. I used to ask her if perhaps she needed my bifocals to see herself better since she wasn't seeing what I saw there. She had her jaw broken surgically, at age 21 and her mouth wired shut for 3 months to align her upper and lower jaws and correct for the lower maloclusion which did give her a little bit more self-confidence. (Her siblings and I have often referred to that three month wired-mouth period as the most peaceful time we ever spent with her! LOL)
How did you ever explain "suave" to your son anyway?

Linda said...

I think I would be finding whoever taught him that phrase and kicking some serious behind maternal-style myself were I you. People can be so insensitive.

If I may ask - how old are your daughters? My oldest - my son - turned 26 this past May (which still astonishes me!). You have probably written in your blog somewhere their ages but I thought it easier to ask rather than search. I know, I know - I'm lazy!

Also, thank you for your empathy on my post from last night. I am now overwhelmed at the amount of care and concern poured forth by so many dear people I have only "met" through blogging.

burgiboogie said...

Your kids seem sweet, inside and out;) I hate to think of someone speaking to them that way.

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