Friday, September 2, 2016

A Handsome Heart

Last week, our family went to the Midsummer Renaissance Faire in Bonney Lake. Sorry, it's over for the year, so don't bother looking up the days and hours, but you can go next year.

We had a great time. We did. We ate meat pies, bought leather for projects we'll never do, watched live chess, participated in the axe-throwing tournament. Yes, I did hit the bulls-eye three times with the metal part of an axe, but twice it was broadside and once it just bounced off like a rubber mallet. Nick's friend had actually practiced beforehand and won the youth tournament.

But there was one thing that I wish had gone differently.

See, Nick's friend wanted to get arrested again. For a small fee, you can have your children or husband or whoever arrested and thrown in jail. It's brilliant, a show, great income for the ones that run it, and totally worth it for people like me who want to be entertained.

So, after seeing our group casually saunter by, I paid the fair maiden my money and she wrote down details on a certificate. We both waited for a jailer to become available. The Scottish brogue was going on a break. The truly scary guy was arresting someone else, thankfully. That left the guy who could have been on the cover of GQ Knights, and his cheerful, but powerful cohort.

GQ looked over the fair maiden's shoulder and she held up the certificate to him. Right then, Cheerful walked up to her other side. GQ looked at the certificate, at me, and then did a familiar dance that I recognized right away. He shook his head almost imperceptibly, almost. His dark, almond-shaped eyes squinched a little as if he was in pain. And he took a half a step back. You might think that was the moment I'd liked to have changed.

But it wasn't.

Cheerful, on the other hand took the proffered certificate, smiled, and walked away with me.

"That's not right," he said quietly. I knew what he was talking about - the rejection. I admit that it had hurt, but just a little.

"Oh, don't worry," I said. "It's ugly-woman syndrome."

"Oh!" he said, brightening as we walked. "I have ugly-man syndrome."

At this point, I wish I'd said something wise or sweet or encouraging. I didn't. I rambled on about my own affairs and never once said what I could have or should have said.

Don't you hate that?

I could have said that a good man was much more valuable than a pretty man.

I could have said that my first impression of him was cheerful and strong and there was a lot to be said for that.

I could have told him that his looks weren't ugly, just not dangerously handsome.

I could have told him that he could save a lot of time this way, not having to sift through a raft of silly women who'd just hurt him in the end if all that was important to them was finding a man who looked a certain way.

I could have told him that the right woman for him would feel his strength, cherish his cheerfulness, and soak his kindness down into her bones like a nutrient.

I could have, but I didn't. I hate when I can't think of that perfect line. I just can't. Those lines pop into my head in the middle of a dark night, in the shower, on the road running errands during endless radio commercials.

But I am sitting here, more than a week after the incident, remembering this man's sweet face and his kindness. I might not have said the right thing in the moment, but it can't hurt for me to send a soft blessing through the ether to a wife this man hasn't quite met, a message for her to cherish this man's strong, handsome, and kind heart for an eternity.

He was kind to a frumpy middle-aged woman and there is nothing more handsome than that.

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment