In my town, if you start to look good, really good, it is assumed, rather accurately, you’re having an affair. Men or women, this is universal suburban slander for anyone over, oh, say 40. Forty is such an easy target.
Too thin, too fit, good hair, nice clothes, shoes. Real shoes, instead of crocs, Uggs, or sneaks. Bingo. Marriage over, someone’s stepping out and so begins the gossip race to find out whom with.
Except when they’re not.
Take for instance, my acquaintance, almost friend, Stacy who looks downright fabulous. Young and hip and smooth and driven — a woman with a mission. And three kids, two dogs, a husband, and now I find out, a job. For the past 10 years, whenever I saw her at the bus stop, a road race, in a variety of gyms or concerts or open houses, she usually looked like me. Running clothes all day long, perhaps clean hair. Perhaps not. Lipstick means a big date night . . . with the girls.
But lately, Stacy’s got it going on. She looks great, really great. All the time. Good hair, clothes, a smile. But it’s more than that. She walks different. Holds herself different. It’s freaky.
Not being able to take it any longer, I asked. Not her of course, but in the check-out line manner of all good neighborhood gossip, her friend. “Is Stacy having an affair because, come on, have you seen her? I mean, really! Is she?”
Nope. She’s not. She’s got a job. Her part-time gig went full time and so went her confidence. Talk about sexy. She’s got a job she loves and her confidence is contagious and her demeanor flirtatious and her enthusiasm infectious. She has a job she’s good at and they love her and she loves them. It’s flexible and rewarding and it shows. She’s happy. Her kids are happy. Her husband is happy. And she exudes confidence and exuberance.
I want to get myself a little of that action. Me and a few of my closest friends. And neighbors. And relatives. And perhaps a few more . . .