As I walked down the stairs to go to senior prom, my then-friend-would-be-boyfriend gave this smirky half grin that he was known for and said two-ish words, “you’re gorgeous” — much to my best friend’s delight as she struggled to hush her squeal from the living room where she and my mother were gawking like every pre-teen did at any Dawson’s Creek episode.
My senior prom wouldn’t be remembered by me for my sweet dance moves (because I never had any), the raging party afterwards (because we were a pretty calm bunch and probably watched a Disney movie) or for that super sweet limo we rented (because we didn’t)–but rather for those two-ish words. My senior prom wouldn’t be remembered by me for the songs we danced to (City of Angels by the Red Hot Chili Peppers), where we ate (a ridiculously expensive steak house with a large group of my friends and their dates) or the fact that we all pretended we were extravagant grown-ups. The thing I remember most about my senior prom, (besides my rockin’ dress that I still adore and planned my wedding dress after), was two words: You’re Gorgeous. And in that moment, it was all he could muster.
It was a beautiful night. It was 2006 and eight years ago–but I still remember that moment and feeling infinitely and undeniably beautiful. It took two words to change my attitude about myself–pretty much forever.
I never really felt like I fit in with the other girls in my grade–those girls had boyfriends which inevitably meant they were pretty and desirable. Even the non-plastics had boyfriends. It always made me think I was undesirable, unwanted or not good enough. Luckily I had amazing parents, youth leaders, youth pastors and friends who made sure I knew I was valuable and worthwhile. There were many times I’ve felt beautiful and wanted since that moment, but that moment is etched into my heart and soul. It’s not the person who said it that is ultimately important — though I am glad he did. But rather that it was said and that the moment changed my view of myself permanently. It wasn’t the fancy dress because I knew that was just fabric. It wasn’t the hair and make up because I did that myself and knew I could re-create that at any time.
It was the knowledge that I could take someone’s breath away. Even if only for a moment.
I highly doubt that my then-friend-would-be-boyfriend even remembers that moment like I do. It didn’t end nicely between us-which is mostly my fault I suppose. I haven’t spoke to or seen him in over 6 years, and 90% of our friends from growing up are the same people. But he impacted my life far beyond being a boyfriend ever could. He didn’t take anything from me and leave me high and dry. He was a genuinely good guy. And he let me go with just enough time to get over him and get ready for my now-husband to come along and sweep me up in a whirlwind. I doubt my then-friend-would-be-boyfriend will even see this post, but if he ever does, I’m sure he would know it’s him (as would everyone I grew up with).
To him, I want to say thank you. Thank you for changing my life for the better. Thank you for being crazy and young with me and allowing me to be a part of your life. Thank you for giving me a moment in time that I can treasure because it changed how I look at myself and opened me up to allow myself to be molded by our Creator. And while I’m at it, thank you to your parents for raising good sons who love Jesus and cherish people. And feel at least a little bit special in this moment, since you are my first #gratitude post as I force myself to speak thankfulness so I can one day teach my son how to love people like Jesus loves people and be grateful for each soul.
I wish you the best and kind of hope you do see this someday.