Then, one fateful evening, we ended up at the same child's birthday party, and it was almost too much to handle. Walking into this party and seeing this beautiful woman was one of the most painful moments of my adult life. (I know how shallow that makes me sound.)
The pants I had tried on, struggled with, and finally fit into were suddenly as comfortable and stylish as two of the fluorescent orange traffic cones that had been used to detour partygoers. I resigned myself to the snack table where I drowned my self-absorbed sorrows in salsa and chips while simultaneously berating myself for drowning my self-absorbed sorrows in salsa and chips. At least from this vantage point I could watch, and possibly learn, how to be as fantastic as Ms. Skinny Minny.
And then her husband showed up.
A couple of hours into the dancing dinosaur party a man made his way into the yard. While friends and neighbors had been coming and going without much fanfare or notice, this character insisted on making an entrance. He was loud, garish, inappropriate. And he was married to her? I thought.
How could this be? I stood, stunned. Chip crumbs littered my shirt, but I hardly had the strength to brush them away. I felt as if all of the oxygen had been sucked out of the air. How could those legs go home with him? How could I have been so, so wrong about how very, very perfect her life was?
The rest happened in slow motion. For the first time since I first laid eyes on this woman, I actually saw her. The way her easiness evaporated. The pleading in her eyes. The you-swore-you-wouldn't glare that was a seamless mix of guilt, shame, and rage. Watching this outwardly flawless vision transform into (mortified) flesh and bone before my very (judgmental) eyes was humbling. It was suddenly the perfect time for me to check in with reality and practice being kind to another (Ephesians 4:32).
Because here's the thing: the shape of one's legs, the model car they drive, or the address of the house they live in is no real indication of happiness, self esteem, or success. Why I turn on myself and become jealous of women I don't even know is beyond me. There in that backyard, Skinny Minny's embarrassed look reminded me that we have no idea what goes on when everybody goes home. And then, suddenly, the only thing left for me to do was go find mine. So I left. Walking out on the same legs I walked in on. Well, sort of.
Helen Coronato is all about homeschooling her two boys, loving her husband, spending time with her girlfriends, and trying to become more like the person Jesus intended her to be. Check out her projects and connect at http://www.helencoronato.com.