Pretty Lady

Describe a random encounter with a stranger that stuck out positively to you.

During my lunch hour, I walk a stretch of connected sidewalks, trails, and paths that I am fortunate to have my office situated along. The other day I crossed paths 3-4 x with a woman who was 20+ years my senior.

Each time we passed each other we looked at each other, smiled, and said hello. Each time I thought to myself “What a beautiful woman”, as her makeup was nicely applied, her hair was styled modernly and neat, clothing looked clean and tailored, but the most striking part about her was her sincere smile.

I, in contrast, was walking in scrubs, sans makeup, hair pulled back with whisps of hair escaping its tie, there was nothing coordinated about me; including my walking route; as I was zigzagging in an attempt to cram in my 10,000 steps.

So it was amazing to me that with all the trail options we had to choose from, with its various branches and shortcuts, we kept passing each other. On my way back to the office I was about to cross paths with her one last time. I felt a little anxious, “Do I say ‘hi’ again? Or is that just weird?”

I decided, “Fancy meeting you here again!”, with a big grin. She flashed her big beautiful smile at me and said “You are a really pretty lady”. My reply was, “awe thank you, and I think you are as well”. Then, we both continued on our own way.

No doubt, my first thought was how sweet that was of her. My second thought was, how could she even think that? I look terrible today. I’m rushing around, a bit disheveled, with a look of a woman on a mission.

After all, she was the beautiful one, very well put together, without a look of anywhere she had to be but in that moment. Maybe she sees the younger version of herself in me? Maybe she liked my smile? Perhaps, I reminded her of someone she once knew?

I thought about this exchange for a couple of days, trying to discern why she said that. I mean, I was indeed thinking the same of her, I just didn’t think to say it. I wished I had said it first.

Of course I don’t know for sure, but I suspect she is a woman who has been in my shoes. One who has experienced the crazed attempts of self-care whilst trying to balance a career and family. Who rarely had time to herself, to stop and smell the flowers, to live in the moment. She is a wiser woman who can now slow down and appreciate the beauty of her surroundings, on her own time, do the things that make her feel good, and dole out compliments that she needed to hear at my age. This beautiful woman quite possibly did see herself in me, she was honoring the woman she was and the woman she has become.

As women in different stages in our lives, we honored each, seeing the beauty within the chaos, and simply took an opportunity to share a smile, a moment, and a kind word. Thank YOU, pretty lady. ❤️


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