I don’t know how this will sit with conservative Mormon sensibilities. And I suppose I might take a lot of ribbing for this, but…
Here’s to the ladies. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I do notice. And I most certainly appreciate the effort. I have come to believe in appreciating beauty where you find it, and it just brightens my day to encounter an attractive woman at the store, walking down the sidewalk, herding her children about at church.
It’s not that I’m playing the voyeur here or anything. Back in my teenage and college years, I’ll admit, it was hard to see a pretty girl without letting my mind get carried away with the possibilities… Ahem! It was a trying time to say the least.
But over the years, things have calmed down somewhat, and I’ve simply come to the realization that I enjoy beauty on its own terms and not for the ways I might bend it to my own goals and expectations (though I suppose I’m as guilty as the next guy of occasional lapses). I think the girls walking about near the local college campus are often strikingly pretty. I think young Mormon mommies look wonderful (including a whole bunch at my present ward).
And I’m not talking about “being a sweet spirit” or having a “great personality” (except insofar as those attributes are visible in the eyes, face, and demeanor – which I think they often are). No, I’m just talking about looks here. I think we’ve lost the art of appreciating “our women.” There used to be a more polite time when it was not considered improper for a man to admire a woman for all her good points, including looks. It used to be a matter of good breeding and manners for a married man to tell an unmarried young woman “You look lovely this evening” and mean it.
Our sisters carry on today, making as much effort as they can. They unfortunately, do it without precious little feedback from their inhibited brethren. Indeed, I’m not sure how some of them would take it if I did single them out for even polite praise.
They don’t get enough compliments by half. But girls, you look fabulous!
I remember hearing a delightful story about President David O McKay attending a parade. I don’t know if it’s apocryphal or not, but it’s worth sharing just the same.
The Prophet was attending a parade of some sort. Perhaps “Pioneer Day” perhaps Independence Day. But in any case, a float passed by with a beauty queen and her two attendants, smiling and waving. One of the fellows accompanying the Prophet, noting the rather revealing dresses, tutted disapprovingly: “Would you just look at what she’s wearing!”
President McKay turned and smiled brightly – “Yes, aren’t they lovely young women?”
Amen, and amen.
So here’s to the ladies wherever you are. And thank-you!