One morning about a month ago, my boss came into my office first thing for some intense conversation mostly about residents at the halfway house, but also a little about our personal lives. She was in and out of my office numerous times during the first forty-five minutes of the day.
During all that time, I never noticed that her hair had changed dramatically from the day before. The style wasn't much different, just trimmed, I think, but the color had gone from an ash blonde shade to something in the burgundy family.
Worse yet, it came to my attention only when our intern walked into my office and immediately (immediately!) exclaimed, "I love your hair! That color looks great on you!"
Oh, jeez. I apologized to my boss and she waved it off. No big deal. And then, in the next half hour or so, two additional coworkers complimented her hair in gushing tones.
I launched into a self-deprecating speech about how blind I am and how I really never even noticed and that I just don't notice things like hair and clothes because, I guess, I'm not normal--at least not a normal woman. Even my boss said, "You're like a guy in that way."
Here's the truth: days go by without me making sustained eye contact with myself in the mirror. I can barely be relied upon to be a steward of my own appearance, to make myself something approaching presentable before leaving the house, let alone notice someone else's cute cut or color or adorable new sweater.
At the office that day, we all laughed it off because what else was there to do? But among women and girls, that noticing, those compliments are currency and I'm flat broke.
B is for Beauty
The Skin of Our Teeth
23 hours ago